Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hawaiian Vacation (and a little work) - Part 1

Tuesday, 10/7/08 we left for a little trip to Hawaii. It started as another business trip for a project I've had in Hilo, on the big island of Hawaii. A client operates a number of Assisted Living facilities around the US, including Hawaii. This one needed a small wastewater treatment plant to accommodate their expansion...probably for all of us baby-boomers as we get close to retirement. The construction did not go as well as hoped and another trip was needed. I had already gone twice before, consisting of leaving on a Tues morning, arriving late in the evening. Wednesday was my inspection/meetings, then return to the mainland on Thursday morning. Whew...long times in the plane for a short visit.

Anyway, we decided to extend this trip and include Beth. So we stayed 3 nights in Hilo and two nights near Lahaina, on the island of Maui. The following is a sampling of photos taken on that trip.

This is sunrise on Moana Kea, taken from the balcony of our hotel. Hawaii is 3 hours behind the Pacific Coast, and since I am used to getting up at 5:30 AM...yep, you guessed it! I was up at 2:30, snoozed until around 5:30 Hawaii time and was able to catch the sunrise. It was beautiful. (We both started flagging by 9:00 in the evening, since it felt like midnight for us.)

Downtown Hilo, looking east towards the bay.

On Wednesday we drove north along the east coast of Hawaii, and stopped at several small towns along the way. This is Hakalau, about 20 miles north of Hilo.

A little further north we ate lunch at the cutest little restaurant. It was a throw-back to the 50's, complete with a soda counter, juke box and the greatest hamburger and milkshake around. The owner was a old hippie who really didn't take himself or life very seriously, as evidenced by the "pinpoint deed" he gave out, entitling us to ownership of a piece of his place...a very small piece!!

We finally came to the end of the road at the Waipio Valley overlook...literally the end of the road. One could go farther, but a 4WD is needed to go down the road. You can see a couple of cliffs and on the horizon is the island of Maui, just peeking around the last cliff.

Sunset at Kawaihae, on the west coast of Hawaii. After the Waipio overlook, we crossed the island, drove through Waimea (which is home to the Parker Ranch, the largest cattle ranch in the Hawaiian Islands) and played in the surf on the coast. From here we returned towards Hilo, stopping in Honokaa for dinner at an Italian restaurant. I wanted a glass of wine, but the restaurant couldn't sell alcohol (???), but I could go across the street to a grocery store, buy a bottle and they would gladly open it for us.

On Thursday afternoon (after my inspections and meetings) we played some more. This time we drove west and visited a black sand beach at Punaluu. We were told there were sea turtles here, but when we arrived and I saw the throng of beachgoers playing, fishing, etc...I figured no turtle in his right mind would come near this beach, so we went to a volcano instead. The photos are of Kilauea, a very active crater. The night shot shows the red-hot lava reflecting off the steam cloud (which has a high amount of sulfur dioxide, and half of the crater drive was closed).

Friday we left Hawaii and flew to Maui, where neither of us had ever been. This is the town of Lahaina, an old whaling town and home of (I think) the first mission to the Islands. We stayed at a beachfront resort in Kaanapali, about 5 miles north.

Saturday we drove the famous (infamous?) Road to Hana, a stretch of road that hugs the north coastline to the town of Hana. The road is about 52 miles long (from Kahului), has 600 curves and 60 bridges...all one way, so one had to wait for the other traffic to cross (unless you were aggressive or got here first). It took us 3 hours, but it was worth it. The views were spectacular!

1 comment:

Aloha Lucy said...

Aloha Paul!
This is the first time I have ever been in a blog. You made me homesick for Hawaii! Can you get me a job on the Big Island of Hawaii? Just kidding, not really! I think I'm ready to try a different Island now. Did you know that Hana means work in Hawaiian. It's a lot of work getting there! Glad you enjoyed yourself's.
Love Lucy