Do you have The Book"?
The Moon George, Waylonis senior, has graciously offered his time-share to us. We are staying at a beautiful golf resort near Kona. Landing on the Big Island is like landing on the moon! The runway is cut out of lava and it is just so strange. We have a week to goof around this beautiful island.
Telescope After checking out the western beaches, and hiking the island's north point we are ready to head to the east and check out Hilo. The rental car company has made us promise we won't drive on Saddle Road. Who knows why! Of course we ignore them and take the short-cut across the island to Hilo. The mistake we make isn't taking Saddle Road. It is attempting to go up to the telescope on Mauna Kea in our crappy little Sebring. Good thing we stop at the visitor center at 9,200'. The summit - and the telescope - is at 13,796'. No way the Sebring would make it!
Loco Moco Hilo is an armpit. We don't have hotel reservations and we don't really care since we are just spending the night before heading down to Hawai'i Volcanoes NP. We pick the best looking hotel with vacancy. Unfortunately Dan decides to try out the local speciality, the Loco Moco: rice, topped with spam, topped with a patty, topped with gravy, and I think more spam. Assana passes, and Dan's belly wishes he had too. To make the long story short, we end up stopping half a dozen times for… well… you get the picture.
The Tip Our tour book, The Big Island Revealed, is priceless. It is full of nooks'n crannies and little hidden spots a typical tourist never finds. According to "The Book", right past some random route marker is a little road that takes you to the southern-most tip of the Fifty states. Cool. It is very windy, and looks like this is normal: the trees, they are all very bendy. The sea is crazy and it is fun to watch the waves crash against the rocks. Southern-most point, check! Back to Kona.
The Jeep We try to check out as many of The Book's suggestions as possible, like the fabulous breakfast place in Kona that is inside an old theater. We soon realize that a lot of their "must see" spots are 4WDrivey. We decide we no longer want the Sebring convertible… and the rental car people are kind enough to let us swap it out with a Jeep. Whoo hoo. Now we can go to Green Sand Beach (it is green because it has chunks of jade in the sand… we collect a bunch), which definitely needs a 4WD car.
This was our first out-of-state trip together and it was super fun. We see lot's of trips in the future.