A Travellerspoint blog

Flying to the Big Island

Volcano and Volcano National Park


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2010 Yellowstone and Hawaii & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

June 26, 2010 Dis-embarking

I had asked for the 9:15 disembarkation time (just about the last time I could get) so I went up to the restaurant for breakfast and met the lady that I had lunch with before. She was getting off earlier and they came for her with a wheelchair. After breakfast I went back to the room.

I called the FedEx 800 number for an address that I could mail the bag and she said she could not give me an address unless I gave her a zip code. She looked under Honolulu and said there were no Fed Ex offices there. My grandson googled Honolulu zips on his phone, and I gave her two of them at which point she gave me an address on Queen Street.

About 8:30 we went down to the Pink Champagne Bar and got a wheelchair and they wheeled me out and we got our luggage. No customs or immigration. He took us out and secured us a cab (everyone else had to wait their turn).

I told the driver the address and went in and mailed the suitcase with all my dirty clothes which cost me $104.00. The cab dropped us off at the airport and I tried to get a boarding pass and get my grandson's bag checked, but was given a severe talking too by the counter person for Hawaiian because they don't issue boarding passes more than 4 hours in advance and she berated me for being 4 hours too early.
Ticket counters

Ticket counters


So I sat in the wheelchair until 1 am and waited.

My grandson tried various ploys to get something to eat,
Grandson studying the airport map

Grandson studying the airport map


but all the eating places were on the other side of security. At 1300 the wheelchair guy came back and got my grandson's suitcase checked and got our boarding passes (they weighed our carry-ons too) and then we went through security to wait at the gate. My grandson got us each a piece of cheese pizza, and me a chocolate chip cookie and himself a brownie. He also had a root beer.

The flight took off at 1700
100_6105.jpgTaking off

Taking off

Pride of America at the dock in Honolulu

Pride of America at the dock in Honolulu

large_100_6109.jpg
and we flew over Diamond Head,
Inside the Diamond Head crater

Inside the Diamond Head crater


but my photo is out of focus.
Remote beach

Remote beach


We landed at 1735

100_6122.jpg
and we got the checked bag, and went to car rental and I had a red Kia Spectra by 1800.
Red Kia Spectra

Red Kia Spectra


The rental car exit lady told us where we could go to McDonalds, so we did that. my grandson got the #10 (fish sandwich) and I got two plain burgers and water. I set out to drive the 2.5 to 3 hours up to the Volcanoes National Park. On the map it looked like the park was about equidistant between the two airports, but it is much closer to Hilo. It was possibly a mistake to fly to Kona, although on the other hand the area around the Kona airport is much more rural and easier to navigate.

The Volcano House (the equivalent of the Old Faithful Inn) was closed for renovations
Volcano House

Volcano House


and I did not know whether I could stay at the military cottages without my husband, so we made a reservation at one of the houses in the Chalet Kilauea Collection. This is a collection of guest houses and lodges throughout the area.

When we arrived, we had first to find the main office (the Inn at Volcano is the headquarters) and pick up a key and get directions (This is at a different location than we are staying). It was really dark, so that was a tiny bit difficult. It was seven tenths of a mile down Wright Road

The confirmation email letter said:

***Check Out : 11:00AM

  • **Cancellation/Change Policy, Early Departures, Etc. : The following percentages apply to the entire stay indicated above with extra person charges, if applicable. For a cancellation submitted MORE than 72-hours from arrival (based on a 3pm HST arrival), 0% penalty. For a cancellation submitted LESS than 72-hours from arrival (based on a 3pm HST arrival), 100% penalty.

Changes to this reservation are not possible. Should your travel plans change, please cancel this reservation, honoring the above penalties, and then re-book your reservation.

Early departures will not generate any refunds

The Lokahi Lodge was regular house on narrow (one lane) road. It is very close to the park entrance so it is convenient.
Road to the house the next morning

Road to the house the next morning


We were supposed to take our shoes off outside the door. We had two keys - one was for the house door which we were supposed to keep locked
Shoes outside the door

Shoes outside the door


and one was for the room door. There was a red wood stove
x100_6130.jpg
and a big common room with a full kitchen.
Common Room

Common Room


Kitchen

Kitchen

I couldn't get the car key out of the ignition when I parked - I tried stepping on the brake and turning the wheel - nothing worked.

Our room was the Olena Room.
y100_6134.JPGx100_6135.jpg
The room had a TV with a lot more channels than on the cruise ship and
Exterior  door

Exterior door


an exterior door to the veranda, and a somewhat old fashioned bathroom.
x100_6131.jpgy100_6132.jpg
There was also a dehumidifier which at first I thought was a heater. It was a bit cold and I got a blanket out of the closet for my bed. When I registered the next day, they told me that additional blankets were in the hall closet.

After we got settled and used the bathroom, I went out into the common room to send emails, and got into a conversation with some men who had been playing a game. One of them went out to the car with me and said I didn't have it all the way in Park.

I found out that they were engineers from Taiwan who had a conference in Honolulu and had come over to the Big Island for a day or two. I told them that there was wi-fi in the lobby (and actually it worked in our room too) and they said no that there was just a computer set-up there.
Computer set-up

Computer set-up


I insisted that there was wi-fi, so one of them tracked down the router, and then they agreed that I was right and there was wi-fi. I thought that was sort of amusing. The result was that I didn't get any emails written.

June 27, 2010

I had to go register at the place where we got the key,
Main office of the hotel

Main office of the hotel

so I did that and added breakfast ($6.00 @) to the bill. They had juice, cold cereal (including some that my grandson liked), fruit (pineapple, mango and orange slices), bread to toast, bagels and cream cheese, and then they had Hawaiian bread in plain, poi and mango flavors. He thought it was flavorless, but I liked it. They also had Hawaiian bread pudding.
Buffet breakfast

Buffet breakfast

We got to the park entrance about 9:30, and went in for free on my Golden Age passport - normal entrance fee is $10/vehicle good for 7 days.
x100_6158.JPGEntrance fees

Entrance fees

100_6150.jpg
100_6147.JPGUS flag and Hawaii state flag at the Visitor's center

US flag and Hawaii state flag at the Visitor's center

Stephen Mather plaque

Stephen Mather plaque

Roosevelt's Tree Army (CCC)

Roosevelt's Tree Army (CCC)

We went to the Visitor's Center (which we had not been to on the ship excursion) and saw the NPS film and looked around at the exhibits. My grandson took several photos of the petroglyphs
Man with a canoe paddle

Man with a canoe paddle

Green sea turtle

Green sea turtle

Man on a horse after 1803

Man on a horse after 1803

Goat

Goat


Ranger talk

Ranger talk


I found from talking to one of the rangers that there would be a ranger led walk to the Kilauea Crater that morning at about 10:30, so my grandson did that.
231c7300-ce1a-11ea-b20a-3d451dd1bb7d.JPG1ca35840-ce1a-11ea-b20a-3d451dd1bb7d.JPGUS Geological Survey Bench Mark

US Geological Survey Bench Mark

Photos from the ranger walk

Photos from the ranger walk

I hung around the Visitor's Center.
Rain Forest ecosystem

Rain Forest ecosystem

Woodlands ecosystem

Woodlands ecosystem

Upland forest ecosystem

Upland forest ecosystem

Alpine ecosystem

Alpine ecosystem


He got back about 11:20, and it was almost time for lunch, so we left the park and went into the town of Volcano. No McDonalds here.

I stopped at a general store/cafe place and decided to look in the store first and get something for breakfast the next morning. He picked out a package of cold cereal (which he eats without milk), and got a coke, and I got a muffin. Then I saw that they had hot dogs and also hamburgers, so he got a hamburger and I got a hot dog which we ate on the way back to the park.

We drove all the way down to the end (where it was closed by a lava flow) of Chain of Craters Road
End of the road

End of the road


Coastline

Coastline


We got out and walked to the Holei Sea Arch.
Hazardous coastline

Hazardous coastline


It was just a short walk but the surface was VERY uneven and it was very hot and sunny so it was hard for me.
Lava at the end of the road

Lava at the end of the road


Lava on the ground near the sea arch

Lava on the ground near the sea arch



Holei Sea Arch

Holei Sea Arch

Foot of the arch

Foot of the arch

y100_6797.jpgSurf at the sea arch

Surf at the sea arch


I wanted to see the arch because a similar arch in Aruba has collapsed and that is always a danger with these kinds of formations, although this one looks like it is pretty study.
Grandson's photo of the sea arch

Grandson's photo of the sea arch


There were signs all over the place about warning of an unstable coastline - I saw people deliberately go up to those signs.
Cliffs may Collapse

Cliffs may Collapse


One of the guides pointed out a big deep crack across the trail and said that might be the next bit to fall into the sea.
Danger sign and crack

Danger sign and crack


large_100_6167.jpg

When I got back to the car, I could not get it to move out of Park. I tried everything I could think of - stepping on the brake, turning the wheel etc. Eventually I got out and rocked the car and then I could get it to shift. I found this unsettling.

My grandson wanted to see the petroglyphs which were also at the bottom of the Chain of Craters Road, so we went to that location
Sign at the start of the trail

Sign at the start of the trail


and I let him go.
x100_6172.jpgWalking off on the trail to see petroglyphs

Walking off on the trail to see petroglyphs


It was a very long trail and hot and sunny. He disappeared into the lava field. I started to worry that he didn't have water, sunscreen or a hat, but he came back unscathed with photos.

100_6805.jpg100_6808.JPG7f699220-ce1d-11ea-8b03-d3c2a5bb7fbc.JPG100_6813.jpg100_6814.JPG83c487d0-ce1d-11ea-8b03-d3c2a5bb7fbc.JPG100_6819.JPG100_6818.JPG832ded20-ce1d-11ea-ab92-e39cd8419786.JPGPetroglyph - Triangular man

Petroglyph - Triangular man

I had not turned the car off so I wouldn't have trouble with the transmission.
100_6197.jpgRim of Craters drive

Rim of Craters drive

100_6181.jpgStart of the Naulu trail

Start of the Naulu trail


Picnic ares

Picnic ares


We got up to the rainforest section and it was, of course, raining. He wanted to do a Kilauea Iki trail which he said would loop back to the parking lot. But he went to the steam vent first which wasn't what he wanted.
x100_6159.jpgSteam vent

Steam vent


In the meantime, I called Alamo to report the transmission problems. I told the lady that I was just leaving the car in neutral and she wanted to know how I got the keys out of the ignition and I said that I didn't. At this point my grandson came back and signaled to me that he was going down another trail.

Grandson starts off on the Kilauea Iki Crater Rim Trail

Grandson starts off on the Kilauea Iki Crater Rim Trail


After I finished with the rental car lady, I waited a little bit, but he did not come back to the car. So I phoned him.
6968a2e0-ce1d-11ea-8b03-d3c2a5bb7fbc.JPGKilauea Iki trail

Kilauea Iki trail

Plants on the Kilauea Iki Trail

Plants on the Kilauea Iki Trail

Volcano vent on the Kilauae Iki trail

Volcano vent on the Kilauae Iki trail

66175500-ce1d-11ea-8b03-d3c2a5bb7fbc.JPGKilauea Iki trail

Kilauea Iki trail


He said the trail would come out at the Visitor's Center and it was raining harder and I should go to the Visitor's Center to pick him up. So I did, and we went back to the hotel for him to dry out. He hung up his jeans and shirt to dry.

After we took him back to the lodge and dried him out, it was time for dinner. It was raining still and dark by this time. I asked him whether he had ever had Thai food which tends to be spicy. He said he was OK with that, so we went to the Thai Thai Restaurant.
Village Center shops

Village Center shops


This restaurant was in a building with a TruValue, a laundromat, an art/gift store and an ATM. We parked down at the TruValue end.

I ordered cranberry juice to drink and it came with a blossom in it.
x100_6215.jpg
I wasn't sure whether to eat it or not. I also got Yellow Curry which is one of the milder ones and has potato in it. It came with rice.
Yellow Curry

Yellow Curry


I suggested that my grandson try a mild beef noodle soup which came in a very big bowl.
6a9981c0-ce1d-11ea-8b03-d3c2a5bb7fbc.JPGBeef noodle soup - mild

Beef noodle soup - mild


He didn't make very big inroads into the soup as he was having trouble with the noodles - they were slippery. We each tried the other one's food

I wanted to order coconut ice cream which I knew he wouldn't want so I suggested that he try coffee ice cream and he said he liked that.
Kona coffee ice cream

Kona coffee ice cream


We drove back to the Jaggar Museum where you can look into the crater and at night you can see the red lava bubbling away there. My grandson went to take photos but I stayed with the car because I couldn't lock it, and I was afraid to leave it when I couldn't put it in park. He got some good photos.
Hot lava at night

Hot lava at night


I looked at my Hawaiian Airlines schedule again and it came up with a time of 11:45 that the plane was supposed to leave, but there was no printer with the computer set-up so I couldn't print out my boarding pass. Actually - unlike AA, Hawaiian does not allow you to print out your boarding pass more than 4 hours in advance.

I put my phone on to charge as I had been using it, but didn't turn it off. I also got a blanket from the hall closet for my grandson's bed (I had been using the one in the room closet and it was cold). The machine we had thought might be a heat was in fact a de-humidifier.

I had my grandson set the alarm for 6:00 because the time I had for the flight to Honolulu was 11:45. I wanted to get there in time to gas the car up and turn it in and still be there more than an hour before the flight. Actually the flight times had changed to 1400 and the website gave me the wrong times.

June 28, 2010 - Flying Around

At 0430, my phone rang. It took me so long to realize what was happening that I did not get to answer it. It was a number I did not recognize. Later when I tried to call it back it was always busy so I figure it was a mainland telemarketer.

We went down the mountain - there was a car following us that followed us almost all the way to the airport. Had I known two things

  • a) that the flight wasn't until 1400 and
  • b) that I couldn't check in more than 4 hours in advance,

then I would not have hurried and would have made some stops on the way. My grandson ate his cereal and I ate my muffin. He gave me the Apple Jacks (which he didn't want) and I put them in my pocket.

We got down to near the airport and I stopped to get gas. It took 9.5 gallons (I filled it way up because we weren't right at the airport) and he figured that was 30 mpg. We dropped the car at the Alamo place and I told them about the key problem. Then we had to carry our bags over to the shuttle - I went to the bathroom first. The shuttle driver dropped us off some distance from the terminal so I didn't tip him.

We got into the terminal at 9:55, and tried to print a boarding pass and the machine said I needed help. I still didn't know that Hawaiian didn't allow passes to be printed more than 4 hours before the flight and we were still 4 hours and 5 minutes before the flight. An airport employee asked if I needed help and I answered that according to their machine I did. So he got me a wheelchair and we went to the check-in desk. Of course by now it was less than 4 hours in advance of the flight, so we could not only check in but could print both boarding passes and check my grandsons bag.

They asked me if he could check in without me, and I said yes, so he went through the line by himself, and apparently they inspected his backpack (which was so heavy it nearly overbalanced him) and stirred the contents so that his gameboy was on the bottom instead of on top where he put it.

Meantime, they took me around back. The TSA lady removed all my stuff (hat, coat, shoes, Apple Jacks in my pocket, computer from computer bag, passport case and cane) and took them to be scanned. Then I had to stand up with my arms spread so the TSA lady could wand my front, and then turn around so she could wand the back and then stand with the right leg forward so she could wand that and then the left foot forward so that one could be wanded. Then we had to put me back together. I should have gone through with my grandson and just gotten up and walked through the scanner - he was finished long before I was.

They put my wheelchair in the shade at Gate 9. This airport doesn't have any interior rooms except the restaurant and gift shop. The rest of it is open to the outside with just a roof.
statues in the middle of the airport

statues in the middle of the airport


My grandson got himself a pretzel
100_6860.jpg
and was feeding bits to the bird.
100_6861.JPGBIrds in the airport

BIrds in the airport

large_100_6223.jpg
About 11:30, the wheelchair guy came and asked if I was ready to go - turned out he thought I was on the flight to Maui which was leaving from gate 9.
100_6226.JPGGates at Airport in Kona

Gates at Airport in Kona


When it got to be noon, J. went and got us hamburgers
large_100_6228.jpg
and went on feeding the bird his crumbs. I got up and walked to the bathrooms, leaving him with my stuff and filled my water bottle. At this point I saw the sign that said "Do not feed the birds" He tried to make the case that it was only not to feed the birds by the bathrooms, but I didn't buy it.
large_100_6234.jpg
On the plane, we had the choice of passion-orange-guava nectar or water to drink and no snack.
Juice

Juice


My grandson had water and had a bit of trouble getting his open.

We didn't fly over the Diamond Head lighthouse so I could take another picture, but we did see an aircraft carrier on the way in.
100_6236.jpg
It was dark when we took off to go back to DFW so I didn't get a chance then either.

I had a wheelchair to go from the Hawaiian gate over to where the AA airlines flight was to be. We also went through the agriculture inspection on the way. I found a plug and started to write up the trip, and then my grandson got hungry and bought us each a pizza.
100_6239.JPGTaking a photo of my pizza

Taking a photo of my pizza


He thought that it was funny that the name of the shop was the Kaina Chicken Company.
Chicken company sign

Chicken company sign

Airport Restroom in Honolulu

Airport Restroom in Honolulu

When we got on, we found that his backpack was so big that it would no longer go under the seat, so he put it in the overhead.
Airplane

Airplane


He wanted to find his Gameboy, but couldn't find it. So he watched the movie (Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakquil) and then slept. I wanted to have some food to take my pills with, so I asked for a chicken sandwich, but instead got a chicken salad which I really couldn't eat.
Chicken salad

Chicken salad


We could buy a blanket and pillow for $8.00, but I didn't.

I tried to take a photo of the full moon reflected in the plane wing, but did not get a very good one.
Full moon

Full moon


The lady in front of me had reclined her seat so I couldn't get stuff from around my feet. I could feel my ankles swelling.

Monday 29 June 2010

Landing DFW

Landing DFW


When we got to DFW, the wheelchair lady pushed us to baggage claim, but we didn't have to claim my grandson's bag because my daughter was there and had gotten it there already The wheelchair lady pushed me all the way to the garage, so I tipped her with all the change I had left.
Grandson collapses at home

Grandson collapses at home


My daughter dropped us at her house and I tried to do some computing but just fell asleep. I waked up and got some lunch but the house was completely silent. Bob wanted to know if I had gotten there, but I had just been too groggy to think of phoning.
Dresses I bought for my granddaughters in Hawaii

Dresses I bought for my granddaughters in Hawaii


Since my daughter was at a church camp all day her mother-in-law had us over to dinner
Family dinner

Family dinner


and our grandson had a chance to tell about the trip

Tuesday 30 June 2010

Then the next morning my daughter took my grandson to Strength camp (he missed the first day)
Dropping grandson off

Dropping grandson off


and dropped me at the airport. I got a wheelchair but when it came time to board, the wheelchair person did not appear, so I walked on.
Taking off from DFW

Taking off from DFW

Snacks on AA

Snacks on AA


River

River

large_100_6281.JPGComing in for a landing at BWI

Coming in for a landing at BWI


When we landed at BWI, I called Bob and he had his phone on and said he was just going into the parking garage. When we came out of the gate area, he was there but I didn't recognize him - he was wearing the shirt I got him in St. Kitts.

We had lunch at Jaspers on the way home.
42217730-ce26-11ea-af94-39e94cc2eaae.JPGJasper's kitchen

Jasper's kitchen

Crabcake and fries appetizer

Crabcake and fries appetizer


Crab cake appetizer

Crab cake appetizer

BBQ chicken quesadilla appetizer

BBQ chicken quesadilla appetizer


Key lime pie

Key lime pie

Ladies room

Ladies room


It has taken me a couple of days for my ankles to go down - I've lost 5 lbs since I got home and I think some of that is water. I found that Bob had completely forgotten to pick up my prescriptions that I phoned in before I left so I had to wait to this morning to phone the Pax pharmacy and re-order it. I also made an eye doctor appointment for Thursday and had my hair cut.

Sequel

We spent the rest of 2010 pretty close to home. We went out to dinner once a week. We went sailing on our boat. We went to the Oyster Festival. We drove up to our daughters for Thanksgiving.

Our next trip was a cruise out of Baltimore to the Bahamas and the Caribbean plus a road trip to Key West and out to see our grandchildren in Texas.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 13:36 Archived in USA Tagged volcano lava flights airports hawaii petroglyphs frisco

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

I would love to go to Hawaii one day but it's so far from here! The sea arch is impressive and I would really like seeing the petroglyphs :)

by ToonSarah

Can't you go the other way - through Japan or Thailand? Hawaii is about half way to Australia.

by greatgrandmaR

We could, but that's a very long way too! Japan is about ten hours from here

by ToonSarah

The usual route is via a US hub or Vancouver, taking about 17 hours altogether. Going via Japan would be longer - assuming a minimum 2 hour layover in Tokyo you're looking at 20 hours total

by ToonSarah

If I were going to Tokyo from here (Maryland) I'd probably go to San Francisco first. My mother on the way to Japan did it that way and then on the way home, they stopped in Hawaii for a couple of days. So everywhere the plane sets down, I'd stop for a few days to allow my ankles to unswell. :)

by greatgrandmaR

Yes, I'd need to do that - more to adjust to the time difference and have a break in all that sitting. Maybe now we're both retired we can consider it, as a longer trip is feasible :)

by ToonSarah

Before I retired I could handle the long flights and the time change. When I was working I would sometimes have to do a night shift right after a day shift (because the agency I worked for would not let us take time off before the night shift - this was very short sighted of them and I was lucky not to have an accident from going to sleep at the wheel on the way home.) As I get older, I become less able to adjust quickly. I know Bob doesnt sleep well on a plane, so I get first class tickets and don't tell him what they cost.

by greatgrandmaR

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Login