Folks should not underestimate how very cold and windy it gets up there, especially when its dark. You'll want your full winter clothes here -- gloves, parka, hat. Beautiful photos, Dr.Y. Brings back many special memories!
Great pictures, and great memories. This was our favorite part of Hawaii...especially the "end of the road" where the park highway suddenly comes to an end against a pile of lava from a few years ago. It's a big tourist attraction, yes, but it seemed much less so than many other places on the islands.
Thanks for the comment, PHeymont. It's a great destination partially because the tourist industry can't control it. The volcano will do what it wants and as the flow of lava over the road reminds us, we have little power to stop it.
Some folks might be fascinated by the place, PM, but I found it a disappointment. It would be at the bottom of my list of recommended things to do on the Big Island. And yes, the garden was a redeeming feature. The gift shop was tantalizing, but over-priced.
I wouldn't want to be accused of being anti-Hershey or anything (might be my prejudice about their barring the import of REAL Cadbury milk chocolate), but Hershey has a bad record on factory tours. They used to have a great one at their factory in Hershey, PA, but closed the tour about 25 years ago and replaced it with an amusement-style ride—a little like Small, Small World—that showed trees and natives and ships, and absolutely no sense of how workers turn the nibs into chocolate in a real...
The macadamia tour doesn't sound all that different from the factory part of my visit to Charleston Tea Plantation . But that was just a small part and combined with the guided tour around the farm, it was good. Maybe a tea plantation needs to "cultivate" more goodwill than Hershey's macadamias.
Some of us need to go out well beyond two months to be sure we get the time off we want (especially popular vacation times like Thanksgiving or Christmas vacation). So I'm very much in favor of planning in advance. Of course this makes it hard to be responsive to great last minute travel deals.
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