Our Big Island adventure started with changing our plane ticket. Instead of leaving in the afternoon and giving ourselves only enough time to check in and shop for supplies, we decided to head out around 7:30. This was no small feat with four kids and a full day of soccer to start our spring break off right. Plus, it was Mr. Jack’s birthday. (I’m a bad blogger. I’m just realizing I never wrote about his big day.) We had a small family party and promised a ride on an airplane bright and early. He was super excited for a plane ride for his birthday. He asked if we were going to Kentucky…not yet. We’ll have to save the ride for later.
If you ever make a trip to any Hawaiian island, I suggest you pick up a Revealed book. I think there is one for every island.
I bought this one a few months back but of course waited until the last possible second to go through it. It provides a list of drivable routes, where to stop, what to do and eat. It makes planning your vacation much easier. Between that and having friends with family on the Big Island, I felt pretty set.
After loading up at Costco and checking into our timeshare we threw on our swim gear just in case and headed out. I really wanted to see Kealakekua Bay and the Captain Cook monument. We headed that way first. Captain Cook was the man who brought Christianity to Hawaii. It is an interesting story. I would have loved to paddle the bay over to his monument but we were there in the very late afternoon with four kids and no kayak…
This is the heiau that was built when Captain Cook performed a funeral service. This was also marks the moments when the Hawaiian’s figured out Cook was not a god, only a mortal. It eventually leads to his demise. The story is quite fascinating.
One more thing about the heiaus and the walls…there are places where the walls are just stacked lava rock, no mortar and they are impressively solid and very scary at the same time, especially when there are four kids who think walls were made for climbing over. Luckily there were kapu signs everywhere. (keep out)
Speaking of kapu… before Cook arrived the Hawaiians were governed by a Kapu system. It essentially meant there were tons of rules. If you broke one, you were marked for death. The only way out of it was to get to Pu’uhonua o Honaunau. This was the Place of Refuge. If you got inside the gates, there were priests who could cleanse you and remove the mark of death. Rules were things like, women couldn’t eat with me… if a chief’s shadow fell on you… stuff like that. This totally freaked the kids out. Why on earth would they kill you for that? The theory was that their gods would cause a tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruptions…you get the drift if you broke a law. Ray’s theory is one morning the chief’s shadow touched a commoner and an earthquake happened. They decided that they only way to prevent it was this way… I think the kings also became power hungry and just started making stuff up, but that was a very long time ago.
Our next stop was Pu’uhonua o Honaunau or Place of Refuge. I’m so glad we stopped and a little sorry we didn’t decide to snorkel at the nearby spot. The sun was going down and the water was so clear we could see a school of bright yellow fish.
The sun was starting to set and we moved on to a small little Catholic church known as Painted Church. It was so serene and peaceful. A priest painted almost every surface on the inside of the church to depict different stories. Although, I did question his interpretation of Cain being marked. Now that I’m thinking about it, I need to reread that story.
You would think that was enough adventure for one afternoon, but we got back to our room to fix dinner and Mr. Jack lost his first tooth.