Saturday, November 30, 2019

Hawaii 2019

My wife organized a wonderful trip for us and I was in the mood to journal some of our adventures.

Wednesday - 11/20 - Dinner at Root down at DIA, fly to San Jose, check into Courtyard Marriott for morning flight.

Thursday - 11/21 - Breakfast at the airport (Chick-Fil-A & Bagel Sandwich), 5 hour flight to Maui, smooth with snack pack and cookies, check in at Westin, dinner at Aloha Small Plates (Monchong, catch of the day fish sandwich), groceries from Safeway

Friday - 11/22 - Explored pool and Westin sister properties, girls to Coconut Painting, Mac and Cheese for lunch, snorkeling, saw lots of fish, bought Hawaiian clothes at Ross, Ratna ate at Vegan Farm to Table to Farm restaurant, picked up a pizza for the rest of us

Saturday - 11/23 - Pool time, snorkeling, breakfast buffet, lei making class, 2 tank dive with Lahaina Divers, picked up Mexican and Greek for dinner

Sunday - 11/24 - Candy lei making, professional pictures, beach boogie boarding, Panda Express for lunch, fly to Kona on Mokulene Cessna Caravan, check into Marriott Kona, dinner at Chubby's

Monday - 11/25 - Breakfast at IHOP, 300 yard open water swim on Ironman practice course, paddle boarding at King Kamehameha Marriott, lunch at Quinn's, Big Island Divers Manta Ray night dive (40th total dive), girls all seasick, picked up Ramen and rolls for dinner

Tuesday - 11/26 - Check out, drive to Volcano National Park, Sulfur Banks Trail to see Steaming Vents, dinner at Kilaeua Military Camp Crater Rim Cafe

Wednesday - 11/27 - Breakfast at Crater Rim Cafe, Crater Rim Hike, Black Sand Beach, State Rec Area, Lunch at Tex, Check in at Kona Sheraton, dinner at Ray's

Thursday - 11/28 - Breakfast at Hotel, fly to Maui on Mokulene Cessna Caravan, rental car to Paia beach and lunch, California Pizza Kitchen at Maui airport for dinner, fly to San Jose (4.5 hours, smooth flight)

Friday - 11/29 - Breakfast with Ashish and family, Rangoon Ruby Burmese lunch in Palo Alto, followed by Scoops Ice Cream and Paris Baguette coffee and pastries, Ford Expedition Rental Car, fly to Denver in the evening (easy 2 hour flight)

Overall, this was an amazing trip and the pictures do not do justice to how beautiful it was.  The weather was amazing, especially when contrasted with the snow in Colorado.  We did some great activities and really enjoyed site seeing.

Best Activity - Manta Ray night dive
Best Restaurant - Aloha Small Plates
Best Hotel - Westin, Maui

Lessons Learned

  • Have a kitchen and stock up on breakfast, lunch and snacks.  It is tough to eat out all the time
  • Having access to a washer and dryer is really nice for beach vacations with wet swimsuits
  • Military families should definitely check out the Kilaeua Military Camp for its access to the park, activities and dining options
  • When snorkeling go out on a boogie board or pool noodles, it will be a lot more comfortable
  • Our kids are prone to seasickness
  • Mokulele airlines is super convenient

My only regret was not getting in better physical shape for my trip to Kona.  I swam on the Ironman course, but only for a few hundred yards.  It would have been nice to go for a run on Alii drive or even rent a bike for part of the bike course.

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