Vacation Experiences


Hawaii: 21 January to 24 Febuary, 2012


Since I've talked about Hawaii several times on these pages in the past, this will will be a brief, mainly pictorial account of this year's visit to The Big Island and to Oahu. We began with 28 days in an ocean front condo at Kona Reef in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Air Canada continues to operate just one non-stop/week from YVR to KOA. It leaves YVR on Saturday afternoon and returns as a red-eye. From KOA, we flew to HNL on Oahu where we spent 5 nights at the Sheraton Waikiki.

Our winter break started slowly because Eleanor was recovering from an attack of Shingles. Ironically, on our first visit to Safeway in Kailua, there was a large sign at the front of the store to warn seniors of their increased danger to Shingles, and to talk to their pharmacist. Presumably he would offer a vaccination.

Eleanor strolls through the Thurston lava tube in Volcano National Park


Typical sunset from our Kona lanai


VOG (volcanic smog) remains a problem on parts of the Big Island and occasionally on nearby Maui. Kilauea has been erupting for many years but, a few years ago, Madam Pele, the goddess of Kiluea, became angry and started to spew irritating particulate. Despite the many gifts left on the rim of the caldera the problem has continued. We were fortunate this year that conditions allowed us to visit the park but a section of the crater rim road was blocked because of the air quality. Anyone with a respiratory problem should probably avoid the Big Island.


A native fisherman expertly casts his net and catches a few.


This was the scene from our lanai during breakfast every morning.


Dinner at Bubba Gump's in Kailua. When you want the server, you flip the plate to read "Stop Forrest Stop".


Anyone interested in flowers would enjoy Kona.

Evening shot of Diamond Head from our lanai at the Sheraton Waikiki on Oahu.


Our favourite guide books, which we highly recommend, are "Oahu Revealed" and "Hawaii The Big Island Revealed" by the same author. They are well organized and express some very candid opinions about where to stay, where to eat and what to see and do. In a section on the best views on Oahu, he says the best view of Waikiki is from a room at the Sheraton Waikiki, facing Diamond Head, above the 20th floor. We were on the 16th floor. However, we lucked in. We actually booked the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, a much more modest hotel, and were given an upgrade to the Sheraton Waikiki.

Waikiki is a Mecca for the Japanese tourist; they still come in droves. A surprising number are families with small children and groups of young women. The are very few seniors. Kona is different. The more relaxed venue attracts many seniors but few Japanese.


Sunset from United Airline's Lounge at HNL


(All photographs were taken with a Nikon D90SLR using Nikkor lenses, 18-200mm or 10-24 mm. All lighting was ambient.)