As you know from my last post, we had an amazing time on the Big Island of Hawaii in January. Here is a bit more about our activities, food and fun we experienced while there
FOOD! We ate at KPC, or Kamuela Provision Company, on Sunday evening. It was spectaculare. I would definitly categorize it as Fine Dining, but you get what you pay for. I had the Akaka Falls Martini, and some wonderful local fish. Aaron scoured down a little Mahi Mahi and Longboard Ale, while the kids enjoyed a smoothie, chicken and fries. The views of the sunset were breathtaking, and we also were visited by a Humpback Whale, a bit off shore, for about 20 minutes or so. There is “special seating” that costs $25/per person to get on the actual coast line, and have an unobstructed view of the Ocean – but our “free” seats were absolutely perfect, especially with kids (however I could see why a special occasion could warrant the reserved seating). The staff was phenomenal as well.
HILO, HELICOPTERS and HOT LAVA! On the following day, we decided to make the trek to Hilo. A few months prior, I had booked a Helicopter Trip from Hilo, on Paradise Helicopters. This trip was a 45min trip of the Volcano and a waterfall or two. Since none of us had been on a helicopter, we decided this shorter trip was for us. There were longer trips in Kona that took you around the island, however since we hadn’t been on one before, and it would have been quite the investment, we decided to opt for the beautiful drive instead. We took the shortcut through the island (about 90 minutes) and saw about 5 different landscapes while drving through it- beautiful! We arrived at the Hilo airport with no problem, and hopped on board with our pilot Ryan. We had the Chopper to ourselves, and took off to see some “Hot Lava!” as Max says. It was AMAZING. Ryan was a fantastic pilot, and the kids had a blast. We were able to see trees burning, and a few lava flows, including in the vent that we were flying over. We then flew over some forrest and saw two waterfalls, and headed back to the airport. After that experience, I would book any length tour with Paradise Helicopters and would recommend it to anyone looking for their 1st (or 10th!) ride on a Helicopter. It is definitely a must-do when you are staying on the island for a week or less, and have little children where hiking up the Volcano just isnt an option. Ryan proceeded to give us some great advise – head to the Hawaian Style Cafe for some local eats. So – we heeded his advice, went off of the beaten path, and enjoyed some time getting to know the locals – and eating a wonderful burger, fries and a milkshake.
AKAKA FALLS! After lunch, we headed on the Hawaiian Belt around the island, to take a more scenic drive home. We stopped after 30-40 minutes at Akaka Falls to take a quick 20-30 minute hike, and see the gorgeous falls. The drive home afterwards was majestic.
LUAU! The following night, we drove 40-50 minutes to Kona Town, where the Courtyard Marriott hold’s their Luau, called Island Breeze. It was awesome. Relatively small, easy to check in, and a great bang for your buck. It is rated one of the best and more authentic Luau’s on the island, and we could see why. Friendly, personable people, and the open bar doesn’t hurt. We paid for preferred seating, which cost us about $50 more total, and the location of the table, the quick food service, and other small extras were worth it. The kids loved seeing the Royal Court paddle in, and watching the cooked pig be uncovered.
As you can see, the fun continues! Stay tuned…