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Alaska is home. And being home for Christmas is hard to argue with... unless Hawaii is on the table. So, mahalo to my mom for having a birthday right around Christmas time (it doesn't matter how old she was turning and how dare you even think about asking!), which led to my dad thinking we should do something "special" for Christmas 2018. Hawaii was an easy sell. We found this paradise in Pahoa and grabbed it. Then we looked at airfare, cancelled the reservation, and started looking at Arizona. Nothing against the desert, but I proudly take credit for talking the old man back into Hawaii. And this Pahoa palace. Suffice it to say, we're ALL glad that's the way it played out.
Here's what we hoped we'd get by renting this property: a nice mix of privacy and luxury that would both be fun to return home to after a day exploring the Big Island and be more than enough to satisfy a lazy day (or two) just lounging around right there on the premises. We got all of that. Side note: arriving at night (and in our case, escorted from the main road down the private, remote driveways) is kind of an amazing thing. You go down a gravel driveway, turn past the end of a hedge, and suddenly you're looking up at the glow of the pool lit up in the dark, in front of the main house and guest suite, also lit up, and it's impossible not to realize immediately, "we made the right choice." If you enjoy the sound of the coquí frogs -- invasive, yes, but the jungle ambiance is real -- then that symphony just completes the nighttime arrival.
The finishes inside are modern and upscale, the kitchen is well stocked, and there are private bathrooms for each bedroom, plus one in the main house. The outdoor shower for the guest suite walks that thin line of being scary and exhilarating quite wonderfully (I got over the scary pretty quickly, to be quite honest). The outdoor furniture is comfortable and ready for hours of lounging outside in the always changing Pahoa weather. My brother-in-law was a big fan of the hammock on the back deck, too. And the pool! Oh, the pool. We used it early and often, as well as the lounge chairs. There's a gazebo set off behind the guest house, and a fire pit near by it (we used both). Everything is landscaped to perfection, so make sure you get the tour from the owners. Also, yes, there's wifi. And a TV.
AND A CAT! How could I forget the cat. Puna Iki. She's the best. You'll see.
Mahalo David and Robert for the experience. Truly. Aloha pumehana.