We were in Hawaii... the Big Island. It was wonderful. It was a long time coming... our last visit was a difficult, sad time, yet sweet, too, and we were not sure when we would return, how it would feel after changes, and the passage of time.
This was our first time flying into the old, quiet, and lovely town of Hilo. It is on the wet side of Hawaii. And by wet, I mean anywhere from 130 inches to 200 inches of rain per year! Rain and sun give you banyan trees, orchids, waterfalls, and lots and lots of rainbows. It's a worthwhile exchange, I think. Hilo is beautiful.
Because we had such a good experience, three places around the Island, I am happy to recommend Airbnb, where you can rent from people in over 34,000 cities and 192 countries. Why did I like booking our stays through Airbnb?
1. We were able to find places away from resorts, and in neighborhoods and places we were familiar with and eager to know better.
2. We found places we could afford to stay in, with the convenience of kitchens, plenty of beds, and home comforts.
3. Airbnb takes care to assure that details and issues (should any arise) are addressed promptly, and securely, so I felt like we had a nice safety net... a good feeling when you are on vacation!
4. We felt welcome, and enjoyed a more personal, relaxed travel experience that was comfortable for us.
Rain or rainbows, we always visit the Queen's pools and garden, where little bridges dot the ponds, and the banyans beckon explorers.
The rest of our Island visit took us to Volcanoes National Park, the District of Puna, then Kailua-Kona, to Kohala, Waimea, the peak of Mauna Kea, and the bottom of Pololu Valley, around to Hamakua'a, and south again, to Hilo.
Our last day in Hawaii. We were missing our own farm, and pets, and ready to come home and share our stories with friends and family. And we were also feeling very much at home in Hawaii. From our place in the little town of Kukuihaele, we drove the winding coastal road through sugar cane country, and further south into more and more tropical places. Then William and I enjoyed a long anticipated stop at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.
Because of its unique history and the personal care that went into its creation, and the work it takes to maintain the Tropical Gardens, it is a worthwhile place to visit... if you like a small hike, a fee, and a heady amount of tropical flora! William and I wish we had more time, and more camera memory. I think we might even become pass holders if we lived there. William loves tropical plants and flowers. Loves. I was awestruck... the varieties, and profuse-ity (is there a word?) were staggering.