I hope you’re ready for some brain-sizzling tropical sun and energy-draining heat, because it’s time for the second part of my Hawaiian “adventure”.
Now, before we jump into this second part of the First Vacation in Far Too Long, if you missed Part One and want to see how we ended up in Hawaii instead of France and to check out some eerie landscapes and volcanic destruction, be sure to pop over HERE.
Back already? Good, let’s get traveling….
Bring On the Guard Cats!
For this second half of the trip we got back in the rental car. Which Mr Husband had nicknamed Nugget because it was a tiny little thing.
Of course, once the birds had done their work on the poor little thing, I renamed it Poop Nugget.
We were headed for the long drive from Hilo to the western side of the island, namely to the town of Kona, where we’d be spending a week exploring beaches, historic Hawaiian culture, and (of course) Hawaii’s ever-present ABC Stores.
So, as with Part One, rather than ramble on too much, let me just take you on a little photo journey of our last seven days of the trip…
Let’s start with those guard cats.
We always love a vacation rental that comes complete with pets, and our Kona rental didn’t disappoint in that regard.
There were three resident cats, plus various neighborhood kitties roaming around (along with quite a few mongoose!).
This guy especially liked to maintain a vigilant eye from his perch in the privacy shade….
And then there was this guy who was too busy looking for attention to do much guarding….
The rental also included an outdoor buffet.
Wait, no, sorry, it was the owner’s garden…a garden complete with pineapples getting their start in life!
Tempting, yes, but I resisted picking it…
Now, let’s move onto those beaches.
I have to say, the beaches on the Big Island were a tad disappointing compared to those I’ve enjoyed on Maui.
Some had okay swimming, but terrible snorkeling. A few that supposedly had good snorkeling were too rough for my tastes. And we hit the one spot with terrific snorkeling on a day with an insanely low tide, so the swimming wasn’t the best.
Still, it’s hard to beat those ocean-y views….
Let’s start with A-Bay (even though it was one of our final stops).
The beach was picture-perfect nice with plenty of shade, and the swimming was excellent, but as far as seeing fish, meh.
This next spot was right in town at the pier (there’s another beach, King Kam Beach, just on the other side of the pier which had perfect swimming conditions, but again, no snorkeling).
This is also where the Ironman Triathlons start from, so now we can say we swam the Ironman…haha!
And here’s Kahalu’u Beach.
The snorkeling here is AMAZING and I probably saw some of the biggest and most variety of fish I’ve seen in Hawaii.
Unfortunately, it’s gotten too popular and the coral has suffered for it. But they are trying to restore the coral and I did see some impressively big sections of the fragile stuff.
Also, unfortunately, this is where we got those low-tide conditions, so the swimming wasn’t perfect…and my knees got plenty of bruises trying to get over the rocks at the entry!
And here we have Keauhou Pier. It was great for swimming, but the water was too cloudy for any snorkeling.
Still, it was a refreshing little dip…once you made your way over all the rocks at the entry point. Seriously, the Big Island is rocky!
But our time wasn’t entirely spent testing out beaches and playing with cats.
We also got a little culture in at Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau, aka “The Place of Refuge”, National Historic Park.
This was a sacred spot with a Hawaiian Temple (you can see its thatched roof in the background above) and Royal Grounds.
The idea was that if you broke a law (and those Ancient Hawaiians had some crazy strict laws), you could be punished with death.
But if you could make it to this spot (by swimming, typically), you’d be forgiven and allowed to live.
And here’s your, um, “welcoming” committee
The Royal Grounds and Temple are surrounded by The Great Wall.
No, not THAT Great Wall, but still pretty impressive at 18 feet thick, 12 feet tall, and made entirely of dry stonework.
The Temple was where the bones of Hawaiian kings were kept (disappointingly they’ve been moved to Oahu) and guarded by Ki’i carvings that reach about 15 feet tall…
Let’s Enjoy the Final Day….But Not Until I See the Election Results
As I mentioned last time, this Hawaii trip was a replacement trip when our flight to France got cancelled (or rather, got f**ked up by United).
However, that doesn’t mean France was far from my my mind. Namely, the French presidential elections, the second round of which were taking place on the 24th, our final full day of the trip.
Being the last day, we wanted to get out and take advantage of it. But I refused to hop into Nugget until I heard the results of the election.
Yes, I might be just a little bit obsessed with France.
Luckily, with the time difference, the French polls closed at 8am Hawaii time.
Also luckily, unlike the US, it doesn’t take days (or weeks) for the French to tally their votes, so the results were in by 8:30 am.
Macron had won!
So, with a huge wave of relief, we bribed the guard cats to let us through and we were on our way for our final outings of the journey.
And just as we began the trip, Finn McSpool had to get in one last photo with a local we met on one of the beaches…don’t worry, Finn still has all his limbs…
That’s it for now, but I’ll be back soon with a sample from my upcoming humorous mystery, Tipping the Scales!
Have you been to the Kona side of Hawaii? Any experience with those rocky beaches? Share your thoughts in a comment!
Have a great week!
I’ll type at you again soon!!
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Like any traveling show, Zin’s Circus of Unusual Creatures has hair-raising acts and fried food on sticks. But it’s also got an aura-spotting centaur, a chain-smoking unicorn, and an omelet-addicted dragon.
Oh, and far too many dead bodies in the big top.
When his circus arrives in Salem, the satyr Zin has his hooves crossed that all will go off without a hitch. Finances are tight, but when the vivacious Ella Penn shows up looking for work, well, you can’t say no to vivaciousness, can you?
Ella quickly puts up the hackles of the Dumble Dwarves, the Flying Flynns, and even the peace-loving centaur Flora. So when Ella’s pet iguana turns up dead, it’s assumed the murder was an act of revenge.
Eager to try his claws at investigating again, Duncan, self-appointed detecting dragon, is on the case faster than you can say ‘omelet’.
Trouble is, everyone has an alibi. Everyone, that is, except Ella’s ex-boyfriend, who seems to have the perfect motive…a broken heart. And it isn’t long after he arrives that the body count climbs and Duncan finds himself with more clues than he can handle.
In this second installment of the humorous mystery series that mixes in mythical beasts with the murderous mayhem, tempers are sizzling, the clues are confounding, and the twists have nothing do with the Flying Flynns’ trapeze act.
Don’t miss the show. Pre-order your front row seat for Tipping the Scales today.
2 thoughts on “The Big Island, Part 2: Beaches, Gods, Guard Cats, and an Election”
Fantastic photos – I especially love the guard kitties and the statues! Sorry your knees took a beating during your adventures!
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The guard cats really are the best pics of the trip, right!? 😂
As for my knees, there’s just something about vacation that makes them say, “hey, let’s get banged up!” For example, the last trip to Ireland when my rental bike attacked me, throwing me to the ground and bruising my knee badly enough to leave me grimacing my way through Helen’s walking tour of Dublin a few days later. ☹️
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