After deplaning we walked through the Kona airport which hasn’t changed in the eleven years since we were there, even after 911 and all the security changes. Right before baggage claim we are greeted with leis, flower ones for Jim and I and candy ones for Jack and Will. The candy leis kept them happy while we navigated a way to long line and wait to get our rental car.
I wasn’t sure what to expect at the Hilton Waikoloa. I knew it was going to be big, but I didn’t realize how big. When I checked us in they were able to upgrade us to a nicer, larger room, but again I wasn’t sure what to expect. We took the tram (yes, they have a tram) to our tower and as we walked down the hall we saw double doors. Yes, those were ours. We had 1.5 bathrooms, 5 lanais, a huge sitting area, a big master and views of both the golf course and the ocean.
Jack was so anxious to go swimming that he practically jumped out of his clothes as we walked in the door. Will took a short nap to get him through the evening and then I took him down to the pool too. We went to the Kohala pool which has 3 water slides, 2 small ones that Will could go on and a bigger faster one that Jack loved.
I was worried that the boys wouldn’t transition to Hawaii time, but we kept them up until after 8:30 on the first night, even though Jack was almost falling asleep at dinner. They did great and slept until almost 7 the next morning.
Since this was one of our only days we didn’t have anything scheduled we thought we would go see Hapuna State Park Beach. It was a great beach that was nice and shallow. Will liked walking into the waves and didn’t even mind when they knocked him down. Jack got to try boogie boarding. We played in the sand, enjoyed the waves and tried to stay out of the sun. After lunch Jack and Jim went to explore another pool, the Kona pool with a waterfall and kids sand bottom pool. Unfortunately the waterslide was cracked and not open. Will and I joined them after his nap and played until it was dinner time.
Tuesday morning we met Yaya and Papa (my parents, who were there for a family friend’s wedding) for breakfast before swimming with the dolphins. Will and Yaya did the Wee Tots program and then Jim, Jack and I got to do our Deluxe Encounter. Yaya and Papa watched Will during our program. I have always loved dolphins and couldn’t wait for this. It was so cool. We got to touch them, kiss them and give them commands. At one point they have you float in the water and the dolphins swim back and forth underneath you. Through the mask it looked like they were going to hit you. Definitely a highlight of the trip.
After our amazing experience we had lunch on the deck at the Lagoon Grill, where the wind decided to kick up. It was like clockwork everyday at 11:45 the wind came up and it was windy through the afternoon before it calmed down again. Once we had some good burgers (Jim and Papa actually had lobster burgers) we tried out the Lagoon, a salt water fed pool that has fish and turtles in it. Jim and Jack rented a paddle boat that Jack was too short to reach the peddles and Will and I played on the shore. That evening we got to have a home cooked meal at Yaya and Papa’s condo with their group. It was fun to see friendly faces.
Wednesday morning Jim and I got to go golfing. Jack went to Camp Menehune and Will had Jen the babysitter. We needed to play quickly to make it back for our sunset cruise, but halfway through the round we got a call that they were canceling the cruise due to the wind and heavy surf. The Beach Course at Waikoloa was in pretty lousy condition. There were weeds growing in the traps and greens that were pretty dead. It didn’t help that we were behind a slow 4-some, but any day on the golf course is nice. Jack had a great day at Camp and Jen took Will all over the property.
After taking the boys swimming for a bit we got cleaned up and headed to dinner and then turned in early because we had a big trip the next day. We were headed to Volcano National Park, but that is for the next post.