The "homeland of the gods" was an ideal place to celebrate my 40th birthday. While it is easier to fly to Europe and back in the time it takes to trek one way to Hawaii from Boston, the fourteen days in paradise remain some of the best days of my life. Idyllic weather, lush vegetation, pristine beaches, active volcanoes, waterfalls, and Polynesian culture encouraged the body and the mind to indulge in the magic of island living.
My youngest daughter met one of her closest friends while roasting s'mores on the white sandy beach of Kaupulehu--these five year old girls figured out they would be headed to the same school for kindergarten. My oldest son picked up a tennis racquet for the first time on the Big Island and heads off to college as a recruited tennis player in a few weeks. The truly adventurous, dare devil son number three, learned to scuba dive and surf in paradise.
Mesmerized by the black lava landscape, miles of white sandy beaches, and a vast oceanscape, we spent most days and nights out in the salty island air doing next to nothing. With four of our five kids in tow, however, our journey did include a few family outings in which we swam with dolphins, hiked to waterfalls and yes, went to a kitsch filled luau complete with pig roast, hula dancing and umbrellas in our drinks.
STARGAZING AT MAUNAKEA -- Mauna Kea Access Rd, Hilo, HI 96720
ORIGINAL HAWAIIAN CHOCOLATE FACTORY -- 78-6772 Makenawai St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
TURTLE PINNACLE -- Kona, HI
GREENWELL FARMS -- 81-6581 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kealakekua, HI 96750
OUTRIGGER CANOE PADDLING