Thursday, March 11, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tenth Day in Paradise, Saturday March 6, 2010

Our final full day in Paradise. Finally feeling human. Don's cough is almost gone completely. I still have flare ups, but hope I make it through the flight tomorow. We relaxed, enjoyed the pool and visited the local Farmer's Market again. Don is beginning to really know his way around here, just in time to leave. It's going to be nice to get home and sleep in our own beds though. And I finally get to see my Zack! The condo grounds here are lovely. So much foliage! We took a walk around the grounds and I took a ton of photos for scrapbooking opportunities! Don is busying himself cleaning out the fridge and getting our carry-ons organized. Guess I'd better join him - lol.

Ninth Day in Paradise, March 5, 2010

Cant believe it's Friday already! We ate breakfast at a wonderful little oceanside hole-in-the wall restaurant called "Splashers". I had their special, Macadamia Nut/Coconut/Banana French Toast made with Hawaiian Sweet Bread. It was wonderful! To leisurely eat breakfast overlooking the bay was amazing.

We decided to go Kahalu'u Beach Park, and Don was feeling good enough he took his snorkel gear. I still am not feeling that great, so I decided not to. It's a nice black sand beach park that has lockers, a snack bar, restrooms and a craft stand. The black sand is totally different than the white sand beaches ... black sand , HURTS! And there's no real entry directly to the ocean from the beach. You have to climb over large lava rocks. I only got in up to my ankles because the rocks in the ocean hurt too. But Don maneuvered out with his fins, mask and snorkel and had the experience of a lifetime! He said he saw very large Angel fish and all sorts of beautiful neon saltwater fish.

After a relaxing day at the beach, we decided to have dinner at Splashers. The waitress told us they don't know what their dinner special is until around noon when the fishing boats come in and she finds out what's been caught. Now that's what I consider fresh fish! And it didn't dissapoint! We had coconut crusted Mahi over white rice with grilled veggies. The fish had a pineapple salsa over it. Talk about FABULOUS! Everyone knows that I am definitely NOT a fish eater, but I have to say this - every piece of fish I've eaten here has been superb. I am really going to miss this place!

Eighth Day in Paradise - Thursday March 4, 2010

Only one word described today: REST. Don was feeling better than I was, but he also needed the rest! In fact, I felt so lousy that I asked Don if he would go to the grocery store and just pick something up for me to eat. Nothing actually sounded good, my head is still congested and I can't smell or taste anything. So he jumped in the convertible and drove to the store. The chicken he brought back from their deli was excellent (at least the little I could taste).

He said it had started to rain on his way back, so he attempted to put the top back up on the car but it wouldn't go up. Then he realized the trunk wouldn't close either. When he got back to the room, he called Alamo. At first they were going to send someone out to "fix" it; then decided it was better if he just returned it tonight and switch it out for another car. Good thing they did. When they looked at it, one of the latches in the trunk broke so there was no way he top was going to go back up. Imagine my surprise when he returned with a brand new 2011 red convertible Mustang with only 49 miles on it!
Hope I start to feel better to enjoy it :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seventh Day in Paradise - Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Well, this day found Don feeling better but now it's my turn. We ate breakfast breakfast at the condo (did I mention that a 1/2 gallon of milk is $4.00? Just having cereal in this state can be costly! We packed our kleenex, Sudafed and Mucinex and went on a shopping excursion in downtown Kailua-Kona. The local farmer's market was being held, so that was our first stop. I realy enjoyed that as there were a lot of local Hawaiian crafts-artists there and I picked up a few things for myself along with two fragrent fresh pineapple, and of course I couldn't pass by the freshly roasted macadamia nuts. My tastebuds are working today, but I'm confident I will enjoy them at home. We then walked the "boardwalk" which was full of more shops. In the middle of the boardwalk is Hulihe'e Oalace where the King and Queen lived so we took the tour. As we took off our shoes and stepped into the entryway, we were immediately transformed back to the 1800's. It was amazing to see the magnificent beds and armoirs each hand carved with meticulate detail. A chair in a corner of the bedroom was enormous, which shouldn't have surprised me as the Queen was quite ... what's the politically correct term nowadays ... "voluptuous". lol. Tbe palace overlooked the ocean and the grounds were lush with all different types of tropical foilage. Boy I wish I would have listed when I took a "Flora, Fauna and Geology" course through UC Davis. My cousin, Joann, and I took the course which entailed us traveling to the Hawaiian Islands and camping for a couple of weeks and listening to lectures of whatelse? Flora, fauna and geology - lol.

After the tour we crossed the street and went inside Moku'aikaua Church, the oldest Christian church in the islands. It's one of the landmarks you see on all the postcards. Since I had just read the book "Hawaii", I had a new appreciation of what the missionaries went through just to have this church built. Very serene.

We wondered through more shops then stopped for lunch at the Canoe Club which was right on the water. After relaxing a bit watching the ocean from our table,we visited the local Harley shop to pick up a t-shirt for my brother and across the street to the Kona Brewing Company. Barrels of hops were lined up along their fence, opened, and there was the cutest little bird jumping from barrel to barrel getting his fill of hops! Aftewards we then took a drive to the Ali'i Gardens Marketplace for more shopping. We were exhausted so decided to go back to the condo and jump in the pool. Today it was about 82 degrees (that appears to be the norm) but the pool was quite, however that didn't last long. We had forgotton that there was a hula show and "pupus" (horsderves) that was going to take place, and we were in for a treat. This condo is so nice; everyday they have activities all day long. There's always something to do if you decide you want to stay here.

After we returned to thbe room, we both fell asleep. By the time we awoke, it was time for dinner! So off we went to Bongo Ben's again for their seafood pasta special and I even had a "lava flow" which is a pina colada with strawberries swirled through it. Yummmo!

Yes, I really love these islands!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sixth Day in Paradise - Tuesday March 2, 2010

We found ourselves at 8:30 a.m. at the local Urgent Care. Don's cough was worse so we thought we'd better get it checked out. They set him up with some antibiotics and cough syrup. Needless to say, the two of us make quite a pair and we ended up spending the rest of the day inside the condo resting, sleeping, reading, sleeping, etc. On the bright side, I saw our local mongoose again. He doesn't seem to be afraid; I think he must sneak up to the lanais and steal any food he finds. Now my quest is to snap a picture of him! Not sure what we're doing tomorrow. Everthing depends on how we're feeling. The doc said Don should start to feel better by the time it's time for us to go home! Not exactly what I wanted to hear - lol.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fifth Day - Monday, March 1, 2010

We started the day already tired as Don was up most of the night. Upon ariving in O'ahu the first day, he thought his allergies were bothering him. At least that's what we were hoping. Every day his cough got worse and he finally ended up with head congestion as well. The doc said the new med he's on for his rheumatoid arthritis would most likely take a hit on his immune system and boy was he right. Last night the cough medicine and Musinex didn't touch it, so he was exhausted by this morning. The trooper that he is, he wanted to continue with the plans we had. So after having breakfast at the condo, we jumped in the car and leisurely drove north in search of Hapunu Beach which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.

Right after we left Kona and went north on Hwy 19, the wind started blowing. Then the scenery turned to dry, arid lava rock everywhere. I can't believe there would be a "beautiful" beach anywhere near here. And coupled with the car being blown and tossed around, I was beginning to wonder if this was a good idea.

Thirty miles later we came to the Hapunu Beach State Park turn off and followed the winding road to the parking lot. The wind was still blowing which created some magnificent waves crashing onto the beach. The park was beautiful, with scattered Macadamia Nut trees throughout. I held my visor, Don held his sunglasses, and we ventured onto the beach. Not surprisingly there were actually surfers out on the waves. I've noticed the locals live for these waves. The park was beautiful, had everything you needed: restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and a snackbar. And although we did bring our bathing suits, we only stayed about 1/2 hour because it was such a struggle to keep the sand out of our eyes.
We then jumped back on Highway 19 and continued heading north and then followed it inland to Waimea, home of the Parker Ranch, the largest working ranch in Hawaii. I can see why - if you didn't know better, you'd think you were in Texas or Arizona. We even saw cactus! We stopped for lunch in Waimea and had what else? Mexican - lol. After doing a little shopping we decided to forego returning to Kona via Hwy 19, so we took Hwy 190 which cut through the mountain where we were able to see the Mauna Kea volcano in the distance. This saved us quite a bit of time, and the drive was much easier as the wind wasn't as bad. But the scenery looked just like the desert!
I was so happy to arrive back at Kona and civilization :) We did a little shopping at the Kona International Market Place where they had many local artists and craftsmen displaying their wares; then back to the condo to rest.
Time for dinner! On the way, we stopped at CVS Pharmacy where we spoke to the pharmacist who suggested a combination of over-the-counter meds for Don's cold. She was so helpful. Everyone here is so nice - and so happy all the time. We stopped for dinner at Bubba Gumps right on the ocean. Nothing could beat eating shrimp on the ocean and watching another beautiful Hawaiian sunset!

Honolulu (1/08)

Honolulu (1/08)
Yes, it really is a large city!