Big Island Family Vacation.
At the end of April and beginning of May, we were able to take a family vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii. It's hard to believe but that was our first week-long vacation in years. We usually head away for a few nights here or there. The last time we went away was after Christmas when we went to Palm Springs (see all of our fun adventures from that trip here and here).
One of our resolutions as a family for 2018 was to take more time for ourselves, take time to really get away, and find ways to recharge. Heading to Hawaii was the best way to do that and we can't wait to go back! We decided that we're going to take a vacation every year around the end of April/beginning of May and always have it scheduled on the calendar so it happens.
We've been keeping an eye on the news about the volcano on the Big Island because we left the day before the big earthquake and all of the volcanic activity.
When trying to decide where to travel for our family vacation we knew it was going to be a domestic trip since we are restricted where we can travel because of Zika warnings. I've been really wanting to take Jesse and Lillian to Florida. I went to Miami a few years ago and have been itching to get back!! There are so many beautiful places in Florida!
We were thrilled to go to Hawaii and wanted to mix it up. Jesse and I had been to Oahu separately with our families, we went to Maui for our honeymoon and we went to Oahu with my family when Lillian was 8 months old. I had heard great things about the Big Island and thought, why not?
When we landed and I looked at the window of the plane and saw black lava rock everywhere I thought to myself, "omg I have made a terrible mistake. We should have gone to Maui!" We had a very informative cab driver from the airport to our hotel and he told us that the Big Island has 11 microclimates and you can swim on the beach, snowboard down the mountains, and there are even goats that blend in with the lava. It's the island with the most local vibe and it takes seven hours to drive around it. Most of the island is completely covered in black lava rock and most of the beaches at the hotel are man-made.
The more time we spent on the island, the more I realized we had made a great choice to stay on the Big Island. We stayed on the properties most of the time but it would have been great to go ATV-ing or ziplining or explore but with a toddler and pregnant mom we were thrilled to just relax. Next time we go to Hawaii we will definitely do two islands- it's 33 miles from the Big Island to Maui to it's a 15 minute flight!
We stayed for four nights at the Hilton Waikoloa Village and two nights at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. I did a good amount of research and settled on these two hotels because the Hilton is so family friendly and has everything you need on its 64-acre property. The Mauna Kea is the most magical place on the Big Island and I can't wait to go back there. I am going to do an entire post on the Mauna Kea because it's so special and I want to share the details of our experience.
It was so nice to have a relaxed schedule and not have to worry about getting Lillian dressed and out the door for school. We loved the warm nights, memories we made and can't recommend a family vacation if you're on the fence!