Thursday, June 22, 2017

the island Hawai'i

Saturday was our travel day to the Big Island so after breakfast we checked out, turned in the car, and got the shuttle to the airport and once again waited for our flight which was basically just a big jump.

leaving Maui...

arriving Hawai'i...

Very different from Maui, which was clear and sunny all day and lush. Hawai'i is mostly lava rock but has its share of rain forest and beautiful flora. Typically, while we were there it would be sunny in the morning and overcast the rest of the day.

Getting our next car turned out to be a real hassle unlike on Maui. There were people in line before our van load arrived which made the line all the way to the door with only one agent and another van arrived shortly after ours. They did get two more people to the front desk but it was a long wait nevertheless. When it was finally our turn the agent pressured us to up grade, pressured us to get the full coverage both of which we declined and then wanted to charge us extra for bringing the car back at the time we had scheduled on our itinerary so I had to argue with her about that telling her we had already paid in full up front and here was the agreement. Finally we got the keys to the car and the trunk space wasn't big enough to hold all three suitcases so one of them had to go in the backseat with the girls. Needless to say, we were a bit cranky by this time.

Fortunately, the resort was only about 15 minutes away in Kona, right in town...Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel. Turned out to be a Marriott which was not what I was expecting. It was a huge complex with at least a dozen or more shops or activity offices in the gigantic lobby behind the check-in desk with a spa and fitness center. We were on the 4th floor and the one small pool was below and full of people and kids and the noise echoed up into our rooms. The pool and the little beach, which I think was man-made because the sand was fine like the sand on the beach in Galveston and unlike any sand we had seen so far, was open to the public as well and next to the public pier/wharf.

The view from our room the next morning.

As it turned out, the reason it was very crowded and noisy that day and well into the night with drunken revelers was because there had been some sort of canoe clubs event or race and the destination was our resort and there must have been two dozen or more outrigger canoes on the grounds.

Another late lunch/early dinner and then while Marc and Autumn took naps, Jade and I walked around the grounds and found a place across the way that had shaved ice until the other two texted to see where we were and then just hung out in our room while the canoe clubs reveled.

After breakfast Sunday morning we rented our snorkel gear and headed to Kahalu'u Beach Park which was about a 15 minute drive down the coast snagging the last space in the small parking lot.

picture via:

I went out for about 10 minutes, long enough to see lots of colorful fish, and then came back to check on the girls to discover that Jade's snorkel leaked so I gave her mine and went and laid on the beach in the shade while they paddled about. Jade had bought a waterproof cover for her phone.

Back at the hotel and showered we went for lunch and then a long afternoon of shopping. Once a month, Kona closes the street that runs along the coast starting at our hotel for an arts and crafts fair so we meandered along to the end of that, stopping now and then to buy something or chat with some of the artists, well, I stopped to chat with some of the artists 

and then on the way back, Jade wanted to go in every shop that lined the street. Autumn abandoned us and went back for a nap. We did see this cool enclosure, a walled in on four sides ocean pond butt up against the house it was behind with an opening to the ocean with vertical slats. The sign said it was an historic Ki' Ope Pond with no explanation of what that is and I haven't been able to find anything out about it.

Once we got back, more naps were in order. Then Jade and I checked out the wharf 

where we found this, something I haven't seen in years

wandered around, and finally planted ourselves at the poolside bar and listened to the live music where Autumn eventually joined us.

next: another long drive and volcanoes

links to previous posts in this series:


  1. Oh, the trip of a lifetime Ellen. Traveling is the worst part about vacations. Bet you've been running circles around the girls. I hope to go one day.

  2. Ha! A pay phone? Hard to believe they were once everywhere. Love your pictures.

  3. Great travelogue! I'm glad you successfully argued the point re. the rental car. The fish photos are neat. And love the flowers on the side of the pay phone -- kind of campy!

  4. I am guessing the stone walled area was a traditional "aquaculture" enclosure.

    1. that was my thought also but when I went back to look at it the next day it was low tide and mostly empty and shallow

  5. Do you suppose the Ki Ope pond may have been something like a safe swimming area by the house? How interesting...
    What a beautiful trip. Gosh. Your grandkids are mighty lucky.

    1. that was my thought when I first saw it, a private swimming pool carved out of the ocean. but there weren't any steps for getting in and out.


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