So I talked about the five days it took to get to Hawaii. That part was super relaxing and a lot of fun but I have never been to Hawaii so I was super excited to be able to experience not just one but three different islands. That is the beauty of cruising!
We started in Hilo on the Big Island. Here was the only place that we did a cruise-run tour.
Macadamia nuts are huge and we went to the Mauna Loa Macadamia nut farm. Of course we got samples of nuts and we also got some ice cream with macadamia pieces, yum! The top middle picture is my parents in a nature area of the macadamia nut farm. Our tour guide brought back a variety of fruit, etc onto the bus including an enormous avocado and awapuhi, which I had heard about in shampoo. He actually squeezed it and liquid came out-talk about an easy shower method! I was ready to grab that avocado–it was amazing compared to what we see on the mainland! We then went up to Mount Kilauea-an active volcano. Even though I live in Oregon and Mount St. Helens is less than an hour away and I’ve seem smoke from the distance, being only yards away was much more intense! I love the picture of my dad and I and I think I am going to frame this one and the picture of us at Mount Rushmore as a tribute to the two state parks we went to.
The bottom left picture is Rainbow Falls. We only had a very few minutes there before it was back to the ship where my mother realized she didn’t bring ID with her. In her defense, she had never needed it before. Thankfully, after a bit of extra scrutiny, she was allowed back on the ship :).
On the tour we also stopped at an orchid farm. I learned that an orchid on your left ear is taken, right ear single and looking and on the back is follow me home! That night we cruised to the other end of the island and on the way had some magnificent views of Mount Kilauea, which unfortunately couldn’t be seen with the camera. We docked at Kona the next morning. So for something to be labeled 100% Kona coffee, it has to come from a certain, narrow strip near Kona on the big island. The town of Kona was very cute and we hung out at the beach and just walked around. I did my first shopping and got a pair of sandals and a hair stick with shells on it. The hair stick was at a local outdoor market that was happening and the woman said that she was only selling her family’s items and that it was all based on what they had been doing for generations. There was also the random Oregon pride happening!
The next day was Maui. We docked outside of Lahaina and took tender boats in. I loved the little old ladies who were hulaing as we came into port! We actually spent the day with some friends of our who own an apartment in Kaanapali. It was great and we got to hang out on the beach and at the pool all day. Lahaina has one of the biggest Banyan tree which was amazing to look at. It is 137 years old and more than an acre big.
The first night we went and saw a magic show at Warren and Annabelle’s. It was a somewhat odd but very entertaining show and I’m still wondering about some of his tricks. Annabelle is the ghost who plays the piano prior to the show.
The second day we shopped. Most of my spending definitely happened in Lahaina where I got another pair of shoes, two skirts and quite a few other things!
The next day we docked in Honolulu. We were actually supposed to do a city tour and a tour of Pearl Harbor but the government was in day three of shutdown and the tour was canceled. I was actually really bummed because this is a historical site that I’ve always wanted to go to. I guess that means I have to go back to Honolulu.
Instead we hung out at Waikiki Beach. The beach was super crowded but I could see the tourist appeal. It was my dad’s birthday so I made sure to buy him a kukui nut lei (I love that he’s wearing the shirt I bought him in Alaska as well!). My parents had actually honeymooned in Honolulu thirty five years ago and we saw the hotel they stayed at!
We spent the afternoon in the International Market which was a lot of touristy items but still fun.
I totally became enamored with the picking of oysters and getting pearls. My mom and I ended up getting rings, I got a pair of earrings and another pearl. She actually only charged me for the first pearl and one of the pearls had two in it (which I made into earrings) so that was fun. Obviously, they make the money on the settings which weren’t cheap!
Overall, I have to say that the Big Island was my favorite-it wasn’t overrun by tourists and was green-reminding me of Oregon. In fact the tour guide told us a great Hawaiian Proverb:
“When the Heavens Weep, the earth lives”–I find that to be a beautiful reason for rain causing greenness!