Beach Time


In the morning we decided that we would book the oceanfront room at the Royal Kona for the remainder of the trip.  When planning the trip, I never thought that we would want to spend much time in a touristy town like Kailua and yet we found that it fit our vacation mood perfectly.  It was a good place to return to after a day of seeing and experiencing as much of Hawaii as possible.  However, when John called the Royal Kona he spoke with Marie and she told him they could book us for everything except Saturday when they were sold out; this after being assured that we would have no trouble booking the entire time.  Marie asked John if he had a place to stay Saturday night and he said no. Something struck them both about that and they had a good laugh over it.  She said that he should call back the next day after noon and ask for Ann who might be able to help us out.  So we booked the rest of the days and started thinking about where we would spend Saturday night if Ann couldn’t help us out.

We drove into Kailua to have breakfast at Aki’s but by the time we’d parked the car it was after eleven and they were no longer serving breakfast.  That gave us the opportunity to try Aki’s veggie sandwich which  became a favorite for the rest of the trip, served, of course, with 100% pure Kona coffee.  After delighting on the feast and the view we headed north to check out Hapuna Beach.  There were misty clouds hanging low over the hills but the sun was shining at the beach.

Hapuna is a large sandy beach with nice swells for body surfing or boogie boarding.  There were quite a few people sunning themselves on the beach and quite a few in the water as well.  This was our first time to enter the ocean here in Hawaii.  I was amazed at how warm the water was. It was great fun walking up and down the rises and dips in the sand caused by the rolling waves and getting pummeled by each new set.  I hadn’t played in the surf in years and never in water so warm.  We spent a few hours playing at the beach.  I could see why the fellow driving us to the rental car agency recommended Hapuna to us.  Most of the island that I had seen had a rocky coastline; a sandy beach was quite a luxury.  I didn't get any pictures of Hapuna Beach because I was too busy playing and I didn't want to get sand in my camera so you'll have to take my word for it that it was a beautiful spot.

When we got back to the Ohana we were sun drenched and deliciously tired.  John, who was doing all of the driving, relaxed back into "Hawaii" and I went out with my camera again.  This time I checked out the grounds on the other side of the hotel.  I walked past the pool, which was smaller than the one at the Royal Kona but it looked refreshing.  There was a large grass -roofed veranda for shady lounging and a handsome replica of King Kalakaua’s beach house with the pond beside it ringed by palms and other lush tropical vegetation.  The many Bird of Paradise plants were not yet in bloom but the flowering gingers were abundant.  I noted that the royalty always got to stay in the best spots.  Hmm, did that mean because I was staying at the Ohana, I was royalty?  I walked over to Kahalu’u Beach Park right next door where the lagoon continued.  I watched some native fishermen wading in the knee high water waiting to throw their nets, some surfers in the distance and a sea turtle swimming just off shore, occasionally poking its head up for air.  Back at the room, we sipped sake, watched the sunset through clouds and discussed where we would spend Saturday night and where we would eat dinner that night.  Again we checked with "The Big Island Revealed".

First we decided to reserve a room at the Kilauea Lodge in Volcano for Saturday night which we did.  That would give us a chance to spend an entire day exploring the Volcano Park and the southeast portion of the island.  Having done that, we then decided to have dinner at the Royal Thai Restaurant in the Keauhou Shopping Center.  It was a first rate choice.  The place was comfortable and beautifully decorated with hand carved temples and Buddahs, the service was friendly and wiki wiki and the food was super good.  John loved the red curry and my Pahd Thai was excellent.  We also shared a small barbecued chicken that was spicily delicious.  This was to be one of our favorite spots.  After dinner we walked around the shopping center.

Back at the room, I caught the late news and saw that a large storm was already hitting the northern most islands and was expected to hit the Big Island by the weekend with heavy wind and rain.  We began to wonder if our plan to go south to Volcano on Saturday was a wise one. I had read that flash floods were a real hazard on those remote roads.  We could still cancel the room before midnight so we called and did that. This turned out to be a very wise move.

We went to sleep, knowing that we would be back at the Royal Kona in Kailua with the booming surf on the morrow.


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