Na Pali Coast Hike

Na Pali coast through a tree

The Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali coast is a tricky and amazingly beautiful hike. We wanted to do this the last time we were here and couldn’t because of the wet weather. We got there around 10:00 AM and there was no parking so we parked in a suspect spot. And got a ticket. … Read more

Kauai North Shore

Hanalei Bay in rain and fog

The north shore of Kauai is rainy, misty, and dramatic with beautiful beaches and the entrance to the Na Pali coast. Day 1: Kailua-Kona to Kauai We had early coffee with the waves and the birds. And spinner dolphins! First a couple, then later about 30 of them. We thought they were fish or regular … Read more


cruise ship off the coast with palm tree

We had a relaxing couple of days in Kailua-Kona only slightly spoiled by bad weather but more than compensated for by some of the best snorkeling ever. Day 1: Volcano to Kailua-Kona Pumpkin raisin bread for breakfast. (We think.) We packed up and hit the scenic Chain of Craters Road in Volcanoes National Park. Then … Read more

Chain of Craters Road

green plants against lava

The Chain of Craters Road exceeded our expectations, and we have high expectations for scenic drives in national parks! The first part of the drive goes through desolate lava fields. As we got closer to the coast we started to see more plants among the lava. We then descended the pali, or cliffs, and could … Read more

Lava Viewing

lava flowing into the ocean

While in Hawaii we had the rare opportunity to see lava flowing into the sea. So we did! Do it if you get the chance. It’s mesmerizing. It was a four-hour hike each way to the lava. You can see the lava best, and it’s most dramatic, after dark. So the goal is to time … Read more

Kilauea Iki Hike

view into the crater from the rim

The Kilauea Iki hike goes down into a crater, across the barren floor, then up the other side. It’s starkly beautiful.  We hiked the loop clockwise on the recommendation of our hosts. It worked well for us since we went down the slope and came up using the stairs. It’s about 4 miles roundtrip.  From … Read more

Volcanoes National Park

red flowers in the mist

Volcano is a small village outside Volcanoes National Park. We drove there via the coast road from Captain Cook. Day 1: Captain Cook to Volcano We went snorkeling at Kahaluu before we even had breakfast. It was good to get our faces in the water. We were there from 7:15-7:45 and it was filling up … Read more


Honaunau historical park

We enjoyed getting into the vacation spirit by visiting the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park on our first afternoon. The historical park has several traditional structures, including a setup for a game.  We found the totems? tikis? — we’re not sure what they’re called — fascinating.  It’s right on the beach. You can also … Read more

South Kona Coast

green shore with blue ocean in background

We spent a night in Captain Cook at the historic Manago Hotel on our first night in Hawaii. It was a great way to ease into vacation mode.  Day 0: Home to Grand Rapids, MI We booked a park-sleep-fly in Grand Rapids for the night before since we had an early flight. Day 1: Grand … Read more