Saturday, December 9, 2023

2023 11 The Big Island of Hawaii

Thursday, November 23, 2023 (Thanksgiving)

The view from our balcony at the
Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel

Today we had our last hotel breakfast at the Sheraton before we took a Lyft to the airport to begin the second adventure of our Hawaii vacation. 

Our Hawaiian Airline flight left Honolulu at 11:20 a.m. and we landed in Kona at 12:10 p.m. We picked up our rental car and went for a two hour car ride around the southwest corner of the Big Island. 

Our hotel here is Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel. After checking in, we unpacked and got ready for our big luau here at the hotel which was supposed to start at 5:30 p.m. It was pouring down rain at that time and we were told the luau would start at 6:00 p.m. At 6:00 p.m. the hotel staff told us the event was cancelled. We were given the option to re-schedule for a luau on Sunday as we will still be here. 

The weird thing was that this had been advertised as an event that would be held indoors if it rain. The problem was they sold more tickets for the Thanksgiving luau then they could feed and entertain inside. Denice and I were trying to figure our where 300ish people were going to find food on Thanksgiving with the restaurant across the street closed for the holiday and the hotel restaurant about to be overwhelmed. 

Then, in the true spirit of Thanksgiving, the luau cook decided to provide free food to everyone. So we all got in line and ate the food we would have had at the luau. Denice and I grabbed our plates and headed up to our room. We ate dinner while listening to the guitarist in the bar five floors down. Then, to our surprise, the NFL network replayed the Green Bay Packers / Detroit Lions game which I could watch Hawaiian time. 

Friday, November 24, 2023

This tree appeared overnight in the hotel lobby

The images gave the decorations an ofrenda-like quality

King Kamehameha

Today we were up at 6:00 a.m. and on the beach for breakfast at The Fish Hopper. Then we got in the rental and drove north up Hwy. 190 and east on Hwy. 200 to Hilo.

Hilo's famous Farmers' Market

We walked around Hilo town. We had lunch at the Nector Café where we had a peanut butter, bacon and jelly sandwich with cool local fruit drinks. 

We drove home the southern route but it rained most of the way.

Eighteen years ago we ate a dinner on the Fourth of July at a restaurant we think was called The Red Rooster. Tonight we went to the same spot where the restaurant is now called Sushi Cocoro and had dinner to celebrate our memories.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

The tree at the breakfast buffet

Today we ate the great buffet that is available here in the Sheraton. Then we hit the highway again, repeating the 90 ride we took yesterday in order to go back to Hilo for the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden. 

To say this place is special is an understatement.

I made my second big mistake of this trip regarding tickets and admissions. I decided to empty my wallet of unwanted things before this trip and one of the things I jettisoned was our Senior admission to the National Parks We tried to beg our way into Volcano National Park but that did not work.

After our southern trip back to Kona, we went across the street from our hotel to eat dinner at Big Kahuna Bar and Grill.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Today we decided to drive to our breakfast so we went north on the west coast of The Big Island to the city of Waimea. Our breakfast place was called The Hawaiian Style Café which means good food in large quantities.

We then drove around the northern peninsula of Hawaii taken in various places of interest. 

The most interesting was Papakahi State Historical Park because of its archaeological splendor. 

The only member of our family who actually went in the Pacific

Had to pull over when we found ourselves even with the clouds

We got back in the early afternoon to get ready to attend the luau that was rained out on Thanksgiving which is held right in on the beach on the grounds of the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel. This night we made it through dinner and the show with only an occasional mist.

One special thing happened here tonight: a pair of rare, endangered Monk Seals waded out of the surf and went to sleep on the beach here at the hotel. They slept though an afternoon of tourist interest, the luau and are still out there despite the music coming from the hotel beach bar.

Monday, November 27, 2023

We did not need to turn in the rental until about 1:30 p.m. today so we could have a leisurely day today. It started with the buffet at the hotel one last time and then we took off.

I found some last day street art in a mall.

Every day we came west from Hilo to Kona on the southern route we would pass where these abandoned vehicles rested but either weather or time was our enemy--until we drove there today just to shoot these photos. 

After dropping off the rental and getting ferried over to the airport, we caught a Hawaiian Airline plane back to Honolulu at 3:30 p.m. 

At 6:15 p.m. after our layover, we started our long night on a plane. We flew for eight hours, arriving in Chicago at 6:15 a.m.

After taking the Coach USA back to Milwaukee and getting a ride home from Denice's sister Marijeanne, we were greeted by our very lonely cat and able to get some breakfast in the Central Time Zone. 


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