Hawaii

Aug. 12th, 2010 11:39 am
aimeekitty: (Default)
[personal profile] aimeekitty
After I finish up with Futurama this fall, Mitch and I wanted to take a vacation to Hawaii. Mitch has been before (a long time ago), but I've never been.

If anyone has suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

I'm mainly interested in doing some combination of the following:
~~~ sleeping
~~~ seeing active volcano flow from a safe distance without spending a ton of money (Big Island)
~~~~ eating fabulous food
~~~~ finding a mask that really feels like Hawaiian folk art (to add to my slowly growing mask collection... I still wish I'd gotten a bigger kitsune mask in Kyoto...)
~~~~ likewise, I'd like to look at some traditional Hawaiian textiles and jewelry.
~~~~ assisted hang-gliding?? (ie someone experienced takes me up. I don't have to learn. Not too dangerous??) I'd like to feel like flying without the noise of a small aircraft. But also don't want to DIE. :)
~~~~ Seeing really pretty waterfalls and views that don't require really strenuous hiking to get to.
~~~~ safe snorkling in a really pretty place. Extra points if you don't have to take an expensive boat to get there. (ie awesome snorkling right off the beach for free = epic. But I'm open to boat-access only stuff, too.)
~~~~ a non-crappy luau.
~~~~ nothing that involves serious physical activity, getting lost in the forest, falling off cliffs or being eaten by sharks.
~~~~ Not really interested in barren rock formations (ie stuff that looks like the Grand Canyon) because we have a lot of that here in California.
~~~~ I don't want to go to heavy touristy areas unless there's some really big reason to go there. But at the same time, if it's TOO rural, (ie no restaurants) that's not as great, either.

After a very quick look in some guidebooks I'm thinking that maybe spending a few days on Big Island to see the lava flow and maybe do a bit of sightseeing and shopping and then spending the rest of our time on Maui which supposedly has lots of easy to get to beautiful waterfalls on the Road to Hana... as well as easy beautiful snorkling (and pretty beaches). I've heard Kauai is really nice, too.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-12 06:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jigglykat.livejournal.com
I've been a few times (my grandma grew up in Hawaii, so we visit quite often). I've only ever been to Oahu for a soccer tournament and we were in Waikiki for most of the trip, which is uber touristy. However, the North Shore is quite awesome, and there's a nice hike up to Waimea Falls. We went snorkling just off shore some place too, but I can't remember where that was anymore (this was sixth grade when I went).

I usually go to Kauai, which is my faaaaaavorite island. It's super pretty and not as touristy as the other islands. We took a helicopter ride into this gorgeous canyon where there were waterfalls surrounding you and it was EPIC.

I'm not much help with Maui and the Big Island, sorry!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-17 04:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aimeekitty.livejournal.com
We're seriously considering Kauai, too. Is there a lot of stuff you can see on Kauai without having to take boats and helicopters though? Part of what I liked about what I've heard of Maui, is that you can just go snorkling off the beach... or you can drive to Hana and see waterfalls all the way, you know, just stop your car. that kind of thing. I'm trying to learn more!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-12 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vanessa-lynne.livejournal.com
Let me know if you plan to stop in Oahu. I have driven just about every inch of that island. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-12 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hoshikage.livejournal.com
Maui which supposedly has lots of easy to get to beautiful waterfalls on the Road to Hana...

This I can can vouch for as being completely true.

It was easy to go see an active lava flow when I went (Kilauea had taken out a beachside visitor center not three days before we got there...) but that was quite a few years ago now so I don't know what the lava is currently doing...

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-12 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kyubikitsy.livejournal.com
Hrm~

If you want to see a volcano, you'd have to go to the Big Island -- which is the only active volcano in the island chain. However, I'd leave the Big Island as a day-trip or an overnighter as there really isn't much to do there. There's a lot of cattle and horse ranches (Parker Ranch is the largest in the US)... and loco moco restaurants? Just check in with the Volcano National Park to make sure it's a safe day to travel. (http://www.nps.gov/havo)

If you want a laid back vacation, stay away from Oahu. Waikiki is one large tourist trap... but all the shopping really does take place here? But, all the restaurants are here... (at least the world-reknown ones... like Alan Wong, Roys, Sam Choy's etc) and so are most of the boat tours, sky-diving, surfing classes etc. Most of the easier hikes are here -- like Diamond Head and Manoa Falls.

My personal favorites are Kauai and Maui. Maui is easily accessible from California as their airport is a little larger than other neighboring islands. Maui has a very "country" feel. No large buildings, people are very laid back. I like going for the local food and leisurely drives. I'm not fond of the road (or roads -- if you decide to take the back-end drive.. which is equally spooky) to Hana. There really isn't much to do -in- Hana. Maybe the lighthouse? Maybe some nice scenery along the way?
There are some wineries and lavender fields and I do suggest driving up Haleakala to see the sunrise once... but you'd have to get up really early and bring some warm clothes.

Kauai is known for their greenery -- lots of hiking trails, waterfalls, etc. It rains there regularly and is really a sight to see if you'd interested in extreme lush landscapes. I think Kauai is more country than Maui.

My suggestion? If you can afford it, stay on Oahu and schedule your days outside of Waikiki. Polynesian Cultural Center, Haleiwa, North Shore, etc. Then fly over to the Big Island or Maui for a day trip or overnighter. The flights are about $100 per person, most lasting about 45 minutes.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-17 04:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aimeekitty.livejournal.com
We have Roys here and some other stuff, but I can't imagine it's the same as in Hawaii...

I wonder whether the volcano/lava is worth it? Mitch was saying you might not even be able to see it, that it depends, etc. I dunno. But I figure we could do some shopping, make it a day (or a 3 day thing, etc...) maybe try a few restaurants and see the lava.

Then go to Kauai or Maui. But I'm not sure which would be best. I hear awesome things about flying helicopter into the center areas of Kauai and that it has some gorgeous beaches and waterfalls, etc.
I know people say that Maui is more expensive, but... I wonder if that's balanced out by there being places in Maui where we can do a lot of stuff we like for free,... like good beaches you can snorkle off without taking a boat ride... or all the waterfalls off the road to Hana.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-18 07:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kyubikitsy.livejournal.com
Roy's -- It's probably very similar. The one thing everyone raves about is their melting chocolate souffle cake dessert. The food is generally more pan-pacific with a lot of asian influence.

I've been to the Big Island maybe 3 times. I've been to Volcano National Park once when I was a kid. My husband says it's not quite worth the trek...and you're not guaranteed to see live lava - especially the spectacular red type. More often than not, you may see the black goo moving around and the steam coming from the ocean where the lava hits the water? But maybe ask Angela Mo -- she went with some of her friends last year on a day-trip.

Helicopter flights around Kauai should be really nice, weather permitting. There are a lot of waterfalls and green mountains (think Jurassic Park opening. That's Kauai) that you just can't see by foot. My one singular memory of traveling to Kauai as a kid was they had some of the most beautiful beaches. The water was so clear, it looked like glass. But... this was about 15-20 years ago... so I'm not sure how things have held up in the years since? I did go about 2 years ago for a library talk tour and had a quick drive around between my stops. There are some -really- gorgeous scenic points.

And yes, all islands outside of Oahu are more expensive. Gas is often close to the $4 range, although tax is .5% less.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-12 07:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taperkat.livejournal.com
Aimee: Try contacting @pikko on Twitter. She's a Hawaiian native - She plays FFXI and has for years (different server than mitch and I). She is very very sweet and an amazing person. Or I can send her a message saying you might contact her? If you want a good islands idea, I bet she would know or know where you could go. :)

also: god, I love stitch.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-17 04:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aimeekitty.livejournal.com
twitter's pretty hard to have a real conversation on, but my email is aimeeATaimeemajor.com

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-17 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taperkat.livejournal.com
I will send her a PM :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-12 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mint-cake.livejournal.com
Oh lucky! You should totally go, its so beautiful up there and the perfect place to eat sleep and relax. I'd recommend Kauai, its very green beautiful, and small. I really enjoyed it there as opposed to Maui which I found to be a bit touristy for my taste. Just drink lots of tropical drinks on the beach, can't get much better then that!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-17 04:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aimeekitty.livejournal.com
so what did you like particularly on Kauai? :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-18 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mint-cake.livejournal.com
The nature. So many beautiful places on the Island, and it was small enough to explore, as you can drive from one side to the next easily. Also liked that there were wild chickens everywhere... XD
We did a helicopter ride over the island that was also pretty amazing.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-12 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calalillith.livejournal.com
We're going to Kauai over New Years, and I hit yelp last night and just went through their list on their main page.. got a lot of interesting ideas, places to eat etc. I'm going to do more detailed research, but yelp is a good place to start. I was only able to find hokey websites when I googled Kauai o,0

I Recommend Kauai

Date: 2010-08-12 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadewik.livejournal.com
My husband's uncle lives in Kauai. My husband stayed with them for about 2-months to work. I flew out there and stayed for a while. I didn't do much (I had a lung infection at the time)... but it was relaxing and not-so-touristy.

We kayaked up the Wailua River to the Fern Grotto (GORGEOUS!), wake boarded on the Wailua River, went to Hilo Hattie's and the heritage museum. I did want to go to the N side of the island to see some rocks that shoot water into the air (I forget what they were called...), but didn't make it to that side of the island.

We did hike to the bottom of Wailua Falls-- apparently a scene from one of the earlier Indiana Jones movies was filmed at the falls. To hike to the bottom of the Falls, we had to go past this "do not enter" sign. The uncle, who lives on Kauai, said that it was "okay"-- "All the best things to see are past those signs," he said-- I guess the state puts those up to remove their liability if someone gets hurt. The trail to the bottom of the falls was well worn and even had rope you could hold onto in some places. It was also wet and slippery, but that goes without saying. It was worth the hike down. Had I not been with a resident, I would never known you could hike to the bottom... nor would I have felt comfortable hiking to the bottom of the falls past the foreboding sign.

Oh... and watch out for the flying chickens. Chickens CAN FLY! I was told they had a lot of rooster-fights going on and they all got loose during a hurricane. Kauai has "native chickens" now. They're everywhere! It wasn't uncommon to see a chicken, rooster and a bunch of chicks at the side of the road.

I hope you have fun on your trip. =)

Re: I Recommend Kauai

Date: 2010-08-17 04:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aimeekitty.livejournal.com
I read about signs like that in the guidebooks we're reading. I guess because someone fell, they put that sign there for liability reasons.

I'm wondering, mostly, how many things we can do on Kauai that would be easy and free,... ie, are there places we can have great snorkling off the beach without a boat...? Are there waterfalls that are lovely that don't require a really tough hike?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-12 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amanda-now.livejournal.com
I can't help because I'm not in a position to travel, but I wanted to say that you basically described my perfect vacation x_x

Have fun! Also Futurama is awesome this season and I hope to see it for many more to come.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-12 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
If you have a chance, visit one of the kona coffee plantations. They give free tours with free coffee and chocolate-dipped coffee beans. I don't even like coffee normally, but the kind grown there is very nice.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-12 11:28 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
If you can, go to Byodo-In Temple on Oahu. It's in a gorgeous valley.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-13 12:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aimeekitty.livejournal.com
I've been to Byodo-In in Japan, though,.. so I think I'd rather spend my time on something else as the one in Hawaii is a replica of the one in Japan.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-14 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pogo101.livejournal.com
Even if you don't want to visit that temple, you may want to go view a Tea Ceremony (small fee) at a place in Honolulu. Obviously, that's only if you're on Oahu and for long enough.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-14 07:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aimeekitty.livejournal.com
I wish my knees were good enough. It'd be fun to partially participate, but I really just can't without assistance. But thanks, honey, it's really thoughtful.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-13 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quentin-watson.livejournal.com
My family took a trip to the Big Island last May. Instead of staying at a hotel we looked up this website called "Vacation Rental Home by Owner," and rented the downstairs level of this lady's house. She was SUPER nice-we had private access to the outdoor kitchen, swimming pool and she had a massive garden with fruit growing in it you could snag and eat. Way better than a hotel. I also remember we found at least 3 good spots to go snorkeling that didn't require chartering a boat. (you'd definetly need to rent a car, though)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-17 04:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aimeekitty.livejournal.com
That's cool! We were considering renting someone's condo or something like that instead of doing a hotel.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-13 04:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] karisu-sama.livejournal.com
Hiking around the volcano is a fun afternoon thing, if you are inclined to it - but bring a sweater, it can get COLD up on the heights! :D

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-14 06:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chartreusekitty.livejournal.com
Big Island and Kauai all the way for your list. I have some specific recommendations, but it's too late and my brain is tired. I must say, though, that the Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor is worth the time, if you can get over there. It's very moving, and eerie, and a not too strenuous walk up Diamond Head gives an amazing view.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-17 04:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aimeekitty.livejournal.com
I'd love some specific recommendations when you get a chance! Mainly, I'm trying to compare Maui with Kauai to see which we should do. I'm hoping there's a decent amount of stuff we can do (like snorkling and seeing sights) that won't cost a huge amount or require a lot of tough hiking.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-22 04:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taeha.livejournal.com
Maui. Seriously.

- Lahaina Luau
- Road To Hana (stop lots, even though it's not easy to find a spot to pull off)
- AWESOME snorkeling on practically every beach. 'Turtle Town' in front of the Makena Beach and Golf Resort. Public beach, even though it seems like it's part of the resort. Snorkeling at Kapalua Beach was also amazing.

My photos from Maui are here:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/album.php?aid=243828&id=860695292

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