Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Going home tomorrow


We've been on the Big Island of Hawaii for nine days. Usually I get restless after this much time away. Not this year!

It's our fourth visit to the Big Island, our third to this two-bedroom condo resort in Waikoloa - six miles upslope from resort beaches, 30 miles north of Kona. It's breezy here in the afternoon. There's a local shopping center and a residential community of about 7,000. No muumuus, luaus, leis or tour buses. Just daily temperatures in the upper 70s - whether cloudy, sunny or pouring rain for five minutes. We leave the sliding glass door open. One day I forgot the screen was there and walked into it! We wear light clothing and no shoes unless we're headed out. We eat in most of the time. We read and chat and nap. We read about the weather at home and we're glad we're here.

A daughter and son-in-law visited for three days last week. They perused our favorite book about the area - "Hawaii: The Big Island Revealed" - and decided what we'd see on our two-day trip to the other side of the island. We ascended Mauna Kea - me to the 9200-foot visitor center, the rest to the 13,200-foot summit. We took a short hike to Akaka Falls, ate at a roadside place with fabulous smoothies, settled into cottages in Volcano, dined grandly at the Kilauea Lodge, paid a nighttime visit to a new eruption inside the park, hiked two miles at the bottom of Chain of Craters Road, visited South Point - formerly a favorite stopping point on the way back from the park, but not so interesting now that the eerie sound of the wind farm on the highway has been silenced by a newer one further from the road - and completed the two-day circle drive in time for a homey meal.

The best part of this visit, though, was spending time with Melissa and Scott as four grownups rather than parents and offspring. They're interesting people - fortunately, our politics are similar because they were certainly discussed! - and we share a fondness for good books, quiet times and out-of-the-way places. Plus, we laugh a lot when we're together. And Scott drove. Wonderful!

On our own, Art and I have taken a couple of beach walks and a short hike to petroglyphs. We've befriended the local animals - especially the turkeys - and watched the golfers nearby. We've explored most of the rest of the island on our previous visits, so this time it's been quiet. That's mostly a good thing.

We get home late tomorrow night, to temperatures about 40 degrees cooler - and Friday is a full day - exercise class and a meeting and a massage and a holiday gathering in the evening. Plus a quick stop at the mall to pick up Christmas gifts for two grandchildren.

It's been a good time away. I think our next trip here will be for longer. I'll miss it.



21 comments:

Teresa Evangeline said...

That sounds so fun! I think that's the beauty of re-visiting a place. You can do more relaxing. To be able to wear lighter clothing and go barefoot sounds awfully nice right now.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Oh, my goodness, what a wonderful holiday adventure: to be in such a lovely place and to enjoy your children as adults you not only love but like! It doesn't get any better than that!

Arkansas Patti said...

I like the idea of enjoying the kids as adults. That doesn't get to happen often in most families.
That place sounds like paradise.
Don't forget to wear medical masks on the plane trip home. Only halfways kidding.

Out on the prairie said...

What a lovely visit,I always wish to stay a few more days.

Olga said...

oh, yes...it is wonderful when you realize that you like your children, not just because you are supposed to, bu because you find them to be very likable people.

Sightings said...

I just saw "The Descendants" with George Clooney. It's kind of a depressing movie, but if you've just been to Hawaii you might like it. It takes place in Hawaii and has some great visuals (which I hope are authentic and not from some Hollywood set, or worse, computer generated).

DJan said...

I am glad to hear your time away has been so fulfilling. All things do come to an end, but that doesn't mean you can't take it with you: all the peace and tranquility into the season! Thanks for sharing. :-)

Sandi said...

Wow, you have had a great time! How wonderful to spend time with grown children, as adults. I'm getting little glimmers of that these days, that our time is coming.

I've never been to Hawaii, and you make it sound marvelous. If and when I go, I want to go someplace like you describe, without the tourist traps.

Hope it isn't too much of a shock to your system to arrive back home!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

It all sounds wonderful. We're hoping to get to Hawaii while we can still get around, and the kids have said they'd like to join us. So far we haven't worked out the timing, but your post makes me a lot more motivated!

Rita said...

Sounds heavenly! And you will take it all home with you in memories you can visit any time you close your eyes. ;)

Linda Reeder said...

It sounds like you're enjoying a much needed rest after the push to get your book published.

Grandmother said...

Sounds like such great fun. I'm heading for warmer climes as well but for longer. Winter in the Caribbean just seems like a good idea.

Jake said...

We got back at the end of December from 14 days on the Big Island. Out fifth trip there usually combined with another island. We stay in Punaluu most of the time with a few days in Kona. Our trip was much like yours, lunch at Kilauea Lodge and eating in. Lots of time reading. But we had quite the adventure after visiting the volcano and then deciding to drive up Mauna Loa strip road. I posted about it here.
http://junkboattravels.blogspot.com/2011/11/mauna-loa-strip-road-adventure-big.html

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Sounds like you had the very best time! All that relaxing would be wonderful right now, I must say I'm a little teeny bit jealous. The perfect spot for connecting with your family. Love the turkey shot too, do they roam free?

Bob Lowry said...

Hawaii...I was there 2 months ago and it feels like years. I enjoy the Big Island, especially around Hilo. It is so different from the touristy feel of Honolulu or even Lahaina. I'm glad you got to experience the other-world feel of the volcano fields.

rosaria said...

It sounds exciting and a real comfort when winter blues hit you.
Happy Holidays.

Nancy said...

We share a condo on Maui with friends so we are there quite often. I love Hawaii. I love the weather, the people, the long walks on the beach, the snorkeling. It is just a very special place. Next time we are going to the Big Island for a few days to explore. It is the only one I have not visited and I can't wait. What a great way to connect with your family. I agree that getting to know your children as adults is illuminating. Fortunately for us we share political views, as well.

Ms Sparrow said...

I've never been to Hawaii and never will so I have to visit vicariously through others. Thanks for sharing!

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

What a marvelous vacation!

Doris

Galen Pearl said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful vacation. How did you feel about getting home? I always look forward to going home, but my sister likes to stay on vacation. Different strokes!

Elizabeth said...

Sounds like a great trip....enjoy!!!

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