Hi! I have just a minute to check in but wanted to give an honest review of the Big Island. It was beautiful and we had a great time. I'd definitely go back again! I think there are lots of things my kids would love.

We really liked the rainy side of the island, although we stayed in Kona. DH and I have discussed how we'd get to see a little more of it and would consider staying a few days in Hilo to facilitate that if we did another trip. We liked the diversity of the plants and the waterfalls were gorgeous!

Disclaimer. I'm going to spell everything wrong here. I was so uninvolved in planning on this trip that a lot of the names are based on memory of people mentioning them. Like I did none of the planning. Or driving, lol. That's a point of contention of its own but I won't get into it here!

We were a little limited in what we could do on this particular trip because we were only there for five days and for FOUR of those we had a surf advisory. That was a little rough for our plans TBH. We had to cancel our Manta Ray snorkel adventure and we barely fit in our Captain Cook snorkel adventure. (Like we did it on our very last day but found ourselves running to catch our plane!) We were unable to hike to Pololu?? (sp?) because it was slippery due to rain and the staff near the parking said it was unadvised (and I'm an annoying rule follower, lol). Even Hapuna (sp? the sandy beach) was closed because of the surf.

The snorkeling was AMAZING though! (Although I was cold but that's typical for me!) We entered on lava rock and it was a little tricky to do. I feel like I remember being able to wander off the sandy beach to snorkel in Maui but it has admittedly been 24 years since I've been there!

On that same note, it was kind of not what I was expecting or secretly hoping for in many respects. We stayed in a really nice condo and that part was nice! BUT we were pretty far from a beach and REALLY far from the white sandy beach I thought I'd be able to spend the whole week on. We visited a few beaches that would be considered "sandy" and none of them were really walkable from where we were staying. My favorite was Kua Bay but it was actually pretty small. I think if i had realized that from the beginning I'd have less of that feeling of disappointment? I was just expecting a Kaanapali resort and instead it was a luxury condo north of Kona and they're just very different!

If you guys want I can talk about a few more places that we visited, food we had that we liked (the food was excellent and affordable this trip!), or even dynamics of a 12 person vacation. Let me know what else you'd like to hear!