The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Island of Hawaii’

Our Hawaiian Vacation: One Last Drive

We went on one last drive along the coast our fourteenth day in Hawaii (May 30). We drove approximately 12 miles south of Kona.

Our first stop was at Kahalu’u Beach Park (Keauhou, HI), approximately 4 miles south of Kona.

This turtle stuck its head out of the water to say hello to me.

The Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort adjoins Kahalu’u Beach Park. Dorothy and I went for a stroll through the resort’s gardens.

A mongoose crossed our path.

I enjoyed watching these two colorful birds.

From Kahalu’u Beach Park we drove 8 miles further south to Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park (Napoopoo, HI), where one can see the Captain Cook Monument located one mile across the bay.

Captain Cook Monument

It was near this spot in 1779 that Captain James Cook was killed by the Hawaiians. If interested in reading about the life and death of Captain Cook you may do so by clicking here.

We drove north to downtown Kona from Napoopoo. Along the way a highway intersection caught my eye.

Hawaiian Highway Line Painting

John dropped off Bob and me at Kona Inn. We took one last walk through the Kona Inn Shopping Village.

It took me two weeks,
but I FINALLY captured a photograph of a myna bird!

Surf Boards for sale at a Kona Inn Shopping Village

Seashell hanging for sale at Kona Inn Shopping Village

Bob and I met John and Dorothy at Oceans Sports Bar and Grill, where we ate pupus (appetizers).

While walking to Oceans Sports Bar and Grill, I felt as though I was being watched 🙂

Oceans Sports Bar and Grill

After finishing our pupus, Dorothy and I went for a walk down Alii Drive to watch boys who were surfing at Oneo Bay. John and Bob remained at Oceans and enjoyed a couple pints of beer.

These surfing pictures are the best that I took while on vacation in Hawaii. In addition to being closer to the action, I utilized sequential shooting rather than single-frame shooting and used my camera’s shutter priority setting in an attempt to freeze the action.

Later in the day Dorothy and I watched the sun set into the ocean from the vantage point of the Keauhou Shopping Center.

Sunset at Keauhou Shopping Center

The next day, May 31st, Bob and I spent the morning and afternoon hours at John and Dorothy’s condominium. We finished packing and relaxed in preparation for our flight home late that evening. We ate dinner at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., sitting on an outside patio at the edge of the ocean. We enjoyed watching the waves come in, as we chatted amicably and ate our dinner.

We departed Kona airport at 10:45 PM. We breezed through Kona airport when we first arrived in Hawaii. Leaving from Kona airport was a little more taxing. The first thing we had to do was put go through an agricultural inspection station, where our checked baggage was inspected. We then got in line to check in. The check-in line was long and moving very slowly. We soon discovered if we paid $5.00 for curbside check in, that we could jump the check-in line. We got our bag checked in quickly. We didn’t need to print boarding passes, as we had done so at the condominium earlier in the day. Our bag weighed 48 pounds. WHEW! The limit is 50 pounds. The next check was through security. We hugged John and Dorothy and thanked them for everything before going through security. We removed our shoes and put them in a bin. Our laptop computers went in other bins. We had to put our video camera in a bin as well (didn’t have to do this at other airports). We laid our carry-on baggage on the conveyor belt. The security check went smoothly. We wondered if Bob would be able to carry an empty Kona Brewing Company growler on board; no problem. When we finished the security check, we waved goodbye to Dorothy and John (they hung around while we went through security in case we had to hand over the growler to them). There was one last check at the gate. Our carry-on baggage went through an agricultural inspection. I don’t understand why both checked and carry-on baggage couldn’t have been inspected at the first inspection station.

We arrived at the Pittsburgh airport, via Phoenix, at 4:04 PM (local time) on June 1st. Total travel time, including layovers, was approximately 12 hours. I slept on the plane, but not much. I managed to get a few minutes sleep here and there. Bob slept a couple hours; said he was rested enough to drive home when we landed in Pittsburgh. I said “no, no more travel”. After landing at the airport we were checked in to our hotel and on our way to dinner within 30 minutes. We ate dinner at Cracker Barrel. We both were hungry, as we had eaten only a snack bar and drank soft drinks and coffee / tea during our flights. I crashed soon after returning to the hotel from dinner. I was asleep by 6:00 PM. Bob awakened me at 8:00 PM (my request). I went back to bed at 10:30 PM. Bob went to bed at 11:30 PM.

On June 2d we drove home from the hotel. We arrived home at approximately 1:30 PM.

This blog post concludes our Hawaiian vacation. Our Hawaiian vacation began on May 16th and ended on June 2d. I uploaded my first blog post about our vacation on June 7th. A little more than 2 months later I uploaded my final blog post about our vacation. Wow, that took a long time! I hope that you have enjoyed reading about our vacation, as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Willie K in Concert

The morning and afternoon hours of our thirteenth day in Hawaii (May 29) were gray and rainy. However, by late afternoon the rain had stopped. This was good, as we planned to attend an outdoor concert that evening. The concert was performed by Willie K, and we consider the concert one of the highlights of our Hawaiian vacation. The concert was held at the Keauhou Shopping Center in Kona. Bob, John and I attended the concert. Dorothy had to work, so she could not attend the concert. Cost of admission was two cans of food per person for Hawaii Food Basket. According to the Keauhou Shopping Center Facebook page, over 1700 pounds of food and over $150 in cash were collected for Hawaii Food Basket.

A local group by the name of Jahternative opened the show for Willie K.

Jahternative played a mix of Hawaiian, Reggae and Jawaiian songs.
I found this photograph in a photo album submitted to the Keauhou Shopping Center Facebook page. Bob, John and I are in this photograph. John is sitting in the back row, on the far right. Bob and I are sitting in front of John. Bob is wearing a green baseball cap, and I have on a red flowered blouse.
If you look across the bevy of spectators, you will see a man who is standing and who is wearing a colorful outfit.

Spectator enjoying Jahternative, Opening Act for Willie K

Willie K is amazing! Willie K is humorous, and he is passionate. Willie K plays the guitar and ukulele spectacularly, and his voice is magnificent. We thoroughly enjoyed his concert!

Willie K in Concert

I wonder if the photographer on the left is the one who took the picture of Bob, John and me at the concert?


Are you curious about how Willie K sounds? Bob videotaped one of his songs 🙂

More information about Willie K may be found by clicking here, which will take you to his official website.

Stay tuned; two more days of our Hawaiian vacation remain to be blogged.

Our Hawaiian Vacation: A Gray and Rainy Day

We stayed indoors, for the most part, during the morning and afternoon of our thirteenth day in Hawaii (May 29). It was a gray and rainy day. Bob and I did go for a short walk to the public shore access near John and Dorothy’s condominium. I photographed artwork on the wall of one of the resorts, a mini waterfall and pretty flowers.

Entrance to The Royal Sea-Cliff Resort

We passed by this condominium resort whenever we drove into downtown Kona. The artwork on the entrance wall always caught my attention.

Mini Waterfall

When the waves rolled into shore, they would pour into the rock crevices. The water would then come out from the holes in the rock, creating mini waterfalls such as this one. We spent at least 30 minutes watching this particular waterfall being created over and over again.

Lastly, here are some of the colorful flowers that we saw while on our walk to the public shore access.

By late afternoon the rain had stopped. This was good, as we planned to attend an outdoor concert that evening. I will provide details and photographs from the concert, which we consider one of the highlights of our Hawaiian vacation, in my next Hawaiian blog post.

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Discs on a Pole

While on our Hawaiian vacation in May, we saw a number of poles on top of which sat several discs. I asked what is that. Dorothy said it was an electronic warning siren. Here’s one such pole that we saw in Kona.

electronic warning siren

This electronic warning siren is used to alert the public about natural disasters, such as a tsunami. Thankfully, the siren did not go off while we were in Hawaii.

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation Tour

On our twelfth day in Hawaii (May 28) we visited the Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation, where we went on a tour of the milling and roasting facilities.

Before showing you photographs and videos of the Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation, I’ll share two photographs of sights seen while on our drive up to the coffee plantation.

This is an Erckel’s Francolin, which is a type of partridge.

According to a Wikipedia article, the Erckel’s Francolin is native to Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. The Erckel’s Francolin was introduced to the Hawaiian islands in 1957.

This is an Angel’s Trumpet — a beautiful, but possibly deadly, flower.

All parts of this plant contain dangerous levels of poison and may be fatal if ingested by humans or animals, including livestock and pets.

Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation

The Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation is located just above Kona, in a cloud forest 3,200 feet above sea level. Mornings are the best time to visit Mountain Thunder, as the clouds usually roll in around mid-morning bringing about foggy and rainy conditions.

One of the resident felines greeted us upon our arrival at the Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation.

I found a video on the Internet that describes Mountain Thunder’s coffee production process much better than I could ever write about it.

Bob at Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation

As I stated above, I do not drink coffee. Bob, on the other hand, is a coffee drinker. Bob sampled Mountain Thunder’s organic 100% Kona coffee but didn’t find the taste to be any better than other brands of coffee. Bob says he must not be a coffee connoisseur.

Stay tuned! My posts about our Hawaiian vacation are winding down; however, there are still three full days to be blogged about.

Our Hawaiian Vacation: A Lazy Day

I don’t have much to share in regards to our 11th day in Hawaii (May 27th). That day was a lazy one for me. While John and Bob were deep-sea fishing and Dorothy was at work, I was at the condominium doing laundry and adding keywords to photographs. I am relieved that I took the time to add keywords to my vacation photographs. I know that I would have forgotten where some photographs had been taken had I not added the keywords! That evening Dorothy and I drove 4 miles south of Kona to St. Peter’s Catholic Church, where we watched the sun set behind an ancient temple.

St. Peter’s Catholic Church
known locally as the “Little Blue Church”

Located to the right of the “Little Blue Church” is Ku’emanu Heiau.

This heiau (temple) is the only known ancient site dedicated to surfing. Only chiefs were allowed to surf, and they came here to pray for big waves.

By the way Bob and John did not catch any fish this time out. You may recall that they were successful in bringing in three ono from their first deep-sea fishing trip on May 19th.

Stay tuned; I will take you on a tour of a coffee plantation in my next Hawaiian vacation blog post.

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Last Stops of Two Day Circle Tour

This post continues details of our two-day circular driving tour of the island of Hawaii, which we began on our ninth day in Hawaii (May 25th). Here are the stops that we made thus far:

1. Our first stop was at South Point.
2. Our next three stops were in the towns of Waiohinu and Naalehu.
3. Our fifth stop was at Punalu’u Beach Park, near the town of Pahala.
All five of these stops were in the South Island region.

4. Our sixth stop was at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

5. Our seventh stop was at Lava Tree State Park.
6. Our eighth stop was at Isaac Hale (Pohoiki) Beach Park.
Both Lava Tree State Park and Isaac Hale Beach Park are located in the Puna region near the town of Pahoa.

7. Our ninth stop was in Hilo. We spent the night of May 25 at Uncle Billy’s Hotel. The next day, after visiting some of Hilo’s attractions, we continued our circle tour of the island.

From Hilo we drove north along the Hamakua Coast. We made several stops along the way.


Honoli’i Beach Park is located 1.5 miles north of Hilo. It is a first-class surfing spot on the east side of the island of Hawaii. There were stairs leading down to the black sand beach; however, we observed the surfing from a lofty vantage point.

Surfers waiting to catch a wave

Surfer at Honoli’i Beach Park
The waves are bigger during the winter months.
These waves, though, still looked impressive even from our lofty vantage point.

Onomea Bay is located a short distance north of Honoli’i Beach Park. We viewed the bay from a roadway named appropriately “4 Mile Scenic Drive”. The scenery along this 4-mile stretch was tropical and breathtakingly beautiful!

This is Onomea Arch.

According to Hawaiian legend King Kamehameha threw his sword and created a tunnel in solid rock. The arch stood for thousands of years until an earthquake in 1956 caused the top of the arch to collapse.

Continuing north we come to Akaka Falls State Parks. To reach the park we drove through Honomu, which used to be a bustling sugar plantation town.

1920s-era storefronts in Honomu

Akaka Falls is located in a tropical forest.
Do you see the paved trail on the right-hand side of this picture? The trail leads to Akaka Falls.

This is Akaka Falls.

Hooray! I captured a rainbow!

Dorothy took this photograph of Bob and me at Akaka Falls.

Laupahoehoe is located about midway along the Hamakua Coast. There are spectacular views of the ocean from Lapahoehoe Point.

Laupahoehoe, however, is the site of tragedy. On April 1, 1946 the island of Hawaii was struck by a tsunami. Approximately 160 people on the island were killed. While the greatest number of deaths occurred in Hilo, the school building at Laupahoehoe was covered with water. Twenty students and four teachers were drowned. A monument to the dead now stands on Laupahoehoe Point.

Tsunami Memorial at Laupahoehoe Point

Looking back at Laupahoehoe, as we are driving away from it

Our last stop along the Hamakua Coast was at the Waipio Valley Lookout. The lookout provided a breathtaking view of the Waipio Valley.

Waipio Valley Overlook

By the time we reached the Waipio Valley Lookout it had started to drizzle, hence the haze you see in this photograph.

From Waipio Valley Lookout we drove to Waimea. You might recall that we visited Waimea on May 20th. Our second stop in Waimea was for refreshment and a little window shopping. The boys enjoyed a pint of beer, while we girls enjoyed checking out the stores at Parker Ranch Center. We ate dinner, too, while in Waimea. Dorothy had read that the burgers were excellent at Village Burger. Yes, the burgers were excellent; however, our dinners were VERY EXPENSIVE! It cost $20 for two burgers and fries to share.

We returned to Kona in time for the boys to enjoy the last 30 minutes of happy hour at Kona Brewing Company. We girls went shopping at KMart. I picked up a few souviners — macadamia nuts and neoprine cola can holders that say “Hawaii” — to give to family and friends. While at KMart we met a young man traveling with four companions. The five travelers had arrived in Hilo that day. From Hilo, they rode a Hele-On bus to Kona. The Hele-On bus is a great service, as it offers free transportation around the island of Hawaii. The five travelers were picking up a few supplies at KMart and hoped to catch a ride (via hitchkiking) to Pine Island Beach, where they planned to camp. All five travelers had purchased one-way tickets from California to Hawaii. They planned to look for work.

This concludes our two-day circle tour of the island. Stay tuned, though; lots more details and photographs about our Hawaiian vacation still to come!

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