Friday, August 12, 2011


Once Brian had worked out a date for his PhD defense, we decided it was time to plan a trip somewhere, with that somewhere being Hawai'i. In 2009, we had a great trip to the island of Kauai with Martin and Melanie, and we'd heard that we should check out the Big Island next, so we flew off to Kona at the beginning of July.

We spent our first two nights in Volcano, a town just next to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Unfortunately, while we were there, there was no lava flowing into the ocean. However, the lava lake within Halema'uma'u Crater was visible at night as a bright orange glow. During the day, it was a little steamy. Both were pretty neat. (neat!)

Halema'uma'u CraterHalema'uma'u Crater

While at the park, we did some great (and some boring) hikes and enjoyed our hotel, which seemed to have been dropped into the jungle-y set of Jurassic Park. We also took a trip up to the Visitor's Center at Mauna Kea, high above the clouds, and took a look through their high-powered telescopes to check out the moon and Saturn.


For the other four days on the island, we spent it Kona-side. On the drive over to the west-side, we stopped at South Point, the southern-most point in the United States (clever name, right?). While there, Brian took the opportunity to climb into the ocean (quickly). Sketchy part was apparently getting out on the rusty ladder.

Brian jumps

We stayed south of Kona, in a partly-open-air cottage on the property of a coffee farm. The owners gave us papayas, pineapple, coffee, and macadamia nuts straight from the farm, and it was a great affordable place. We would recommend it for those who don't mind some geckos and bugs in your room or macadamia nuts falling on your roof :)

While on the Kona side, we saw lots of beaches, did some hikes, kayaked and snorkeled to Captain Cook monument, watched sunsets, and ate great food. I mean, can you not have a great time in Hawai'i? I think not.

BrianLook, Ma, no hands!

Sunset in KonaSunset
In the end, our trip took place just a few days before our stuff got hauled onto a ship to go to Switzerland, so we had to do a little bit of preparation while on vacation, but hey, it all worked out! For the rest of our pictures, see here.

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