Travel Journal: June 16 – 22, 2016: The Big Island of Hawai’i

Locations: Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Kilauea Crater, Hapuna Beach, Mauna Kea Beach, Wai’ale Falls, Rainbow Falls, Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden, Akaka Falls, Lava Tree State Park, Pohoiki Warm Pond, Kehena Black Sand Beach, Pahoa, Kahalu’u Beach, Honaunau Bay aka “Two Step”

This trip was one of the best things to ever happen to me. I don’t even know how to talk about it. Every day, I said “this is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen” and I meant it. Everything looks like every postcard and movie, which is such a boring way to describe it, but it is that beautiful. All of the time. I cried so many tears of JOY. I’m beyond grateful for my mom so generously taking both Brie and I. Before I went, I thought there was no way I could ever do something like this, financially, but I now know it’s totally possible. The travel bug is buzzing me to death and all I want to do is go back to Hawai’i. Maybe, Kauai next time.

I’ve let too much time go by and I did too much to adequately detail, anyway, so this is more of a photo journal. I only had six days and I managed to explore nearly the entire island, which I feel so good about. If I had more time, I would’ve spent it lounging on the beaches I fell in love with instead of knocking out as many as we could. Not a very bitter regret.

Thursday, June 16: After one red-eye and one delayed flight, we arrive! Here we are enjoying our first Hawai’ian sunset and counting our lucky stars.

Jetlagged and happy. Me, Brie, my mom and nephew, Vincent.

Friday, June 17: Punalu’u Black Sand Beach & Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

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Kilauea Crater steaming with lava!

A post shared by Jenny Bruso (@unlikelyhikers) (@jennybruso) on

Saturday, June 18: Hapuna Beach and Mauna Kea Beach

Loompya, spam masubi, short ribs, mac salad. We ate this no less than three times.

Sunday, June 19: Wai’ale Falls, Rainbow Falls, Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden.

On our drive back to Kona, we stopped to watch the sun as it was beginning to set and this beautiful horse came right over to Brie and gave her all kinds of love.

Monday, June 20: Akaka Falls, Lava Tree State Park, Pohoiki Warm Pond, Kehena Black Sand Beach, Pahoa

Akaka Falls split me open. There are three rainbows in this!

Tropical fruit stand real life daydream scenarios

Brie and I were definitely not mature enough to handle all of these crazy lava dick tree casts at Lava Tree State Park in Pahoa, Puna.

Brie at Pohoiki Warm Pond


Tuesday, June 21: Kahalu’u Beach and Honaunau Bay aka “Two Step” in Kona

8 thoughts on “Travel Journal: June 16 – 22, 2016: The Big Island of Hawai’i

  1. So absolutely fantastic! Where would you recommend staying on the island? What are your favorite snorkel spots? What’s the most jungle-y area? QUESTIONS! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mel! I am so unnerved by how long I’ve taken to respond to this. I’m sorry! And now I’m finding it so hard to answer these questions because I want to make about a thousand addendums and qualifiers. I loved the entire island so much! I stayed in Kona, but I would recommend staying in Hilo. Honestly, I’m kind of happy I stayed in Kona because it meant I got to drive more and see more of the island. Like, there are parts I might not have made it to, otherwise. Hilo is very jungly, though there are pockets of jungle all over the island. The northwest side and the center of the island are the more arid areas.

      Hilo is closer to a lot of the things I wanted to see. Waterfalls, botanical gardens, etc.

      As for snorkeling, I only went to the two places I posted about and would absolutely recommend both, but mayber Two-Step a hair more. Both places are in Kona, but I imagine there is great snorkeling in many parts of the island.

      I would def recommend visiting Pahoa, Puna which is near Hilo. It’s where more gays and hippies live and it’s also near the black sand gay/hippie beach (small, but a very sauvies feel. Not actually sure how many gay people were there). It’s a super rough beach, though.


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