I hadn't been to Hawaii in about 10 years. The last time I was there, I was staying in an old coffee shack on the Rosenworld Compound. I have very fond memories of the trip. I did not have fond memories of the never-ending flights home and the resulting jet lag. So I hadn't particularly rushed to go back.
My parents have been going for many years - never waiting more than two years to go there. And recently I believe they had been going every year. So it was no surprise that eventually they would want a family trip to Hawaii together. So David, myself, Sis, Lorenz, and my parents met in Kona on the Big Island for a week of Polynesian goodness.
On the way out there, David and I stayed a night in Honolulu. We couldn't find reasonable flights through American that got us there in one day. It was probably a good idea to have a night in Honolulu. We would have been zombies if we tried to do the flight in one swoop. The airport was swamped with security when we got to Honolulu. I asked David with as much sarcasm as I could muster "Is the President in town or something?" It turns out that he kinda was. Barack Obama was president elect and was on his way out of Hawaii as we were coming in. There went my plans of getting a photo of our President's abs on the beach to sell to tabloids.
For some reason, we got to the Honolulu airport very early the morning. It turns out I don't like the Honolulu airport. It was full or extremely obese Americans with their ultra-slutty teenage daughters and their mind-numbingly stupid teenage sons. They embodied the image of American terror that strikes the hearts of foreigners everywhere.
When we got to Kona, I was in a significantly better mood. David and I got ourselves to the time share and were quite surprised at how nice the digs were. Our unit felt palatial. The kitchen was well stocked with utensils and equipment, though David didn't look any further than the coffee machine.
I picked up Mom & Dad at the airport later that day. For dinner, we went up to the Rosenworld compound and picked up Sis and Lorenz. I hadn't been there since they built the new house. I don't even think they call it the new house anymore. It was beautiful. I decided that the next time I come to Hawaii, I'm doing it without family or David and I'm staying at the compound for some peace and quiet. They have every type of fruit on their plantation: macadamia nuts, pineapples, avocados, passion fruit, guava, lemons, grapefruit, papayas, and more. Andy had made a wonderful guava cake with guava mousse. I'm still dreaming about it.
Looking back on it, I can't remember the exact order of everything we did on the trip. David, Sis, Lorenz and I took a day to go to the volcano. It rained almost the entire day. I thought Lorenz would be more entranced with the idea of lava tubes and volcanos, but he was in his own world the whole time. We took him to the 15 minute movie they show about volcanos. Once he realized it was a documentary, he turned to Sis and said "This isn't a real movie." Apparently, he had just discovered the soul-crushing reality of documentaries. And when they showed images of volcanoes spewing and gurgling red molten lava, he just said "Yucky".
On the way home we went to a beach to visit giant turtles. And they were quite big. Lorenz started being a pill, then decided he didn't want to wear pants, and then decided he wanted to sit on the sand. David and Sis made him take a mini-shower before getting back in the car. I took a picture should I need to blackmail Lorenz at some future point. However, I have spared his dignity by not posting it online.
I can't remember what we need the next day, but I didn't take any photos. I think Sis, Dad, Benji and I went snorkeling. Which was nice but a little crowded.
David charted a course for the next day. We were going to visit a small little village on the way up the mountain and then visit a coffee plantation. The village was mostly closed and kind of a bust. Then we couldn't find the coffee plantation. It turns out that GPS is not so accurate in Hawaii - as we would repeatedly learn throughout the trip. Just after we had given up on finding the coffee plantation, we decided to go back just ONE MORE TIME, and we found it. They had pigs and geese and cats, so Lorenz was in heaven. They had coffee, so David was in heaven. We bought several bags, and it really is the best coffee I've ever had.
After that we took a trip back down to the beach, with a few wrong turns along the way. We found a place where there is some beach and then a little walk to visit Petraglyphs. On the way home, we stopped in downtown Kona for some shaved ice and a walk along the beach. Very beautiful.
The next day was a big event. We took a trip up and over the middle of the island on Saddle Road. The goal was to go to Hilo and see some of the big waterfalls. Benji had said that Hilo is his favorite city in Hawaii because it's like the old Hawaii used to be before it was discovered by all the tourists. It rains too much to ever be a popular tourist destination. We totally lucked out. It was sunny and clear the whole time we were there.
We saw many waterfalls. We even found the cheap, fast food place that Mom and Dad were looking for. There some story about it being owned by a relative of someone that they work with. I don't remember the whole story. The food was authentically Hawaiian.
Mom & Dad started showing signs of exhaustion near the end of this trip. For the last waterfall (which was the really big one) they stayed near the car. Since the Saddle Road trip was not a good ride for those that get car-sick, we took a trip around the north of the island to get home.
David and I went home the next morning. I didn't get as much time frolicking in the water at the beach as I was hoping, but that's how it goes. Next time, I'm sure...