Writing about: Family Travel, kids, places, food…

Month: May 2019

Hawaii: Big Island

Diamond Head on the way out of Oahu

A short and easy flight took us over the Big Island for volcanoes and rural life. We had a lovely house that sure did sunset from the deck very well. I think half my photos were of sunset each night and sitting out there with a cold beverage – bliss. It was in a non-touristy area and so interesting to watch Hawaiian life unfolding around us!

We drove around the island from our base in Kona to Hilo and the national park. Long day of driving but the vistas are incredible coming back in the interior. The park of course is amazing and the view behind Max and Charlotte has changed in the last few years as it used to be filled with lava which has now disappeared back underground with just puffs of smoke coming out now. The lava fields have dried up but you always have the sense that anything could happen underneath your feet.

We snorkeled (well Charlotte did and we watched) in the lovely rock pools and wandered on black sandy beaches.

One day we drove up the hills behind Kona and went to a great coffee farm. We were taken around in a 4 wheeler over some bumpy roads which was fun. We got to visit with the animals plus see the process of coffee growing and processing again. We’ve done this in Costa Rica and Vietnam so it’s interesting to compare. We also bought some great beans to take home.

Another day we drove out past the Kona airport and went to an interesting octopus farm. It’s run by scientists who are trying to figure out how to breed them in captivity. I think we are kind of glad they are not succeeding in some ways as these creatures are incredible. We spent a couple of hours learning about them and playing with many in their tanks.

Another great week in a lovely spot.

Big Island Flying Out

Hawaii: Oahu

We hit a wonderful sale on flights to Hawaii from Oakland, CA ($49 each way!!) so just had to go. I decided to spend a week in Oahu as we lived there for three years and my third son was born in Honolulu. But I wanted Max and Charlotte to also see the Big Island as it’s so different plus of course we needed to explore the volcanoes and national parks.

Our week on Oahu was spent staying in Kailua which is a bit separate from the hectic parts of Honolulu but an easy drive in. We loved the small town feel to it and met up with an amazing friend and her family. She was the person who mentored us to unschooling ideas waaaay back in the 90s. We got to watch her granddaughter ride in a show (you know Charlotte loved the horse experiences) and hang out for a bit as they were all camping at the beach park. Ohana (family) is so vital in Hawaii and it was lovely to be reminded of this.

We drove around the entire island and fell back in love with the east side and north shore. I love the rural and undeveloped feel to it and so many are holding onto that.

We also went to the Bishop Museum which I loved. My older two boys spent many hours there as we had membership for three years and went to so many classes and offerings. It was fun to go back and revisit the exhibits with new eyes.

Max has always loved sushi and ceviche so leaped onto poke of all kinds in Hawaii. Even the grocery stores carry multiple fresh offerings. Yum. We also had fun at Shirokiya Japan Village Walk in Ala Moana Center – right down in Waikiki. So many choices and so little time to eat!

Another extreme yum is Leonard’s Bakery and malasadas. We stopped at their food truck and bought a box and ate so many we were oozing sugar. I don’t even like doughnuts that much but these – oh my. These are Portuguese doughnuts so I was excited to be going to Portugal later in the year (update sadly did not find them in the Algarve)!


So many beaches, shaved ice, good food, shrines… Just a wonderful trip.

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