Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hawaii, The Big Island

Okay, I am finally getting around to this. Some people are so impatient... kidding! The jet lag from the four hour time difference is killing me slowly. I think a trip to Europe is out of the question, I would be incoherent for the first 8 days of the trip and then about the same amount of time upon arriving home.

On January 29th at approximately 3 AM our time (11 PM Kona time), we landed in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. What I remember most is the warmth, the fabulous warmth and humidity that greeted us on the tarmac. And I would be lying to you if I told you that I didn't miss it horribly right now (blows on fingers to avoid numbness).

We were greeted by the welcoming committee. I am just super glad his boss, Mr. Scorpion was out sick.

We woke up very early the next morning (can you tell we adjusted well to the time change?) and after futile attempts by all four of us to go back to sleep, we got up to check out our resort. We were greeted with sights like this:

Our hotel condo was ocean front and we had a gorgeous view of the "beach" area from both our balcony and the pool area. I use the word beach loosely because Big Hawaii is essentially a very large pile of volcanic rock. The beach was no exception. There was no swimming in that area for us as the waves grew larger with each passing day. It was a favourite spot for surfers and wake boarders so we enjoyed watching them risk their lives. Waves + sharp rocks = no swimming for us Canadians!

The boys were delighted, they know a good thing when they see it.

Jack is as mesmerized by the surf as I am. I can stare at it for hours, watching the wave come in, following the path of the water as it trails back over the rocks into the sea only the be passed by the next wave. The ocean is perpetual motion, an endless dance, a tireless journey. It amazes me each and every time I have the priveledge of gazing upon it's beauty.

And also? Loud. I love it but at night, after a bit, I had to shut the lanai doors for some good old fashioned prairie silence. If only I could turn off the prairie wind we get here.

This was a family trip. Extended family. My parents (aka Grams and Pop) joined us, just like last year. But this year, my brother, Trevor, his wife Nicole and their kidlets also joined us.

It. Was. Fabulous. The weather could not have been more perfect and we all have the tans to prove it.

Now, the scenery on Big Hawaii is quite varied. At our resort, there are palm trees, many flowering bushes and plants plus lush green grass. Drive up the road out of Kailua-Kona and you see this:

Barren lava fields as far as the eye can see. The island is young geographically speaking, and the lava in many places has yet to sprout any growth. And yes, I was told, it is extremely fertile. Now seeing this, it's hard to believe that anything that barren can grow anything. But it can and it does. In fact we saw a rain forest that developed at the base of the active volcano. It's amazing. Simply amazing and unlike anything we had ever seen.

This is what we spent a good portion of the time doing:

The boys swimming abilities are now multiplied by about 10. It appears that we may have spawned fish, not children. I might have seen the beginnings of gills on the sides of their necks by the end of the vacation.

Jumping was, by far, Kamden's favourite pastime. Over and over. And he could even swim to the edge in the deep end by the end of the week. Of course, that was after Pop had to jump in fully clothed near the beginning of the week to save him after he ventured too far into the deep end. Thank goodness for my dad!

Of course we hit a luau, you know the saying, when in Rome do as the Romans? Well in Hawaii, the Hawaiian's luau. We got all dolled up and headed out.

Taken by Kamden, from the ground up. The first two shots contained only our midsections.

Jack is so co-operative for photos, wouldn't' you say?

Mmmm, those Mai Tai's are good. Jack, that's mine too, give it back!

Gorgeous hula dancer. Her beauty was striking, I had to get a photo of her. I kinda wish I was Hawaiian so I could look like her!

To hit a beach that was sans sharp rocks and giant size waves, we drove about an hour north to Anaehoomalu Bay ( or A Bay since it's six syllables! You know how the English butcher French and Spanish? Add Hawaiian to the list. The pronunciations are impossible for a Canadian gal like me).

This is a lagoon behind the beach that was used in ancient times to keep fish for the Ali'i or chiefs. Normal people could not consume the fish. If they did, bye bye people. This was one of the rules in a system that was in place as late as the 1820's. The history of the islands is fascinating. The king who united the Hawaiian islands lived on Big Hawaii in the 1800's on the very spot we enjoyed the luau. King Kamehameha the Great. Say that three times fast and I guarantee you are not pronouncing it correctly. Not that I could tell you how to pronounce it correctly, mind you.

Hawaiian Hibiscus. I was fascinated by the trees and bushes that look so normal and then whamo, they bloom extraordinary flowers. Only in the tropics.

And I don't know about you but I find this ridiculous. Seriously, you need to carve your name on the leaves of a defenseless plant. What did the plant ever do to you? Vandalism, tropics style. Though somehow I doubt it was the locals who did most of it.

Cute gecko that wreaked havoc as it scampered across the windshield of Trev and Nicole's van as they drove to A-Bay. Feisty little fellow he was.

Wave jumping! Our timing was spectacular, no? Cheryl, I am humbled by your amazing shots, these are the best we could do!

Jay and Jack were a bit better at it.

That's a wrap for today. I have over 500 photos to weed through and I am sure you all will be sick of my pictures for the love of all things already very soon!

There will be more to come, I promise. Till next time folks!



Anonymous said...

Great pictures! Sounds like a great trip...

I will phone soon I promise, it's been a crazy couple days.


Elaine A. said...

That first shot reminds me of shots that the paparazzi takes of stars and their kids. You're really famous in Canada, aren't you? ; )

The trip sounds and looks wonderful so far. Love that last pic of the wave jumping.

And check YOU out Hot Mama!!!

Leslie said...

Great pics, I've never been to Hawaii, maybe for our honeymoon??? It's all so beautiful, even the vandalized plant....glad you're back!

mamatucci said...

Oh you made me long for it more than I already do...
Looks like you guys had a wonderful trip!

Kristin said...

Looks totally awesome!

Looking forward to the next installment. :)

Threeboys1mommy said...

Uhm, gorgeous Hula dancer, THAT'S A MAN BABY! Beautiful pictures Kam, and the bikini is looking hawt! Good for you mama!

Oh yeah, you look just like your mommy, you prbably know that already :)

Lori said...

looks like you had a great time

Cammie said...

love the pics. except for the bug. ew

LVGurl said...

UM, I cannot believe that those people carved their names into those leaves!

I LOVE Hawaii! I haven't been to the Big Island yet...need to.

Glad you had a great trip!! :)

Karen MEG said...

Wow, what great photos! You look SOOO much like your mom, pretty lady.
I guess there's graffiti everywhere, but scratched out on leaves is just ridiculous!

Stacie said...

stunning, i want to go!!!

I tagged you with some Valentine Love.

Kellan said...

Really fabulous photos - beautiful!! Your boys are so cute, Kami - are are you and Jay a darling couple!! I'm glad you had such a good trip - it looks like a blast! But - what's that huge Texas roach doing in Hawaii?????

Have a good weekend - Kellan

Anonymous said...

What a great vacation, those pics magnified my trip envy! I can't wait to see more


Natalie said...

we have those critters here in texas too!

looks like yall had a very good time. and i just love family vacations. how exciting that you were all there together!

Hannah said...

So beautiful! Looks like you had a wonderful time, the photos are all fantastic! And you, Kami, look A-MAZING in that bikini!! WOW!

I'm so pleased that you had a lovely family vacation - somewhere warm!

Kami said...

Oh wow! How beautiful! I am so jealous of your trip as my trip involved not warmth, sun, and surf, but traffic, tight muscles, and rude receptionists! Your family is beautiful, too...and you, in that bikini...your rock it! So glad you had so much fun!!

BeachMama said...

jealous, so jealous...

teeni said...

Oh, so gorgeous! Absolutely lovely! All of it! Hey, I think Kamden did a good job on that shot! It's tough when you're short though. I speak from experience. LOL. Anyway, I don't particularly like your welcoming party but the gecko is kind of cute - definitely colorful. Wonder if he was poisonous? Such interesting colors. It's okay to think of that NOW that you aren't anywhere near him. LOL. The hula girl is very pretty but so are you! You should have taught her some Kami moves! ;) Oh, I just love islands. :) Thanks for sharing with us, Kami.