Hawaii (Big Island) Journals

Big Island Variety

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A May 2008 trip to Hawaii (Big Island) by mlmeredith

Picos Bistro Photo, Kohala, Hawaii More Photos
Quote: Our first time to the Big Island, and five days just gave us a taste for more.

Bay Club at Waikoloa Beach Resort (The)

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Hotel | "The Bay Club at Waikoloa Beach Resort"

Bay Club at Waikoloa Beach Resort (The) Photo, Waikoloa, Hawaii
Quote:
In my experience with timeshare resorts, I’ve come to believe that Hilton sets the standard for accommodations. Two years ago we stayed at the Lagoon Tower of the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu and then this year the Bay Club at Waikoloa Beach Resort.Technically Hilton has two resorts at Waikoloa Beach Resort, the Bay Club at Waikoloa Beach and the Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Waikoloa Beach. As I understand it, the Bay Club was originally built as residential condominiums, which explains the fact that each unit has far more closet space than the itinerant traveler will ever need. Other than noting that the Grand Vacations Club end is newer (and they are building even more...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 30, 2008

Bay Club at Waikoloa Beach Resort (The)
69-450 Waikoloa Beach Drive
Waikoloa, Hawaii 96738
(808) 886-4450

Pico's Bistro

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Restaurant

Pico's Bistro Photo, Kohala, Hawaii
Quote:
One of the things that I enjoy most about visiting Hawaii (especially on Kauai or the Big Island) is just driving around with no timetable and the willingness to pull over at any stop that might catch our attention. That philosophy paid off handsomely on the Akoni Pule Highway in Kapa'au of the Kohala area with Pico’s Bistro and Kenji’s House gallery and museum.We were hungry, so Pico’s gets first mention here, excellent Mediterranean food! I had an apple and walnut salad that was delicious, while Sue had the penne pasta. I have to admit however, sitting outside by the grill as they prepared a veggie burger, the aroma was enough to almost make me order one to go. Unfortunately, dietary...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 19, 2008

Pico's Bistro
North Kohala Artists' Cooperative
Kohala, HI
(808) 884-5555

Ocean Sushi Deli

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Restaurant

Quote:
Being a Midwesterner, I don’t have a lot of sushi restaurants to sample at home. Yes, we have some, but for years I avoided them for fear that I might have a bad first experience that would taint my willingness ever to try it again. Finally, some friends offered to shepherd us into the ways of sushi dining and we got hooked!So with that background in mind, please understand what I’m about to say. Had it not been for a the words "killer sushi, cheap" in a guide book that I trust (Hawaii The Big Island Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook by Andrew Doughty), I would never even noticed Ocean Sushi, much less had dinner there. Pass this restaurant by at your own risk! You won’t find better su...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 26, 2008

Ocean Sushi Deli
239 Keawe St, Hilo, Hi
Hawaii (Big Island), HI
(808) 961-6625

What's Shakin'

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Restaurant | "Smoothies!!!!!"

What's Shakin' Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
Gee, I wish I could say that we just stumbled upon What’s Shakin’ but that would be a lie. The truth is that we were on our way from Waikoloa to Volcanoes National Park via Hilo on the Mamalahoa Highway and our fearless navigator (fearless in the sense that he can read the guide book while in a moving vehicle without getting car sick) suggested that we follow the sign that said 4 Mile Scenic Drive to catch some lunch at this cool smoothies place. Agreeable driver that I am, I made the left turn onto Old Mamalahoa Highway and my taste buds were amply rewarded for the effort.It’s a small wooden building with a wrap-around porch that provides ample shade, with picnic tables down below as we...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 7, 2008

What's Shakin'
27-999 Old Mamalahoa Hwy
Hawaii 96781
(808) 964-3080

Scandinavian Shave Ice

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Restaurant | "Shave Ice Delight"

Scandinavian Shave Ice Photo, Kona, Hawaii
Quote:
First things first, it’s shave ice not shaved ice. And more importantly, it’s a wonderful treat that can come in almost an infinite number of flavors and flavor combinations.The shave ice that you find in the islands is similar to the New Orleans-style snow cones (and maybe they even use the same machine to make them, for all I know). But forget the traditional mainland snow cone that is more a collection of ice pellets than snow. This is the real deal braddah!Three trips to the islands have given me a lot of opportunities to sample shave ice and I can’t say that I’ve had a bad one yet. Usually, you want to combine at least two flavors. And some locations wil...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 9, 2008

Scandinavian Shave Ice
75-5699 Alii Drive
Kona 96740

Kona Village Resort

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Hotel | "Luau at Kona Village Resort "

Kona Village Resort Photo, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Quote:
The guide book we had, suggested that the Kona Village Resort had the best food of any luaus on the islands. True, but I’m also inclined to say that over all it was the best luau we’ve been to period (as compared to Kilohana Plantation and Smith’s Luau, both on Kauai). First there are the grounds of the resort, which feature a large area of ancient petroglyphs (images carved into the lava rock). You walk over them thanks to a boardwalk, so as not to damage them. Pre-dinner entertainment features a music trio that obviously enjoys performing, along with a few cultural demonstrations. Who knew that you could enjoy a demonstration on opening a coconut good be so entertai...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 30, 2008

Kona Village Resort
Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway
Kailua Kona 96740
(800) 367-5290

Waikoloa to Hilo

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Story/Tip

The Pier at Laupahoehoe Photo, Hawaii, United States
Quote:
If you’re staying on the Kona side of the island, you have three basic route choices for getting to Volcanoes National Park. You can take Saddleback Road through the middle of the island, in the swale between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, but a lot of people will warn you off of that due to the semi-rugged nature of the road (it won’t make you popular with the rental car agency either) and the reputation that it has for dangerous drivers. Or you can choose between the Kona south route or the Kona north and around to Hilo route. Basic travel time is the same for all three, but our concierge Michelle suggested that there was more to see and do by going through Hilo… and I’ve learned that you should always...Read More

Beaches

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Story/Tip

Dusk at Anaehomalu Beach Photo, Waikoloa, Hawaii
Quote:
You’re in Hawaii, so what is there to see? Yeah there’s that volcano, too many waterfalls to choose from … and let me see… oh yeah, beaches!Experienced beach bums all have different criteria for what makes their favorite beach: quality of sun, quality of sand, waves for surfing, waves for swimming, waves for watching, the quality of people watching or appeal of a spectacular sunrise or sunset. As far as I’m concerned, they’re all good, so I’ll just mention a few beaches on the Kona side of the island that somehow registered with this particular 55 year old Midwestern male. One caveat applies to all beaches though. Be careful! Never take your eye off the sea and maintain a ...Read More

Waterfalls

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Story/Tip

Akaka Falls Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
I could write a hundred reviews on the waterfalls found on Hawaii, but really they are all beautiful, each special in its own way. So I won’t try to say this one is the best or don’t bother to see that one, it’s dull. For one thing, I don’t think there is such a thing as a dull Hawaiian waterfall. You simply can’t go wrong! What I will do though, is just offer up two waterfalls as examples of some of the aqua-diversity that you might encounter.Akaka Falls is awesome just by virtue of its 400 foot drop (Niagara Falls is only 167 feet high, but it’s a lot wider and easier to get to, so it gets all that attention by the elitist Eastern press). You might be turned off ...Read More

Kohala Coast

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Story/Tip

Pololu Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
You might make the case that the Kohala Coast is where Hawaiian history really starts. The basis for that simplistic statement comes from the fact that this is where Kamehameha the Great was born here, at least that’s one version, the other version is that he was born in a war canoe somewhere between Maui and the Kohala Coast. What’s undisputed however is that he was raised from infancy in this area, and through a combination of warrior and diplomatic skills (coupled with a fortuitous storm here and a nasty plague there) he was the first ruler to unite all the islands. So a drive up to the northern tip is worth the time and effort, especially as the scenery makes a spectacular respite from t...Read More

A Look at a Solitary Man's Life

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Story/Tip

Pico's Bistro Photo, Kohala, Hawaii
Quote:
After a wonderful lunch at Pico’s, we were lured up the hill to Kenji’s House. It’s a fascinating story actually. This was originally the family homestead, where Kenji Yokohama lived his entire life. Kenji was a free diver and amateur scientist fascinated by underwater geology and shell life. Over a long life of diving he had amassed a large amount of stones, coral and shells, noting precisely where he recovered each piece in both his notebooks and on a slip of paper slipped into a hole or crack of each artifact. By the time he died, all of his remaining relatives had moved off island and expressed little or no interest in reclaiming his personal effects. When Catherine Morgan noticed ...Read More

Kailua-Kona

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Story/Tip

Tables at the Kona Canoe Club Photo, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Quote:
Just as every multi-time visitor has a favorite island (mine is Kauai, by far!) every visitor to the island of Hawaii seems to develop a distinct preference for either Kona (technically it’s Kailua-Kona) or Hilo. You can fly into either airport, and if you’re going to rent a car, it really doesn’t make a huge difference which one you choose. So go don’t despair if air fares or flight availability take you to the opposite side of the island from your destination. After all, there is plenty to see anyway.Kona is the smaller of the two principal towns, which given my affection for the less hurried style of Kauai, it’s probably only logical that Kona’s small town feel would be more compatib...Read More

One Tiny Little Memorial

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Story/Tip

Petroglyph Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
You can find graffiti and highway memorials all over the world. From the top of the Duomo in Florence, Italy to any urban corridor within the States. But what you’ll find along Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Highway 19) between Kailua Kona and Waikui is different. It’s not destructive and is far more personal and more reverential than even the occasional roadside cross memorializing the victims of an accident.A little background is in order at this point. Highway 19 runs across about 20 miles or so of lava fields. The ancient Hawaiians carved symbols (petroglyphs) into the rock; the meaning or significance of which can only be debated by island archeologists (I’ll avoid that discussion). But...Read More

The Volcano and Me

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Story/Tip

Mist and steam at Kīlauea Crater Photo, Volcano, Hawaii
Quote:
So… we came to Hawaii to see the volcano. Was it what we expected? Uh… not quite. Was it worth it? Sure!On March 12, two months before we left for Hawaii, a new vent opened up on the east wall of Halema`uma`u Crater. Cool! Or maybe hot would be a better word for it. This was the first eruption in that particular crater since 1924 and the first of any kind from the Kīlauea caldera since 1982. Heavy stuff! By the time we got there, the vent was still active and amazing the scientists. It also caused us to revise our plans and expectations a bit as well. But let’s talk a little background and then get back to the timeline.Hawaii is the youngest of the islan...Read More