The Mallers Do Hawaii
Molten lava, snuba, humidity, wildlife, overpriced food, noxious volcano fumes, giant spiders, rain forests, sand in our butts, sunblock in our food, magnificent sunsets, predawn gratuitous child activity, twelve rolls of Kodak's finest, thirty megabytes of JPEGs, forty minutes of video, a new taste for science fiction, a hunger for anything familiar from home, hilarious hammock escapades, a dolphin encounter, runny eggs, and delicious's all here.

Click on any of the images below to see a larger picture.

All the pictures on this page were taken with my Olympus D-600L digital camera
then cropped, resized and cleaned up in Adobe Photoshop on my Macintosh

If you'd like to see some analog photography taken with my film camera during the trip, you can see it here. The images on that page are nice and very high quality, but I haven't gotten around to writing any stories about them.

On June 13, 1998, Steve, Doreen, Max and Sammy went to Hawaii. We traveled aboard United Airlines flight 41 from San Francisco to Kona.

We had a few anxious moments wondering whether Doreen would actually make it. Because of a scheduling snafu (all parties have pledged to remain blameless), Doreen was listed as standby on the flight. Max and Sam were justifiably nervous, but they managed to keep themselves busy nonetheless.

Well, Doreen did make it onboard (it helps to be a Mileage Plus Premier big-shot!), and after five relatively uneventful hours, we finally landed in Kona, Hawaii.

Hawaii is also known as "The Big Island", and for good reason; it would easily accomodate all the other Hawaiian islands, with room to spare. The weather there is interesting; it rains quite a bit, and the temperature never really changes much. It's always about 70-80 degrees F.

After checking into our hotel, we immediately set about exploring the landscape. The best description I could come up with was "brazilian rainforest, with a little bit of mars thrown in".

Max and Sammy did their level best to get themselves in tip-top sunbathing shape. We did our best to see what we could that first day, but we didn't make it too far.

By nightfall, the boys were exhausted. I awoke, sweating profusely (the humidity is intense) at around 2:00 AM, and found the kids splayed out on their bed. I found my camera and took this picture before rearranging them, turning up the air conditioner, and going back to sleep.

The next morning, we awoke and resumed our exploration of the island. This day, we endeavored to circumnavigate the entire island. This is more difficult than it sounds, especially with two small kids. The island is approximately 4,000 square miles, or about six hours' drive all the way around.

One of our first stops was some waterfalls. One of the most fascinating things about the big island is the variation in climate, flora and fauna. It was raining when we got there. We found trees that looked like Jim Henson creations, and this awesome spider, who was about three inches long.

One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to Volcanoes National Park, at the southern end of the island. This is a magnificent venue, highlighted by the breathtaking (literally) activity that goes on day and night around the still very active volcanoes. While there, we walked over lava fields that in some cases were younger than us (even some that were still warm and hissing), and explored some of the most interesting and bizarre natural formations we've ever seen. Here Sammy explores what appears to be one of Godzilla's footprints.

For weeks prior to leaving for Hawaii, Max and I were talking about surfing, and body-surfing in particular. He developed a peculiar fascination with it. Now, if ever there was a kid who was built for body surfing, it is my eldest son.

After quick lessons on fluid dynamics, physics, the proper height of one's swimsuit, and the correct pronunciation of "cowabunga", I grabbed my camera and recorded Max's first (somewhat successful) attempt at body-surfing. I must say we were pleased, and he looks ready to carry forth his father's mantle as this family's Big Kahuna.

As our vacation progessed, we got more and more adventurous, and found some beautiful beaches. One of our favorite discoveries was a small beach right next door to our hotel. The hike to it was an easy 15 minutes along a well-worn path, but it took us by some breathtaking venues. The impact of these sights is still fresh in my mind. They are simply beyond words. That's why I took so many pictures. :-)

One of the most pleasant adventures we took was towards the end of our vacation. Driving north from our hotel, we went off the main road in a few places and discovered some wonderful things. There was a breathtaking overlook along the coast that provided one of those "gee whiz" moments that defied photographs (although that didn't stop me). There was also the little village of Kohala along the highway that looked like something that the movie studios would build for a period piece on early Hawaii (or the wild west). We had lunch there and picked up a few souvenirs, too.

The "quality time" we were all able to spend together was priceless. Watching our children thriving and experiencing something special together provided us with some great parental moments.

Doreen commemorated our time together by weaving the kids each a "friendship bracelet". She's such a peasant! :-) This vacation is one we'll treasure for a long time.

Thanks for visiting...

people have seen this page since June 23, 1998.
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