Next up on our trip is the Big Island. We only spent 4 nts here. We split up our stay with 2 nts in Kohala & 2 nts in Volcano. Kona Airport
Bamboo Suite @ Hale Ho’onanea
We flew in to Kona on Island Air. Ok. I have to vent about Island Air. We had confirmed reservations for a 12:30PM departure from Maui since April. At 7AM on the day that we were to fly out, I log on to their website to see if I could check in on line. Imagine my shock when I see us on a 4:30PM departure. I immediately call and they say that they had to reschedule us due to “mechanical problems”. Ok, so this just came up. A last minute delay. We had to check out by 11 AM and return the car . So we would be carless & homeless until 4:30PM so I asked to be put on the now defunct Aloha’s 12PM flight. They told me sorry, can’t place you on Aloha period. Best they could do was the 4:30, the 9:30AM or refund my money. We decided to get our rears in gear & make the 9:30AM. Mind you, at this point it is about 7:30AM & we are in Kihei. Fortunately, we were able to pack, return our condo keys, return the car, and get to the airport in just over an hour. Danny dropped me off at the airport with our bags. A nice man came, checked our bags & checked us in. And we were set. I freaked a bit on the tiny prop plane, but I survived. I later find out that Island Air had stopped flying the 12:30 flight on Sept 2nd, 27 days earlier, and they never notified us!
Out of necessity & because of scheduling, I might have to book with them again this year for our Maui-Kauai flight, we'll see. One funny thing about inter-island flights, the flight attendants walk up the aisle hurling juice cups at you. Then they walk back down the aisle collecting the trash. Then we arrive. Oh, and I really liked the airport in Kona! It's all outdoors. All cutesy and what I would imagine an island airport to look like. I guess it wouldn't be so cute in the rain.
We rented a compact car at Alamo through Costco. they really tried to upsell here. Everything from insurance, gas, & upgrade. We ended up with a free upgrade because they were out of compacts. Maybe they should have paid me for the extra gas charges incurred??? Hmmm.
Bamboo Suite @ Hale Ho’onanea
Our first two nights were spent at Hale Ho’onanea in the Bamboo Suite. The unit was very comfortable and the owner was friendly & informative. a basket with snacks and juice is delivered every day. The view from the lanai was of the ocean in the distance. Since it faced West, we also had a view of the amazing sunsets. I would not hesitate to recommend this House of Relaxation.
City of Refuge
Our next two nights would be spent in Volcano. The drive from the Kohala coast to Hilo is an attraction in & of itself. We made several stops on the way including Waipi'o Valley, Rainbow Falls, Boiling Pots, and Akaka Falls to name a few.
Kate's Volcano Places: Kahi Malu
We stayed at Kate’s Kahi Malu in the middle of the rainforest. Outstanding. I can’t say enough about this cottage & about Kate. She is an excellent host and the cottage was stocked with everything imaginable. The cottage had a small fireplace that we did use since it did get pretty cold. We were not more than 5 minutes from Volcano National Park. HIGHLY recommended.
During this time, I risked my life and boarded a freakin' helicopter! Mind you, I had just gotten on an airplane for the 1st time just 2 years earlier. Anyhoo, we took the Fire & Falls tour with Paradise Helicopter. When we arrived, they upgraded us to doors off. What???? Are you crazy? It's enough that I'm getting on the darn thing. But D really wanted to do doors off so they sat me between D & the pilot. I did not move during the entire trip. I was afraid that I would knock D right off or even worse, the pilot! I have to admit though, that the views were AMAZING! I might even be convinced to do it again! Maybe.
A trip back to the Big Island is definitely in our future.
I'll stop here for now. Next up: Oahu