was choc-full of sites and experiences. On Monday, May 21st (Day 20 of the trip BTW), we checked out of the Naniloa early in the morning, and boarded a full-size Roberts tour bus; a much smoother, and quieter ride than the vans we have traveled in so far.
In the next few posts we’ll give you a peek at some of the wonderful things the group did and saw… But for now, we’ll write about a few of the day’s highlights.
First stop was the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm. The processing facility was closed down for maintenance, so this was a shopping stop. We “think” that most students will refrain from eating all the product they purchased, so you MAY get to sample some of these treats when your daughter gets home! (This morning, Tara C. was observed eating her improvement on Reeses PB cups… Chocolate-covered macadamia nuts dipped directly into a Skippy jar…!).
Next, we pulled into the Akatsuka Orchid Farm. This business is run by a Japanese family that raises a phethora of types of orchids, and will ship anywhere in the world. They even grow varieties that smell like chocolate, and coconut. An FYI for my husband, Stephen… I found out that “Cattelya” (pronounced KAT-lee-ya) is the name of a variety of orchid… so, the next time you are at the restaurant at the Grand Palace in Tokyo, look to see if they have orchids as decorations (!).
After 45-minutes or so in the bus, and we entered the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. For the next several hours, we got and off the bus to see the Jaggar Museum and view the Kilauea crater/caldera, the steam vents, the Thurston Lava Tube, walk on a lava flow from the early 1980′s, and view two, older, dormant craters… AMAZING!
Nest stop was the Black Sand beach, and another opportunity to see green sea turtles, both in the water and on land. After this, we drove for another 30-minutes or so to stop for lunch at the Punalu’u Bakery.
Another 45-minutes of winding roads, increasing elevation, and then a descent, brought us to Pu’ uhononua o Honaunau National Historical Park (City of Refuge); our last stop of the day before going on to the city of Kona, and our last hotel of the trip, the Courtyard King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel.
Pictures, and more details / insights to follow…
We are off to the Luau!!