Hawaii day 5

We spent our last full day in paradise relaxing in a “cabana” in the “coconut grove”, a somewhat secluded area past the swimming lagoon:

View of the lagoon from behind the cabana:

View from the cabana:

A piña colada, for a change from the mai tais:

We also had a couple of swims in the lagoon; the second of which was snorkeling. This was only my second time with that, so I wasn’t very good at it, but it was more fun and successful than my previous attempt, on our previous visit to Hawaii years ago.

We saw lots of colorful tropical fish, and Jenn saw a shy octopus, moray eel, humuhumunukunukuapua’a, several kinds of urchins, parrotfish, tangs, moorish idols, black triggerfish, etc. No pictures of those, unfortunately!

In the evening, we went to a lū’au. Here’s a selfie:

Some of the audience:

Jenn got a temporary tattoo:

After feasting, we had a performance of Polynesian dancing:

Sadly our time in Hawaii is coming to a close; next up, heading home.

Hawaii day 4

For our fourth day in Hawaii, we took to the road to explore the Big Island. We headed east from Kamuela to Hilo (a bit over an hour drive). It was interesting to watch the landscape change, from the barren lava fields around Kamuela, to increasing vegetation as we headed inland:

As we got higher, we entered the cloud level, and experienced rain for the first time here:

After a pitstop at a mall in Hilo to get coffee and a phone car charger, we headed south to the volcano national park (half an hour more).

We explored the visitor center and gallery (and got a necklace for Jenn), but much of it was closed:

We went to one of the viewpoints, and were excited to see familiar-looking trees, cousins of NZ’s pōhutukawa. The variety in Hawaii is called ōhiʻa lehua:

We also saw some familiar-looking tree ferns:

Here’s a view of the Kilauea Iki crater, somewhat obscured by foliage:

Our rental Jeep:

A glimpse of the crater from another viewpoint:

We then continued half an hour south to the Punalu’u black sand beach. The sand was very black and gritty, more so than it looks in this picture:

There were several turtles resting on the sand:


A nearby lily pond:

We headed east for half an hour, with a stop to fill up the gas, and another brief stop to look at a lava field:

Info sign:

Then to Mehe’s Ka’u Bar & Grill for a tasty BLT lunch:

Energy replenished, we headed 45 minutes north to Big Island Bees, where we tasted their honey, and bought some made from the lehua blossoms. Jenn had a fun chat with a couple of the staff there, comparing beekeeping in Oregon to Hawaii:

We had wanted to visit a cute village with arty shops, but they were mostly closed by the time we got there, so we continued an hour or so back to the resort, completing our 10 hour road trip around the island (including stoppage time). About 5 hours total driving time; it is a big island.

For dinner, we decided to go to a restaurant on the resort that wasn’t open previously, so Jenn could get some sushi. It was actually the same restaurant that we’ve been going to for the buffet breakfasts each day, but transformed to a nice dinner restaurant.

Here are some palm trees next to the patio:

My fillet mignon and potato main, and Jenn’s “dragon roll” sushi:

Setting sun:

Tasty cake dessert:

Torches after dark:

More torches, during a post-prandial stroll along the shore:

Finally, as we were settling down for bed, there were some surprise fireworks in the golf course next-door:

Only one day left!

Hawaii day 3

Yesterday we spent the morning in a rented “cabana” overlooking the ocean; a joined pair of recliners with a shade canopy:

View of the pool area behind the cabana:

It came with a bag of snacks and water bottles:

View of the ocean from the cabana:

A mai tai, our preferred drink of Hawaii:

Then in the afternoon, we headed down the coast for a dinner cruise from Kailua Kona to Kealakekua Bay:

More mai tais:

The face of Pele in the cliff face, from lava tubes:

The Captain Cook memorial, near the spot where he died, and apparently a small patch of British soil:

Buffet dinner:

Windy selfie:


Setting sun:

Jenn watching the sun:


Almost gone:

Next, a road trip around the island on day 4.

Hawaii day 2

Yesterday was our first full day in Hawaii.

We started the day with the buffet breakfast. There is a nice koi pond outside:

There is a decent buffet selection, with various cooked, pastry, cereal, fruit, etc options. Something for everyone:

Someone having an early game of golf at the course next door:


We spent much of the day relaxing under a tree at the edge of the resort:

Palm trees above the loungers:

View from the lounger:

Picnic lunch:

Hopeful birds:

Dipping my toes in the ocean:

Looking out:

Looking back:

A hidden hot tub (too hot for us):

Part of the heated pool:

More of the pool:

We were warned that there was going to be a corporate event that evening behind our building. They spent all day setting it up. The view from our lanai:

In the evening, we headed out to the local shopping area to buy some stuff and have dinner. Here’s our rental Jeep:

The nearby outdoor shopping mall:

A sculpture at the mall:

Hawaiian Island Creations:

We had some dim sum at Pele’s Wok for dinner:

And a tasty red ginger cake with mango sorbet for dessert:

Back at the room, the corporate event was underway. After some boring management speeches, they had a dance and music performance. We watched some of it from our lanai:

I’m always fascinated by the behind-the-scenes stuff:

They even had some Maori performances:

Stay tuned for day 3 tomorrow.

Hawaii day 1

I will turn 50 tomorrow. I usually don’t bother doing much to celebrate birthdays, but we felt it appropriate to mark this milestone with something special.

So, we headed to the Big Island of Hawaii for five nights.

Yesterday was the travel day. Here’s our plane:

The traditional PDX airport carpet shot:

Me and Jenn in the plane:

Pretty tasty plane food:

Hawaii coast:

Disembarking the plane:

Open-air terminal:

Old lava rocks by the side of the road:

We were early to the resort, and our room wasn’t ready. So we killed time by having lunch near the ocean:



A kid at a nearby table was feeding a family of birds:

Our room:

View from our room’s lanai, of the ocean and next-door golf course:

A water feature:

View from the main building:

Beach and lagoon:

Baby fishes:


Black lava rocks and white coral:

Our wing of the resort in the background:

Flatbread and hummus platter for dinner:

Watching the sun set during dinner:

Post-sunset torches and palm trees:

I’m writing this post while relaxing by the lagoon. Stay tuned for day 2 tomorrow.