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Hawaii vacation with a history lesson

Updated on August 23, 2015

Airports Before Hawaii: Des Moines, Iowa to Denver, Colorado for a stopover in Phoenix Arizona

August 5th I started my voyage. I flew United Airlines from Iowa, switched plans in Colorado to go to Arizona, where I stayed overnight at a cousin's home, which we also have become good friends. Sometimes the long way around can mean big savings. I have traveled by car through Arizona when I was a young child but never remember the climate being so hot that it felt like a heater was blaring through the air. My thought process started out by telling me the hot blowing appearance was coming out of the airport building and soon switched to, no this is the exhaust from the vehicles pulling up to the loading zone but reality; once I arrived at my overnight home, I realized that this is the natural air in Arizona. Where the hotness in the evening can be in the highest double digits and in the early morning, greet the prompt traveler with three digit temperatures.

I had never traveled to Hawaii before and thought, if this is how hot it is in Arizona, It must be hotter in a tropical island.

A Journey to a foreign land that isn’t really a foreign country.

Hawaii has a culture of its own but is part of the United States. One doesn’t need a passport to go to Hawaii but one does have to fill out a customs declaration form. When filling out these forms, it always reminds me of the many times during summer vacations my family and I traveled to California. I recall my parents signing the forms before entering the state. I don’t know what year it was when the policy disappeared, that travelers no longer had to declare their fruits, vegetables, plants and dirt when traveling into California from other states but maybe one of my readers know the answer?

Sunset Falling From Above the Clouds

On the way to Hawaii.
On the way to Hawaii. | Source

August 21, 1959

Hawaii became the 50th U.S. state.

State Flower

Yellow Hibiscus / AKA Pua Aloalo

There are several different species of Hibiscus and a diverse range of colors that they come in.

Hawaiian flowers in many colors & shapes. (Not just Hibiscus)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
White flowers stand out in all of the greenery.  Pink Hibiscus FlowersMore Hawaiian Flowers & PlantsYellow Flowers Found in AKAKA Falls, State Park.
White flowers stand out in all of the greenery.
White flowers stand out in all of the greenery. | Source
Pink Hibiscus Flowers
Pink Hibiscus Flowers | Source
More Hawaiian Flowers & Plants
More Hawaiian Flowers & Plants | Source
Yellow Flowers Found in AKAKA Falls, State Park.
Yellow Flowers Found in AKAKA Falls, State Park. | Source

Great View From the Backyard

Relaxation | Source

Island in Hawaii

show route and directions
A markerHilo -
Hilo, HI, USA
get directions

B markerHawaii -
Hawaii, USA
get directions

C markerKahoolawe -
Kaho‘olawe, Hawaii, USA
get directions

D markerLanai -
Lanai, Hawaii 96763, USA
get directions

E markerMolokai -
Moloka‘i, Hawaii, USA
get directions

F markerOahu -
O‘ahu, Hawaii, USA
get directions

G markerKauai -
Kauai, Hawaii, USA
get directions

H markerNiihau -
Ni'ihau, Hawaii, USA
get directions

Tell me....

What do you think of Hilo?

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Small Plane

After landing in Honolulu and exiting the large plane with three seats in the middle row and two on one side and two or three wide on the other side; time to switch to a smaller aircraft to take us to our final Island for five days.

Hawaiian Flight

Long Flight - About six hours long.

  • Be sure to take something to help pass the time.
  • A book
  • Magazines
  • *Laptop

The airlines rent / provide / charge

* Rent: Tablets and headphones, first come first serve. (watch movies)

* Provide: One meal. They pride themselves as the only airline that still serves a meal on their flights. ( It would be great if the other airlines would bring back this very appreciative service.) An educational video for everyone to watch but it doesn't play during the entire flight and unless you have earphones or can read lips, understanding is difficult.

* Charge: Extra drinks, blankets and snacks

What not to expect:

* Being greeted at the runway or at the terminal by someone with flower necklaces, unless the hotel traditionally does this or your family member(s) decide to greet you in this matter. (How welcoming one would feel if all airports treated their customers in this way.

Ideas & tips for a Hawaian trip

Things to do
Explore Volcanic Tubs
hiking boots or tennis shoes / water shoes
Kaumana Caves (Big Island)
Beach (Black, white & green sands)
swim suit or simming trunks
(Big Island)
Watch the sunset from above the cloud
winter clothing
Mauna Kea AKA: Mauna a WakeaObservatory
snorkels and fins (also for rent at some locations)
Ho'onaunau / Kealakekua Bay
These are just a view places in Hilo. Hawaii has 8 main islands.

Eight Major Islands in Hawaii

1. Hawaii (AKA, The Big Island. Hilo is on this island.)

2. Maui

3 Oahu (Honolulu is located on this island.)

4. Kauai

5. Molokai

6. Lanai

7. Niihau

8, Kahoolawe

Lava Tubes / Caves

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Kaumana CavesEnter If you dare but I suggest taking a large flashlight or two.  (To the right)(To the left)
Kaumana Caves
Kaumana Caves | Source
Enter If you dare but I suggest taking a large flashlight or two.  (To the right)
Enter If you dare but I suggest taking a large flashlight or two. (To the right) | Source
(To the left)
(To the left) | Source

Black Sandy Beach

See if you can find this beach, in the 1995 movie, "Waterworld."
See if you can find this beach, in the 1995 movie, "Waterworld." | Source

Results from Volcanos

Enter the Caves if you if you dare. The caves are also known as lava tubes. The pictures of the caves below are the darkest caves I have ever entered. Might want to make sure you carry a lantern. Tiny flashlights just can't provide the light one needs for safety reasons. The black volcanic rocks and large crevices, makes traveling through these tubes tougher with lack of lighting.

These tubes were formed from hot lava traveling beneath and through the hardened rock.

What to expect in AKAKA Falls, State Park.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A State Park in HawaiiThe waterfall at a distance.The waterfall up close.Gigantic Bamboos Look at those Roots on this tree.
A State Park in Hawaii
A State Park in Hawaii | Source
The waterfall at a distance.
The waterfall at a distance. | Source
The waterfall up close.
The waterfall up close. | Source
Gigantic Bamboos
Gigantic Bamboos | Source
Look at those Roots on this tree.
Look at those Roots on this tree. | Source

Kamehameha The Great

  1. Ruler of Hawaii
  2. United all of the Hawaiian islands.
  3. 1758-1819

"Kamehameha The Great"

A statue for all to see.
A statue for all to see. | Source

Surfing along the shore in Hilo, Hawaii.

Perfect Looking Trees

Trimmed so perfect.
Trimmed so perfect. | Source

A Jungle Feel

No snakes, no wild beasts except for the wild boars.
No snakes, no wild beasts except for the wild boars. | Source

Onomea Trails

Na Ala Hele, State of Hawaii Onomea Trails
Na Ala Hele, State of Hawaii Onomea Trails | Source

A little quiz

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Rating the diversity of Hawaiian food.

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of the diversity of Hawaiian food

Back in the mainlands.

Once back home, I thought of the sayings, "home sweet home" and "there is no place like home". I had always heard how expensive the Hawaiian Islands are and I must agree. The price of bread seemed to be twice the amount than what I normally pay.

But now that I have been back in the mainlands and wrapped up in my daily activities, I do miss the beauty and the relaxation that I consumed in Hawaii. I would love to return. Five days in paradise is just not enough. Please, leave me your comments. Have you ever been to Hawaii? If not would you like to go? If you have, how many days did you spend on the islands? Would you stay longer next time? Which islands did you experience? Would you go back?

If you are from the Hawaiian Islands, what would you suggest a tourist experience?

If the chance arises again, I would go back but if money allowed, I would want to stay longer.

Please, leave your comments here. Thank you.

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    • Carol Reed profile image

      Carol Clarke Reed 2 years ago from Remote

      Thank you for leaving a comment. Yes, the islands and the people are wonderful. I met some people on the plans that live on some of the other islands. This was my first trip and one day I plan to return and would love to experience the other islands. Five days are not enough to be able to see everything on Hilo.

    • lucka profile image

      Tom Gorec 2 years ago from Slovenia

      I love Hawaii, but haven't been to Hilo yet... after reading this I cannot wait to be able to travel there, Hawaii islands are just amazing:)