Monday, January 25, 2010

A hui hou Hawaii?

No disclaimers, no apologies, just another chapter in the neverending story of my recent trip to Hawaii! I've got to hurry and finish before my tan has faded away, as the sun has become an elusive creep these days, even in San Diego.

part 1, part 2, part 3

The third and final leg of our trip brought us back over to the sunny side, where we splurged on a few days of luxury. The drive over from Hilo was rainy, but that was to be expected, what with it being a tropical rainforest and all.

It was so lush and green and gorgeous, I couldn't help snapping photos out the window while driving:

We made a pit stop at Akaka Falls.

Here we had the chance to see magnificent creatures in their natural habitats:

dorkus humungous

And there were some other fairly decent sights to see, if you're into wonders of nature and all that:

We made our way across the north end of the island, and then headed south into the beautiful Waikaloa resort area. But that didn't keep us from enjoying waterfalls:

The Hilton is huge and stunning. Some critics say that it's not authentic Hawaii, it's not real... and I get that, I do. But if you're at all interested in indulging in a fantasy of sights and sounds and smells, in a cornocopia of beauty and contentment, you might consider wrapping up your zen family lovefest here:

There were bridges to swim under

A perpetual a pile of sandy slippers

and slides and slides and slides and slides

As is the tradition in many a Hawaiian locale, each night when the sun begins its descent into the sparkling blue ocean, the trumpet of a conch shell announces the lighting of the tiki torches. The Hilton has a lovely, long, winding path that hugs the shoreline for the length of the ample property.

Here he's at the end of the path, which starts way over on the tip of land at the top of the photo. The kids delighted in watching the guy run along with his torch and light all the tikis each night. One evening, they planned ahead and waited for him at the start of the path, and then sprinted along behind him for the entire journey. And back.

When the sun went down, there was always some interesting activity to happen upon, like the projection of Up on a screen suspended between two palm trees by the pool.

By day, you can choose to navigate the hotel grounds by foot, by rail, or by water. This is the water tram, which was our fave when we were too lazy to hoof it.

Our balcony had a "partial" ocean view (I guess you couldn't quite see the entire ocean), and ongoing entertainment was provided by a pool of dolphins just below us:

yeah, I said dolphins

The end of the ocean path, which marked the turnaround point in my morning runs, was Buddha Point.

I think if I were the Buddha, I would very much enjoy this eternal view

We did manage to leave the resort every now and then. One of the world's top-rated beaches was just a few miles up the road. Here at Hapuna, the kids made a snow sand-man.

His name was Jeff. Naturally.
As the days trickled by, we had no choice but to turn our thoughts toward leaving. Bill went home ahead of us, he was unable to fake illness for longer than a day after the end of Christmas break. The kids and I had two nights on our own, and although we missed Daddy at every turn, we consoled ourselves with sunshine and sushi and swimming. We had to give back our snappy mustang convertible, but we were pretty smitten with the PT cruiser we secured for the last 48 hours.
And then suddenly it was the last of everything.. last sunset, last boat ride, last dolphin visit, last ice cream cone, last towel shack, last big slide... you get the point. On our last night, we headed back down to Kona for a requisite island tourist event, the luau.

We had a couple of hours on our last morning to take the goodbye tour around the hotel, pack ourselves up, and get ready to leave our happy island. The kids got the last of their waterslide bracelets, badges of courage that have yet to be removed even two weeks later.

We said mahalo and aloha to Hawaii, trying to keep our chins up as we trudged toward security in plenty of time for our afternoon flight to LAX and then on to home, where Bill and Moki would be waiting for us at 11:30 pm. We threw away all of our liquids, including sunscreen and that last longboard ale. We shoved sandwiches and snacks and anything else we could wedge into the carry on bags that we had lived out of for those wonderful ten days. After passing through security, we picked up bottled water and a couple of treats in which to drown our sorrows, (chocolate and mai tais as appropriate). We moped to our gate and waited to board.

And we waited.

And waited.

to be continued (!!!)....


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Aw Jacqueline. How I love this. Your photo montages are awesome, your writing is brill, your kids are absurdly cute -- I mean, really. They are. They are two proverbial peas in a proverbial pod. Two really cute peas in a really cute pod.

I hope your tan never fades and you never stop writing about Hawaii: I love every moment.

And actually, by the sounds of it, you won't! I can't wait for The Opposite of Flight 52.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Speaking of flight 52 - I swear, I thought I saw Sayid on my way in to work today! I know, I know, they film in Oahu, not on the Big Island, or in San Diego, but still....

I just can't help it -- you're Hawaii expose is really getting me exicted for Lost's return, which, who knows, might even coincide with your last chapter.

Your last days of luxury look amazing, J! Who care if it's not real? And you did manage to leave, at least briefly, to hang out with Jeff.

Bravo for all of your vacation choices. As you're mom already pointed out, you SHOULD work for the Hawaii Board of Tourism :-)


Me, You, or Ellie said...

p.s. morning runs? Impressive!


Mom C said...

I love this too. I love looking at those two together - isn't it so nice that they never fight:) The pictures are spectacular, keep 'em coming. love, mom

Kathi D said...

The hotel looks fun and fabulous! After all your authentic trekking and such, what a switch to glitz and glam. Sandy beaches are pretty rare on the Big Island anyway, so why not enjoy pools and manmade beaches?

Dandy said...

I'll be coming back to catch up on Hawaii. I LOVE Hawaii. I've only ever been to Maui but I worked for a Hawaiian restaurant for years and many of my friends are Hawaiian. I just love the culture.