Sunday, May 18, 2014

Christmas 2012 - Hawaii

Christmas 2012 - Hawaii
Flying into Kona - 12/20/12

Hilton Waikolia Timeshare
Another poolside view
This was the pool at our timeshare

We tried something a little different this year, we spent Christmas in Hawaii.  Had an amazing time, but not certain I like being away from family on a major holiday.  Tessa stayed behind and worked and it just wasn't the same without her nor spending time with the Lassen's.  It's an odd sight to find other parts of the world enjoying sunshine during December, when for us, it's always raining and gloomy.  Spending the holiday sunbathing on the beach was just "odd".
We didn't have much flexibility with this vacation.  We got sucked into one of those timeshare presentations and in order to make it work, we had to go when the timeshare location was available as well as 4 flights.  Did I mention how expensive it is to fly that time of the year?  $900/person!  The only flights we could find that would also work with the timeshare was Thursday, December 20th-26th.  So we flew out the first day of our school break.  Although we were gone 7-days, 2 of those days were travel days.  It was a beautiful Island, but would have liked to have spent more time on the beaches.  The beaches located by our accommodations were nice, but not like the ones you see advertised.  Next time, we will visit a different Island.    Upon arrival and getting settled in, we found ourselves settling for McDonald's at Walmart just to eat something quickly.  We had no idea where anything was located so we stopped their for some staple food to keep at our condo and grabbed a bite to eat at good ole' McDonald's.  Yes, we are pathetic.  Pretty exhausted with all the travel so found ourselves retiring to bed pretty early one. 
Poi right outside the Japanese restaurant-
DAY 2 - 12/21/12

Sushi for dinner
DAY  -12/21/12

The second day of our trip was on Friday, December 21st.  That day we met with the condo concierge so she could tell us about the area and different things to do.  We stayed local that day, spent some time on the beach close to our condo. then drove about 5 minutes down the road to the shopping village and managed to spend money of course.  Decided that we would try some sushi for dinner but the restaurant didn't open until 5:00.  That was just fine because it gave us time to go back and freshen up before dinner.  We had already decided that the next day, Saturday was going to be our long trip around the Island to see the volcano's.  The concierge told us to plan for an entire day trip.  We would be making stops along the way.  
View through our car window
DAY 3 - 12/22/12

Reminds of the tree in the movie the Lion King

Spent a couple of hours on this 2-mile hike. 

Tropical Rain Forest
Akaka Falls State Park
DAY 3 - 12/22/12 

God's gift to man! So amazing and beautiful.
DAY 3 - 12/22/12

Was told we had to make a stop to Big Island Candies.
Needed to get our fix of chocolate and Macadamia nut goodness!
DAY 3 - 12/22/12

Was entertaining watching them work.  How fun...

After leaving the candy factory, found a farmer's market.
DAY 3 - 12/22/12

Finally made it to the Volcano National Park. 
Hiked in a ways, but this was as close as we were allowed to get.

DAY 4 - 12/23/12
Due to the time of day and the 3-hour drive back to our condo,
we left the park before the volcano showed it's beauty. 
The park ranger showed us this picture
 and said that every evening this is what we can see.
DAY 3 - 12/22/12