Our friend Russ has a timeshare in Steamboat Springs, which he traded for a week in Waikoloa Village on the Big Island of Hawaii. He was nice enough to offer a free stay for Lara and me, and we just couldn’t pass it up! Waikoloa Village is a sleepy little town about 5 miles off the highway that rings around the island. It made for a wonderful base of operations. It did not feel toursity, but had easy access to most of the sites on the island.
People talk about “island time”. Well, we don’t know about anyone else, but it felt real enough to us. Things just felt relaxed during the entire trip. Beyond the beauty of the place, the ocean, and the climate, spending a week in Hawaii is simply a great way to recharge!
We played a couple of rounds of golf, hung out on the beach, and explored the island. We covered it pretty well, including visiting the observatory on the top of Mauna Kea and Volcanoes National Park. Coming from Colorado, we didn’t expect to be overly impressed by 14,000′ Mauna Kea, but when you get to look all the way down to sea level, it’s a whole new ball game.
One of the more distinctive features of the big island is the ubiquitous lava flows. The black, sharp, gnarly rocks are everywhere, and really make for some interesting scenery. We were a little disappointed that we weren’t able to get closer to the active flow, but that was probably the only downer about the whole trip.