Lost © Robert Sommers 2023

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Big Island Bonzos

Leslie and I are having a great time in Hawaii. We got in late sunday night after a long uneventful flight, and I drove up to our resort, The Hapuna Prince, in the darkness. To my wife's consternation, I rented an S.U.V. but I have learned from experience that it is the way to go.

We got to the hotel and our first impression was that there we were the only guests, a fact that has since been borne out as only a slight exaggeration.  The recession has hit the islands hard. It is a gorgeous hotel, on sprawling immaculate grounds. With very few guests. We got a great package deal to come here, the hotel almost being a throw in. But we are eating cheaply off grounds.

 I hadn't been to the Big Island for several decades and a marriage ago, being a Kauai snob, and I am surprised at how wonderful it really is. Lots to still discover. Leslie really liked the area above Hilo. We always thought that if we won the lottery we would buy the second house at Kalihiwi but would have to consider the big island as well. Guess I will have to buy a ticket one of these days. Can't win the big one if you don't buy a ticket...

The first day we sought out breakfast and ended up at Pine Tree, a local's cafe with great coffee, banana pancakes with haupia butter and a side of corned beef hash. We then drove down the coast line to Kealakekua harbor and were talking to some locals about this and that. Suddenly Hawaiian Swat officers appeared from everywhere, blocking us in. I expected Dog the bounty hunter and his skanky crew at any second. The officers were serving a bench warrant on some bloke. We managed to extricate ourselves and drove to the Greenwell Coffee Farm, the ancestral home of one of my friends and clients. We traveled to Honaunau, where we visited St. Benedicts, a gorgeous old painted church with the beautiful statue in the cemetery.

We spent the rest of the day tooling down the coast, taking all the unknown side roads we could find and visiting the charming little towns.

We ended up four wheeling down to South Point, the furthest south spot in the United States, where we were treated to a huge pod of humpback whales spouting and jumping up all over the place. Stopped at a local hole for great beer and kahlua pork and cabbage.

Drove the long ride back to the Kohala Coast in the dark.

Second day we started off the day by driving to upcountry to Waimea, the old cowboy town. Breakfast of mahi mahi and eggs and then Leslie and I drove to the Waipio lookout. It started raining pretty hard and we couldn't hike down to the bottom, as it was both slippery and fogged in. We drove to Akaka Falls and Hilo, stopping often to take pictures of the lovely waterfalls and scenery. Lots of little hikes in the forest.

Leslie and I stopped at the cool little town of Honamu. She went into a shop that sold crystals and I hung out and listened to a hawaiian slack key player playing his koa 12 string on the sidewalk. An older guy eating his lunch near bye started to sing harmony and I recorded it with my phone. Really beautiful.

We then drove out to the volcano, walking the lava tube and looking down on the smoking crater of Kilaeua. Circled back to Kona and ate at Jackie Rey's excellent Ohana Grill and then back to the hotel.

Today was a chill day, starting off at the beach in Puaka. Then we went to the Mauna Kea hotel, sister hotel to the Prince. We drank Lava Flows by the pool and took a nice swim at the beach, which has been red flagged all week with very large waves.

Tomorrow we give Waipio another shot and Leslie parasails. I know that reality beckons, but we are going to put it off for as long as we can.


island guy said...

glad you are having a great time. try a coffee at the old Aloha Theater, now a cafe, in ?Kealakakua? right in the heart of Kona coffee country. there are some great fruit stands jus West of Hilo. makes me homesick........

Anonymous said...

Yeah, your reality is the same back home, you slacker. You just replace avocados with pineapple and 'Lava Flows'. Some people have to work, unlike your sorry ass. By the way, nice of you to stop at the pretty churches (not the synagogues) then castrate Falwell (may he rest in pieces) and Pat Baby in the next blog.
You walking, talking mass of hypocritical poi. Ciao babe.

Blue Heron said...

Sorry man, not a lot of hawaiian heebs...

Anonymous said...

YYYYeeeeeeaaaaahhhhhhh Brraaaaaa!
Loved the stories and photos! Man those waterfalls are magic huh?

And the humpbacks – another “Aloha Moment”!
Keep on Blastin’


Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, back at the baked beans, 'Go Scott Brown'. Put a dent in the Imperial juggernaut.

Oh, sorry to intrude on your Tropical
interlude, but the reile world keeps on keepin' on, as they say in the inner city, which you are so down with, as THEY say. Remember them? No jobs, food, healthcare, rental cars, or Singapore Slings.

Oh sorry again, it slipped out. The real world. Next time, take a vacation to the 9th ward, or South Chicago, or east LA.

Ciao Babe,

Don Ho

Sanoguy said...

I am soooooooooooooo jealous!!!!