|The snorkelling was amazing.|
|Papaya tree off our lanai. Stuff for smoothies!|
We had rented a house about 40 minutes south of Kona in a rural neighbourhood overlooking the Pacific. The house turned out to be perfect: spacious but not grandiose, nicely appointed but without the sort of opulence that would have made us nervous. It had two bedrooms plus a loft with a bed, two bathrooms, a nice open living area and a lovely lanai (deck) running all the way around. There were lovely neon green geckos that inhabited the exterior of the house and the railings.
|Kilauea caldera at night|
The neighbours' roosters, some wild turkeys, yellow-billed cardinals and mourning doves filled the air with lovely sounds, and at quiet times we could hear the waves crashing on the beach below. "Below" meant 2 kilometres along a winding road which led relentlessly and precipitously down to a lonely pebble beach; grades were as high as 22%. It's amazing what is possible with road-building when there is no possibility of snow!
We ate at home, mostly, but also did occasional lunches at various small restaurants along the highway between where we were staying and whatever was the snorkelling or sight-seeing destination of the day. We had about a week in Hawai'i and filled it with a fair bit of chill-time at the house, day trips here and there, and a fair bit of snorkelling.
The kids definitely enjoyed snorkelling, and the reefs were amazing. Fiona was the most obsessed, spending as much time in the water as she could. The first day presented a bit of a learning curve: fitting one's mask, learning to clear a snorkel, putting fins on at the right moment, and managing to get into the water from rocks with waves breaking across them. The surf was low (relatively speaking) during our visit, but for people who rarely deal with waves of more than a few inches on their home lake, even 1-metre swells were intimidating when they were bashing across rocks and fish and other unknown marine obstacles.
|Boogie-boarding at sunset|
The trip home was uneventful. Noah was able to walk on his cast by this point, so we checked his crutches and boarded flights with the masses rather than with the infants and the disabled. We took a different route, stopping at a border town with a "shipping services" business. We had had delivered there a bunch of things that don't ship affordably to Canada, including a big clothes order for Noah which he was thrilled about, and binoculars for Chuck. And more practical things like a replacement motor for the fan in our range hood.
We picked up the dog on the way home. She had been having a holiday of her own, staying in a home-stay type situation down the valley. She'd had some troubles playing nicely with others, as she isn't terribly well socialized to other dogs but seemed happy and healthy. The cat had been subsisting on occasional visits from a friend at home, and was in raptures to see that we had returned. The weather was kind when we returned: we had a couple of days of real spring-like weather and sunshine before we headed back into cooler temperatures and eventually more snow.