Route Map


Days 24-33: Mele Kalikimaka and Hau'oli Makahiki Hou

Start: Los Angeles, CA
End: Los Angeles, CA
Miles Driven: 37.3 (5300.8 total)

Last Sunday, we traded our car for a Boeing 737 and hopped the Pacific to Hawaii to join Katrina's dad, stepmom and brother for a week on the Big Island. Though winter is Hawaii's "rainy season", each day was 80 degrees and sunny. We spent much of the week soaking up the sun at beaches up and down the Kohala Coast.

The Big Island is most widely known for its volcanoes. Black molten rock covers the landscape, including some of the beaches, which made for excellent sunbathing. One of these beaches was right next to Pu'uhonau o Honaunau, a historic Hawaiian Place of Refuge where taboo-breakers used to come to cleanse themselves of their transgressions. The sacred grounds were filled with tiki totems, ancient huts, and towering palm trees, not to mention the resident sea turtles patrolling the shore.

We spent one very ambitious day sightseeing along the northern coast.
With five of us packed in the car, we were on the road again. We took in breathtaking views of the Waipi'o Valley, the crashing waves at Laupahoehoe Point, and the impressive Akaka Falls. Before dark we made it to the Tropical Botanical Gardens to see exotic plants from around the world. After dinner and sunset in Hilo, we made the trek to Volcanoes National Park, home of Kilauea, the most active volcano in the world. Unfortunately, we caught Kilauea on a calm night and didn't get to see any fresh lava before we took the long and windy road back to Waikaloa.

As the ball dropped in New York for New Year's, we were seeing the sights of downtown Honolulu before we caught a flight back to LA. Back on the mainland we regrouped before setting out on our journey east.

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