As we boarded the plane for the big island we were ready to leave the hotel living of Honolulu behind us and looked forward to the Bed and Breakfast adventure ahead.
Bed and breakfast travel is great…for adults. Kids, not so much. The concept seems perfect for family travel, but in reality kids are just too loud for the peaceful B&B crowd. Additionally, the rooms tend to lack much soundproofing and as a parent you’re constantly aware of how much noise is coming from your room. Then there are all the cool, breakable, trinkets to be concerned with. Regardless, we had fun on our Big Island adventure.
We arrived at the Kona airport, hopped in a rental car and headed south along the west coast of the island. We grabbed lunch along the waterfront in Kailua Kona and the continued south to our rustic retreat at the Dragonfly Ranch Eco B&B. This is a cool, eclectic place with a hippie vibe and an amazing view to the Pacific Ocean. Breakfast was a fun mix of healthy goodies and unique fruit. We all enjoyed some new flavors and relaxed in the yoga labyrinth.
While on the west coast we checked out several of the islands historic areas and learned a little about the native culture. One of our favorite sites was Pu’uhonua o honaunau. This was essentially a religious safe place where all was forgiven. Basically, if you broke the rules of society, the townspeople were expected to deliver justice to the individual before the Gods delivered justice upon all. However, if you could somehow make it to Pu’uhonua o honaunau you were forgiven and could resume life as normal. Sort of like a big game of tag with your life on the line.
Later we drove to the southern most point in the United States, the south point of the Big Island. There wasn’t much to see or do, but it’s always fun to add these stops to the list.
From there we headed east and spent several hours on the black sand beach where we found several sea turtles basking in the sun. We took their advice and did the same.
Then we headed for the real reason to come to the Big Island, Volcano National Park. After checking into the B&B, we drove into the park for a night viewing of the crater. It’s simply amazing to see the glow of lava with your own eyes. The fact that new land is being created right there is hard to comprehend.
The kids , of course, enjoyed the visitors center and we all learned a lot about volcanos. We returned the next day for some light hiking and a tour of the park by car. Then we headed to Hilo on the east coast where we dined on sushi and slept near a waterfall. Seriously, the B&B is located right next to a beautiful waterfall.
Volcanos National Park was by far the highlight of our Big Island adventure. We obviously didn’t get to see everything on the island, but overall it just wasn’t what we expected. The vog caused by the volcano gasses made for overcast days and the lack of beaches in the sections that we visited combined with unfriendly locals made water activities difficult to enjoy. I’m glad we visited the Big Island, but I don’t think we’ll be back unless there is an eruption that is too cool to miss.
On to Maui…