The Big Island

It's currently Sept. 8, 2013 and I'm back-posting this in 2011 even though this post actually took place in 2006.  Confusing, I know.  Normally, I don't acknowledge back-posting, but in full disclosure I am admitting that I'm only just barely assembling this and posting it.  I have too many posts right now going on to add it to the mix so I'm just going to slip it in the archives. While most people won't see it now, anyone (mostly me) who wants to go through my Hawaii posts will be able to see it when the search by the label.

In 2006 my friend Debbie invited me to go to the Big Island with her and her family for a week.  They had rented a house and there was an extra bed in Debbie's room so they said that if I bought my plane ticket they'd cover all of the other costs.  I was in!  So after my Freshman year of college I flew to Hawaii with them and had a great time!  We stayed in Kona on the dry side of the island, but drove around and saw Hilo (on the wet side of the island) and other towns.

I was not a blogger at all back then and didn't take nearly as many pictures as I do now, so I don't have a lot of pictures to show for our trip, but figured it was worth documenting the ones I do have.  

Here's a picture from our condo of the area we stayed in which was great.
Enjoyed lots of pool time.

Debbie on her computer on her side of the room.  Posting this sure makes me miss her.  She passed away a couple of years ago and the sting of her death has never fully left.  It just doesn't seem possible that such a vivacious, young person could leave this world so unexpectedly.  She was a force to be reckoned with - personality plus times ten and I was fortunate enough to be best friends with her for a good number of years. 

When we arrived at the airport we were greeted with leis which was pretty cool.  It's always fun going on vacation with another family and seeing how they do things.  The Austins are such fun people and were so easy and great to be with.

Here I am with Debbie and her family.  (A very small portion of her family - she has 9 brothers and sisters).

The falls were beautiful.

I somehow always have brown hair when I go to Hawaii.  And I'm a baby here - just 18 years old.

For some reason this picture makes me think of dinosaurs.  It's the kind of scenery I imagine the dinosaurs lived in while they were alive.

We walked around this pretty area and learned about Captain Cook.  I took this picture and changed it to black and white and have had in my room the past few years.

We went to the Southernmost part of the island which also happens to be the southern most part of the US and jumped off the huge cliffs!

I was terrified by how high up we were! I couldn't bring myself to "jump" - I didn't want to be one inch higher up than I needed to be, so I just sort of pushed myself off the edge.  Nothing says timid like this picture of me haha.

I lived to tell the tale and was glad I did it.

Matt was far braver than I was.

That water was unreal - so crazy pretty.

We did a little shopping and I got a navy blue swimsuit skirt that was sewn inside out around the waist.  Didn't notice till it was too late.  Hasn't stopped me from wearing it every year at some point though.

I had a wonderful time on the trip and feel so fortunate to have been able to go with the Austins.  They were so generous to invite to come with them and I loved seeing a new Hawaiian island.

Debbie's Dad is a very funny man and this is how he summarized the trip:

Hawaii Trip Spring 2006
"I had fun on my summer (Spring) vacation. I went to Hawaii with my friends, Matt, Debbie, Lauren, Shawn, Amy and Judy.
Lauren is Debbie's friend and had the privilege of bunking with Debbie. Lauren is like majorly annoying and caused no end of trouble, but it made Debbie happy to have her along. Actually, Lauren is the best young lady we know (outside our own family of course), and it was a real privilege to have her with us.
We stayed in this really fancy condo. White carpets. Great pool. Big TV. Watched a lot of “24” Episodes. Had neat dinners at the table with my pals. Bedrooms had DVD players and tv’s.
Liked Jogging a lot. I jogged down to the Hilton—great hotel, with its own lagoon, huge waterfall, great swimming pools and expensive pina-coladas. Also jogged the “king’s trail” a lava trail in the sun, no shade, until the Mauna Lani golf course. Nearby, there are lagoons, with lots of trees and a “secret” swimming pool, filled with fresh spring water. It was great after a jog in the hot sun. Also jogged back, along the coast line golf course looking at rich persons’ homes. Jogged down to A-Bay once-great beach.
South Point is awesome. A long drive through beautiful flat, green fields, very blue sky. At the end, a cliff you can jump off of into the clearest, bluest water you've ever seen. And a nifty ladder to make a difficult climb back to the top. Boy, was that fun.
We stopped by the volcano caudera on the way around the island. Lots of uninhabited, wild jungle on the way. Cloudy, misty. Would be fun to hike in that area.
And we all loved the Hilton timeshare presentation. The chick was miffed when she found we just went to get free stuff. Oh Well, another female broken heart to add to my list.
Shawn and Debbie and I had the nerve to jump into the great pools above Hilo. They were fed from the snowmelt off the volcano, so water was cold. Cloudy weather-wish it had been sunny, but it rains a LOT in Hilo.
Had dinner one night at the Hard Rock Café in Kona . Love the place. Also ate at the Outback with Shawn and Amy. What a romantic anniversary for them. For my money, nothing beats getting out with your honey and your parents-her in-laws.
Church was in Waimea , went twice, almost got a calling. I had fun, and the members were very friendly. Exploring the King’s Shops with Matt and others was fun, but stuff there is expensive. The food court is probably the cheapest place to eat around Waikoloa. And there’s something about the Whaler’s shop, a high-end convenience store, that has to be part of every Hawaii vacation. Just like the ancient Hawaiians lived.
The beach at Hapuna Bay was nice, and so was snorkeling down by the Place of Refuge. Next time we will leave early, to catch the sun, and rent kayaks there and row across the bay to the Captain Cook monument which is said to have the best snorkeling on the island. Also we went to the beach at A-Bay.
Judy and I went to Mauna Kea beach after everyone deserted us, like rats on a sinking ship, and left us cold, lonely, empty, friendless and depressed. It rained at the beach, but the snorkeling was GREAT. Have to remember that for next time. Judy and I also went to a beach next to a really ritzy neighborhood, north of Waikoloa. It as a great beach, very clean, rest rooms, showers, very gentle enclosed beach, and bbq’s and grass. Tyler would love it.
Judy and I also took in a session at the Kona temple, which we really liked. And, saw the opening night of MI3. Man, I love the movies when I’m on vacation.
Even the trips to Costco were fun, because we were on Hawaii and with our best pals.
That about sums it up. Except for the great snacks and ice cream, and late night discussions with Shawn and Matt, my fellow insomniacs. Let me know if I've left anything out."

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