Thanksgiving in Hawaii

Tropical breezes, snorkeling, and tanning on the beach is a great way to spend a Thanksgiving. In 1993 we traveled to Hawaii for our Thanksgiving vacation. We spent the first four day on the Big Island of Hawaii and found this to be our favorite island. We stayed at Merryman's Bed and Breakfast in Kealakekua. Penny and Don have a lovely home and we enjoyed our stay with them.

While we were on the Big Island we toured the entire island. We visited Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Waipio Valley, Akaka Falls and Saddle Road. All the sights were beautiful! We especially enjoyed snorkeling at the Captain Cook Monument. To snorkel at this location you can hike down a nasty dirt trail or you can do what we did and kayak to the monument. A two person kayak is quite an experience - especially when you have dolphins swimming around the kayak. What an experience! The snorkeling was excellent. There were only a few other people snorkeling and there were countless fish. After we returned the kayak the owner, Rob, gave us beautiful leis. One of the best parts of the trip was meeting our dear friends Carole and Pete for dinner one evening,

Our next stop was Maui for three days. We stayed at another cozy, private bed and breakfast that had a beautiful view from the breakfast patio. Jason enjoyed watching the sunsets from the patio while we were here. The inn was close to Lanhaina and we visited the resturants and shops. There were many banyan trees downtown.

We celebrated Thanksgiving by getting up at 3 a.m. to drive to the top of Haleakala Crater, which was very cold with an elevation of 10.023 feet, to watch the sun rise. It was great way to start our Thanksgiving Day.

While we were on Maui we took the famous road to Hana. Jason was thrilled to drive the 50 mile road around the base of Haleakala with 617 hairpin turns, 56 one-lane bridges and countles waterfalls, bamboo groves and gardens. At the end of the road we stopped at Ohe's Gulch and enjoyed the beautiful the beautiful waterfalls. Instead of taking all 617 hairpin turns in reverse, someone decided to continue on the road and continue around the island. It was quite an experience! We saw a beautiful rainbow and other marvelous sights, but someone else in the car was rather nervous about the adventerous road we were taking. Fortuately we safely completed the journey.

We took a quick commuter flight to Oahu next and spent the remaining three days of our vacation at the Outrigger Hotel on Waikiki Beach. Our view of the beach and sunsets was again beautiful. Our first visit on the island was to Pearl Harbor and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater. We found both of these visits to be a very moving experiences. We went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and Jason went body surfing in the ocean. Our vacation concluded with relaxing pool side and soaking up rays.

One of our favorite souvenirs from this trip were the flowers we purchased at a florist before we left the island. We brought home orchids and birds of paradise just to name a few of the lovely flowers. They lasted for weeks and were a great reminder of our wonderful vacation in paradise.