Saturday, April 4, 2015

Day 7, Spencer Beach Attempt

So, we are all rested up and ready for a beach day today.  We loaded up the car around 9am and headed north for Spencer Beach.  We were hoping for a little sand castle building and some good snorkeling!  Unfortunately, we didnt really think it through...we gathered our arm fulls of junk and headed from the parking lot to the sand thankful to have the beach almost to ourselves.  Turns out however, the wind that was blowing so hard on the also blowing the beach...just off that same came as a total shock to both of us for some unknown reason! To add insult to injury, now instead of just blowing hard, it's also sandblasting our skin while we stand frozen in a state of total confusion!!  I'm sure we looked like total tourists!!  At the advice of the park guy that happened to drive by and note our totally baffled faces, we took off and tried the most popular beach on the island, Hapuna, just down the road.  With less than 5 cars in the parking lot, and one of those leaving, we decided not to go there again!  Since we were already pumped and ready to go though, we decided to suck it up and drive the 45 minutes south to the beach we stayed near last year, Keahou (aka turtle beach).
It was somewhere between 86 and 89 degrees by the time we got there and it was packed, busier than I had ever seen.  But, we managed to find a shady spot for Liv to play and the boys took off to snorkel.  I took this by accident, but, gives ya an idea of the weather!!

Now the downside of this particular beach, besides it's popularity, is that it's a salt and pepper sand beach...heavy on the pepper!  It's comparable to standing in the Walmart parking lot at the same temperature....I know...we did that later!!  Dave and Owen were gone about an hour when I couldn't take it any more!!!  You see, the beach has a 6'+ wall separating all but about 10% of the beach from the water for whatever reason.  So, you cant see your belongings and play in the water both, unless you are one of the first to arrive!  So, Liv and I had to pack up all our stuff and set them in a "danger zone" so that we could keep an eye on it while we stood in the water and tried to get the boys' attention.  I seriously thought I might not make it!!!

Thankfully, the boys made it back before all was lost! ;O)

Can't complain too much though, does it get any better than this!!

We headed for food after the beach to help with our recovery...Poke (raw fish salad...I think ahi in this case) for Dave and I from Da Poke Shack....OMG SO GOOD!!!  We both got a scoop of Dynamite Poke (avacado aioli) and the seaweed salad...both were absolutely amazing!  Dave got a scoop of Wet Hawaiian Poke also and his second side was broccoli crab (shredded crab and broccoli mixed together with a creamy white sauce).  He got me the Shack Special for my second Poke and potato salad for my second side.  I loved the Poke and the salad was good, just kind of weird since you get two scoops of rice as well!  The kids don't do Poke, as you might imagine, so, we went up the road further to get them some DQ and then had a picnic outside the strip mall.  So fun and everyone was happy that way!

We finished up our time in Kona with a little shopping and then headed back to the condo for nap time.
Unfortunately, we were way late and Liv was wound up, so, there was no nap gonna happen today.  So, we decided to walk the King's Trail to see the petroglyphs.  It was still super hot and super windy though, even at 4pm!!  It was fun though.

Since we were already there, we took a peek at the stores in the mall there at the Kings Shops and especially enjoyed the ukulele store.  We got each of the kids a rubber bracelet to hold their guitar pics, cool huh!

It has been so amazingly clear every night we have been here, you cant believe how beautiful the night sky is.  Tonight we took a minute to walk out and just enjoy the stars...its usually super cold when we can see stars at home...and then before it warms up, we have too much daylight!  So, this was a special treat.

Day 6, Recovery Day

After spending all day gone yesterday, we were more than ready for a day at the condo resting up.  Unfortunately, there was a water line break near our condo and the building management left a note saying they planned to shut off our water from 9:30-3:30...not the day to choose to stay home!!  But, we powered through!!

The kids spent a lot of the day playing inside with their toys and Owen got caught up on his homework.  We hit the pool for quite a while mid morning and then Liv took an extra long nap that was well deserved after what we put her through yesterday!!

Dave grilled some locally caught marlin and ahi for dinner and I used a local pineapple to make salsa.  SO good!!  We went down to the Queens Market and got the kids some ice cream and ate it by the koi pond.

Liv wore WAY more than she ate! ;O)  Check out that hair!!  It's been in tight curls since we landed here!!

Day 5, Hilo

What a day!!!  We headed out for Hilo bright and early at 7am this morning!!  Our first stop was breakfast at Tex Drive-in in Honokaa.  Dave and I each had an egg mcmuffin type thing made on fresh made sweet bread, yum!!  The kids both had super fluffy pancakes that I assume we're from scratch.  But, the best part was the malasadas!!!  They are basically a filled doughnut rolled in sugar, but, everything about them is amazing and done just right...they were even warm still!!!  Can't wait to go back!

From there, we got in the car and headed to Akaka Falls.  The hike down to the falls was super beautiful.  We all really enjoyed it.

Dave didn't believe I'd climb this tree...but, I proved him wrong!  Hahaha!

There were cats everywhere on the island and Akaka Falls was no different.  There was one laying in the shade of the overlook even.  Olivia REALLY wanted to love it, but, it REALLY didn't want touched.  She finally looked at me and said, "Make that kitty let me love him".  It was too funny...

Check out the size of the stump Liv's standing on!!  The trees are just massive on this side of the island!!

The flowers on the island are just unbelievable to me.  Everything I think of as a house plant just grows wild there!
Then off we went to hit the Hilo was free, can you believe that!!  It wasn't huge, but, it was pretty impressive and had a great playground.  The kids really had a lot of fun.  They had all of these super cute benches for photo ops too!

 These orchids fascinated me, they just tied them to trees all over the zoo and they were flourishing!!

 These two are so sweet together!

We went downtown and had lunch at Pineapples which was really good too.   They had an appetizer called "cheese puffs" that I could have eaten a dozen of!  The kids and Dave all had fish and chips which were great and I settled on fish tacos...I LOVE fish tacos and these were some of the best I've had.

We stopped at the Farmers market and picked up a pineapple and some more apple bananas, yum!!  The kids both got a shark tooth necklace and were thrilled.

We made a quick stop at "Two Ladies Kitchen" for what is supposed to be the best mochi in all of Hawaii.  Mochi is this Japanese candy that is made of a rice dough stuffed with red bean paste and other ingredients.  The dough is squishy and moldable (think raw bread dough but less sticky and less flavor!!).  I got some stuffed with brownies and grapes (grape one below...the brownie ones didn't last long!), Dave chose a peanut butter version...shocking, I know! The kids picked on color and their's was disgusting!!  No idea what it was!!

The kids were exhausted, but, still wanted to stop at the lava cave just outside of town.  I don't see the appeal's a dark cold hole in the rock.  Dave and Owen are dying to hike the full two miles of this particular tube though...once you see the first 100 feet of a lava tube haven't you seen it all?!!?!?  I'm gonna have to guess it only gets darker!!!

Dave really wanted to do the full loop and take Saddle Road back through the middle of the island rather than returning the way we came along the coast.  He wanted me to "see the scenery" along the road.  I was not real happy about it, but, he was so excited about it, I finally caved.  Ironically, as soon as we got started down the road, the fog rolled in and was so thick, we literally couldn't see past the edge of the road...this was after it started to lift..

Longest hour and a half ever!!  There's nothing but rock and a few sad shrubs to see.  Plus, you only go through one town, Waimea, and it's just 10 miles out of Waikoloa!!  He won't be able to trick me into that again!!  We lost both kids, but, Owen woke up before I could get his picture!!

By the time we got home, we'd been gone almost 12 hours!!! We are all worn out and looking forward to a lazy day around the condo tomorrow!!!

Day 4, A Bay

We had such a busy day yesterday, we opted to take it a little bit easier today.  So, we decided to head to A-Bay and check it out.  The beach itself is really long and narrow and directly in front of the Marriott.  Plus, the canoe club practices here...which, all of its members must be unemployed because they were there practicing about 10am on a week day!!  Dave and Owen attempted to snorkel, but, there's a pretty big rock wall you have to get past that Owen kind of panicked about and that roughed Dave's foot up pretty good.  Although, Dave did have a pretty enormous tuna swim right up to him before he gave up.  Needless to say, we didnt last long before we decided to head north and get some lunch instead.
Shawn told us about this place called Kohala Burger and Taco.  We stopped in and tried it out.  She was right, the food was great,  but, so overpriced, it kind of took away from the meal.  Plus, it's SUPER tiny!!  They had a counter down one side with 4 stools and then 4 tables down the other side with barely enough room to walk down the center.  The menu was on the wall above the tables, but, you can't really get far enough away from the wall to read it!!  It was really busy when we were there and some guy sent his son up to stare at us while we ate to hurry us along I would guess.  We were glad to get out!!

We stopped at one of the shopping malls in Waikoloa on the way back through which was fun.  They have a grocery store that was more touristy crap then groceries.  Super fun, haha!

I made Owen take a walk with me around the condo complex, while Liv napped, to take pictures of the flowers.  The foliage in Hawaii is like no other I've ever seen.  There is every color imaginable and with the exception of the lava fields, the entire island is green.  It just takes your breath away.  


 Even the trees are amazing.
Owen stopped me and asked that I take his picture.  He's such a model, he totally did this pose on his own!!  Man, I just think this kid is SO handsome! ;O)

We finished the day with a swim in the pool.  Liv is getting to be quite the swimmer, although, she prefers to walk around in the generous 1 foot wading pool adjoining the regular one!!  She was less than cooperative when it came to pictures however... 

Owen, of course, would rather jump into the pool than swim!  You'd think it would get old...but, it doesn't...hahaha...