Hawaii 2013 — Getting ill while on vacation

We’re waiting out the winter at Sam’s Family Spa and Hot Water Resort in Desert Hot Springs, California, being tired of a cold that both of us have been getting. Since before Christmas we caught a cold twice. As we’re recovering, it made me think of the time that we fell ill while on the road during pre-RV years.

For all the travels that David and I have done over the years, we rarely had travel-related illness that slowed us down much. One time we were in a close vicinity with a guy at an airport who was obviously having a bad case of cold. We both came down with it after we arrived home. Another time David had food poisoning on an overnight train to Chiangmai during one of our Thailand visits. Generally, we have been fortunately heathy and have been able to enjoy all of our trips. So both of us being ill during a vacation in Hawaii was one of the last thing on my mind. But it did happen.

We visited Hawaii in March 2013. We traveled from Richmond, Virginia to several Hawaiian islands. We spent 5 days on the Hawaii Island, 5 days on Kauai, and the last 2 days on Oahu before returning home. David came down with a fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea after the second day on Kauai. He was so sick that he was bedridden, which was quite unusual for him. We think it was from norovirus. Norovirus infection is a common cause for disease outbreak on cruise ships or in places where people are in closed quarters. It’s a very contagious virus, but thankfully rarely dangerous. Most infected people are recovered within 2-3 days. After David was getting better, it was my turn. Fortunately, I was less affected by it, which was a relief because we flew from Kauai to Honolulu when I wasn’t fully over it. It would have been less than convenient to need toilets too often while in transit.

Despite the sickness, we had a nice trip all in all. However, I felt that we have unfinished business in Hawaii. I was just scratching the surface of Kauai and would like to explore the Hawaii Island more. We also have to visit Maui as I want to spend time in Haleakalā National Park. And Honolulu. The city has such a good vibe that I want to just hang out like locals instead of being visitors.

If you’re still with me and want to read more about the highlights of our time in Hawaii, continue on.

Hawaii, The Big Island

Our flight from the mainland landed at Honolulu International Airport for a connecting flight to Hilo on the Hawaii Island or the Big Island. It was in early March but the plants were all lush and green. The airport took advantage of the climate in Hawaii and made the terminals looks like tropical gardens. Part of the airport terminals are open-air. It’s wonderful to be able to get outside air while in an airport. What a great touch.

A courtyard inside Honolulu airport terminals

A courtyard inside Honolulu airport terminals

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

For me when thinking about visiting Hawaii, I think about its volcanoes in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park rather than the beaches. So it’s no surprise that we started off our visit in the national park.

At the bottom of Kīlauea Iki Crater

At the bottom of Kīlauea Iki Crater

Waipio Valley

We visited Waipio Valley on a road trip day when we drove around the Big Island. It made for a long day. We hiked down to the beach at Waipio Bay. We didn’t hike into the valley because I’ve read about the trails entered private lands whose the owners weren’t thrilled about all the foot traffic. The hike down was steep but the beach scenery was worth the effort.

The Green Sand Beach at Mahana Bay

The hike to the Green Sand Beach at Mahana Bay was not pre-planned. A gentleman whom we met at the Waipio Valley Lookout told us about it. So we decided to check it out. The trail started near South Point, the southernmost point of the Big Island and of all the 50 U.S. states.

Kauai

It’s definitely not Kauai’s fault that we were sick about half of the time when we were there. We did have a wonderful hike down and up Kukui Trail into the colorful Waimea Canyon. Our attempt at Nualolo Trail was pretty much a bust. It had rained the day before and the trail was quite treacherous. It was very slippery from the muddy and wet trail. And because of the fog and low cloud, there wasn’t much view to be enjoyed. We’ll have to go back one day.

Amazing view of Waimea Canyon

Amazing view of Waimea Canyon

 

Oahu

We only had two full days in Oahu before flying back to Richmond. It hardly scratched the surface of what the island and the city of Honolulu had to offer. We like Honolulu very much. It reminded me of visiting Singapore. Shopping malls and foods were different than the mainland. They had the shave ice that was quite delicious, nothing like we’ve seen on the mainland. Walking around in Honolulu, it didn’t feel like we were in the U.S. This shouldn’t really be a surprise since the State of Hawaii is the only U.S. state with an Asian plurality.

For the short time that we had in Oahu, we hiked up Diamond Head and drove around some part of the island. I felt like we just got to know a small part of Hawaii. I want to go back there some day.

Even on a cloudy day, Kalaniana'ole Highway was still beautiful.

Even on a cloudy day, Kalaniana’ole Highway was still beautiful.

 

8 Comments

  1. Wow. The crater walks look really spectacular. Hawaii is definitely on our bucket list, but we’ve yet to get there.

    I’m very vigilant on our airplane trips, always wiping everything down, much to our kids’ (when they were teenagers) embarrassment, with antibacterial wipes. So far, it’s worked well for us, keeping us healthy while away in foreign lands. (Except the one time when our daughter refused to wipe things down… and she got sick!).

    Love the photos!

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    1. Hiking into the crater or on lava field is certainly a unique experience. Lava is a hard surface that leaves very little worn track unless on a heavily trafficked path. So being able to spot cairns is very essential for knowing where to walk. Now all the cairns were also made of lava rock, same color as the landscapes you are hiking on. As you can see that it’s not easy to spot them. If the weather is bad, like it’s foggy or raining when the visibility is poor, the navigation becomes even more difficult. We weren’t in danger of getting lost on our hike, but I could see it’s a problem if ones are not prepared.

      I could visualize your daughter’s face after she got the cold and anticipated your “I told you so”. 😄

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  2. Sorry to hear you and David are down right now…here’s hoping you’re both on the mend soon! Also sorry to hear about your stomach bug in HI, but wow, you two explored so much more than even a lot of locals do. I grew up in Hilo and love that Green Sand hike (gorgeous photos!). Have you tried shave ice with mochi or condensed cream? There’s a new type where the liquid is pre-flavored and frozen into ice that’s shaved (SO good!). Would be fun to hike with you guys if you ever make it back to Honolulu! There are a few nice trails off of Kalanianaole that you may like.

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