Hawaiian Vacation 2003

The Big Island of Hawaii is in the news with the recent eruption of Mount Kilauea.  Wife and I visited the back in 2003 and were lucky enough to be able to get up close to the ‘regular’ eruption which has been going for years now. Figured now was as good a time as any to finally get these pictures migrated from the old 406 server which has since been decommissioned. The images and descriptions here were originally posted on the site in 2003. Enjoy.

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Day 1 Photos – 9/13/2003

The photos above were taken on the road from the airport to the hotel. As you can see, I went a little scenery crazy, but it was just beautiful. Words really can’t describe it, and to be honest with you, neither do the photos.

The Hilton Waikoloa is split into 5 towers each with their own guest rooms, and these shots are from the base of our tower.

The right two photos above are of a lagoon that Amanda and I went snorkeling at. Absolutely breathtaking marine life, and coral. We even got to meet a couple of sea turtles up close and personal!

I didn’t realize before I went, but on the Big Island it rains pretty much every day… on one half of the island. The two left photos were taken seconds apart, the first looking to the East, and the second looking to the West. Not sure if the photos make it clear, but the East was VERY dark, and the West looked nice and sunny.

Day 2 Photos – 9/14/2003

These are photos of one of the 7 pools at the resort. The resort itself sits on over 50 acres, while this pool is “only” 7 or so.

Day 3 Photos – 9/15/2003

As you’ll soon see, this was a big picture day. Amanda went swimming with the dolphins at the resort.

After the dolphin encounter, Yours Truly hit the pool. That’s me in the waterfall! You just gotta love the ol “hold the camera and take your own picture” routine don’t ya?

We did manage to find a nice couple to take a photo of us. However, he did manage to mess it up and take two photos.

We decided that we just couldn’t go to Hawaii without playing some golf, so off to the links we went! Check out that form! Watch out Tiger, we’re coming for ya.

Running the risk of sounding really sappy, the sunsets were absolutely breathtaking. A swim with the dolphins, a dip in the pool, a round of golf and 49 pictures later, it’s time for a nice relaxing evening having dinner right on the ocean.

Day 4 Photos – 9/16/2003

With our huge picture day behind us, Amanda and I decided to take it easy. The beach pictured above is considered the best on the Big Island.

See that speck in the water? That’s me. My Baby Doll hadn’t quite figured out the ol zoom feature quite yet. A good ol Japanese dinner finished off a relaxing day.

Day 5 Photos – 9/17/2003

We started off the day with a leisurely breakfast at a cute little coffee shop at the resort. Don’t know if I mentioned it, but this place was huge… They had a monorail and boats just to transport you around the resort!

Well, you can’t go to Hawaii and not attend a Luau, so we did just that. The photos didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, but believe me when I say that it was a fun time. The Mai Tais were flowing freely, and the pork was amazing!

Day 6 Photos – 9/18/2003

Neither Amanda nor I had ever been up in a helicopter before. Let me tell you, there’s something about moving from left to right and then coming to a complete stop hovering in mid-air that does strange things to one’s stomach!

The Earth’s most massive volcano, Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet.

With our feet planted firmly back on ground, we set out to these majestic waterfalls.

Photos taken at the Hawaiian Volcanic National Park. Sure these just look like a big hole in the ground, but scroll down to see some really cool stuff!

As you can see, this was some pretty rough terrain. The lava had completely covered the road in most places, but there were a couple of places where you could “pull up some pavement” and have a seat.

Happy Birthday to you… Happy Birthday to you… Happy Birthday dear Earth… Happy Birthday to you. You’re currently looking at the newest Earth on, well, Earth.

We were just about to leave to start on our 1.5 mile hike back, when the eruption pictured in the far right photo above began. Too cool. I mean hot.

What an awesome experience. Truly once in a lifetime.

Black sand beaches are created when lava flows directly into the ocean. The lava cools rapidly when it hits the cool water turning into glass. Constant beatings from the waves turn the glass into black volcanic sand.

Day 7 Photos – 9/19/2003

Day 7 started with a quick trip from The Big Island to the beautiful island of Maui. I tell you, these people know how to live.

As you can plainly see, sitting under palm trees drinking Mai Tai’s and Pina Coladas gave Amanda and I plenty of time to get creative with the camera!

Day 8 Photos – 9/20/2003

Thank God for Verizon. The pic above with my “thumbs up” sign was taken on a beach one morning on Maui. I was making phone calls to my buddy Dave in VA [checking on Hurricane Isabel damage] and my brother Mark in OH. Clear as day! By the way, Donkey Balls are chocolate covered macadamia nuts… sickos.

Back on the Big Island now enjoying our last Hawaiian sunset 🙁

A new room for our last night in Hawaii. Hilton Honors definitely has its perks!

Day 9 Photos – 9/21/2003

This is the beginning of a stretch where I was awake for 31 hours. Not a whole lot of fun, but these views from our room make it worth it.

That’s right folks, donkey crossings. Other photos in this row include the world’s most beautiful airport. That’s right, open air, the breeze, the ocean and the tarmac. Time to get going back to DC. Thanks for taking a look at our photos.

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