A little over a week ago I got an email from Aqua Hotels and Resorts letting me know that Volcano House would be opening on Friday, March 22nd, or at least partially opening. I checked my calendar and then asked Lynn if he’d like to go on Saturday, March 23rd… I already had the reservation made except for clicking on “Confirm”. Of course he was all over it because spending a night at Volcano House is something we have been wanting to do forever… and it has been closed as long as we have lived on the island.
So yesterday we headed out there for a little mini-adventure-staycation. Since we arrived a bit early we went into Volcano Village for provisions… you know, wine and snacks. Then we decided to go to Volcano House and see if we could check in early. We were a little disappointed that the lobby is not yet open. In fact, only 8 rooms are actually complete but every one of them was rented! Since Volcano House is perched on the crater rim right inside the national park the views of the caldera are amazing! We almost just plopped down on the couch and stared. But there would be time for that later. So we dropped our stuff and headed out to explore.
We’ve hiked many of the trails that snake Hawaii Volcanoes National Park but we still found new trails we hadn’t done before. We ended up doing several fairly modest hikes and then walked over to Jagger Museum. All in all we didn’t walk/hike much more than 8 miles or so. We had a really good time though, just the two of us laughing and talking as we discovered new things.
After getting back to Volcano House we cleaned up and headed over to Kilauea Lodge for some dinner. We didn’t make reservations so they punished us by sitting us at a table by the bar that had a lot of traffic from the staff. We hardly noticed though as food, conversation, atmosphere, everything was great. We shared a good bottle of Merlot, some really good fresh bread and we each had a spring greens salad with a herbed vinaigrette. I ordered the Safari Schnitzel (it was made with antelope) and Lynn got the Beef Paupiettes. Everything was amazing. We even ran into a friend from Kona who was there with her husband celebrating an anniversary.
Back at Volcano House we basically settled in to watch the red glow of the smokey crater and red skies reflected above. There were no TV’s… and it’d be a damn shame to stare at a TV with this going on outside your room! We brought a deck of cards but didn’t use them. We did do a nighttime hike to get some other vantage points but eventually turned back for fear of all of the 500 foot cliffs and cracks and holes in the ground that are filled with fire. LOL. We were on an established trail but only had our iPhones as flashlights and when batteries ran low we decided it was best to go back. We sat in front of that window for hours sipping wine, talking and watching that one of a kind view. We could even see it from bed and I laid there at several times during the night just watching.
This morning we had a light breakfast and did a few short hikes we had not done before (and didn’t even know they existed) before packing up and heading out. On the way back we drove like 19 miles up Mauna Loa… most of it bumpy curvy one-lane road… always an adventure. Stopped at Punaluu for the bathrooms and then back into Kona. It was a great quick trip that left us both with big smiles on our faces. We’ll do it again sometime after Volcano House opens all the way.