Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hawaii | The Big Island

You guys! Jake and I spent a week at the most amazing AirBNB on the Hilo side of the Big Island. The place felt like a dream. The main house was built about 15 years ago on top of a lava field. Can I just live here please? The property was featured on the front page of the New York Times in June 2005. We stayed in the smaller "studio" unit which is nestled right near the garden on top of the lava rock and we got to use the pool, so win, win! 

There is a gorgeous garden built on top of the lava. 

The steps up to the pool...

The owner was so gracious as to give us a tour of the larger home which is like a museum. Every piece is perfectly curated and has it's own backstory. He is a designer, so I wasn't really surprised, but it was so inspiring to think that someday we could own and live in a home like this. You know we love our modern architecture. 

Of course we had to do a photo shoot in the pool. I am embarrassed to admit how many photos I made Jake take. ;) 

The living room of our place looks out to the beautiful Hawaiian Garden. The floor to ceiling doors that opened (all the way) to let the breeze in were one of my favorite parts of the home. 

Of course we had to play tourist and take in some of the beautiful Hawaiian scenery. While dad was working and my brother was prepping for the wedding, mom joined us for some Hawaiian sightseeing. Stop No. 1 was Onomea Bay, along a scenic route drive that is just gorgeous. I stop at this spot every time I'm in Hilo. 

A quick stop at Akaka Falls. I didn't really feel like going down to see it closer since we had so much more to cover, so we just admired it from above.

We got lost driving around the Old Mamalahoa Highway, one of the guidebooks mentioned it was the scenic route so I wanted to try it. Are you sensing a pattern here?

And finally the crown jewel. We took a road trip in search of The Waipio Valley Lookout. During my sophomore year of college, I came home to Hilo for much of the summer and ended up taking the drive down to Waipio and I remember walking along this beach below and also hiking up a zig-zag trail on the other side of the valley.  This time it was nice to observe it from the viewpoint. 

On one of our last days in Hilo, Jake and I decided to explore Kalapana and the lava flow. One of the coolest things about the Big Island is how many different places you can go to see either active lava or lava fields. Kalapana is one of those places, and there is a path to one of the newest beaches on the Big Island, called Kaimu Beach. 

This lava flow is relatively new - it completely covered the Kalapana Village in the late 80's or early 90's, and destroyed several homes in the process.

Newly formed Kailua Beach, near Puna. It's a quick hike to the beach but the water is pretty rough, so we passed on swimming in it.

We spent one of our last days with the family, just hanging out at my dad's friend's place, complete with geothermal pool (for those cold Hawaiian nights). I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the geothermal pool a lot more than I thought I would. It doesn't really get into the 90-100's in Hawaii and there is always a trade wind, so it's rarely ever too hot. Can you spot the ocean in the photo below? 

Can we just do this every weekend?

Next post, I'll be recapping my brother's wedding!


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