My first trip to Hawai’i was just after graduating high school. There were 6 of us girls who went along with my Hawaiian friend Stacey’s parents to Oahu. We stayed above her grandparents’ house in a little studio. I remember how fun it was to have an extended sleep over, all of us camping out on the floor.
This high school vacation was a big deal in many ways. I was able to afford the trip thanks to my mom’s mom, Grandma O’Neill. Even though I was one of 22 grandchildren, she gladly gifted me the flight. It was my first flight ever. That’s when I caught the ‘travel bug’ that has opened me to the fantastically enticing world of travel.
This morning I caught my flight from Hilo to Honolulu. I sit here now on the 3 hour layover back to California reminiscing of my adventure on the Big Island this last 42 days.
* I adapted to bringing all household garbage and recycling to the dump 1-2 times per week and driving an hour to get groceries. I limited nighttime driving (due to lack of street lights, glare from the Volcano’s sulphuric acid on the windshield, and having slight astigmatism).
* I made the best of the rural rain forest by going to the National Park that was a mere 7 minute drive down the street almost daily for guided hikes/walks, hula performances, talks on historical volcanoes and lava tubes with phenomenal stone formations and seeing the art gallery full of local artists’ work .
* I attended a variety of $5 community yoga classes offered 5 days per week.
* And I adored the social outings with Lisa Louise’s many friends (Indie movies at the theatre in Hilo, Sunday breakfast at the park’s cafeteria, birthday dinners, a drink at the Volcano House, viewings of the glow of the caldera at night and even a swing dance lesson).
Here are some pictures of my last few days, the island hopping flight and the Honolulu airport garden.