Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | December 29, 2011

Solo in Kona: My Hawaii Adventure Day #1

Welcome to Hawaii!

Greetings from Kona in Hawaii!  I am writing to you from my hotel room at the Royal Kona Resort, where I am desperately trying to stay awake just a little while longer so that I can moderately adjust to the time zone here.  It has been a very, very long day, so I can’t promise that this particular entry will be coherent.

I want to start this entry by saying that this trip is my first real solo adventure.  I’ve travelled alone before, of course, but it has always been within Canada and for the most part I’ve usually managed to meet up with family or friends in the area I’m visiting for dinner at least once.  This time, I’m on unfamiliar territory, I’ve travelled here alone, and no one is meeting me here.  It’s just me.  I’ll admit I’m a little scared – I’m rather far away, and while I like my space, I’m worried I’ll be lonely, and of course I want to feel safe – but I’m taking baby steps toward brave, and this is one of them.

I technically started my trip yesterday, when I flew as far as the Edmonton International Airport. I stayed at the Travelodge,

The view from my balcony. If this is the standard room, the ocean view must be amazing!

because it is relatively inexpensive and I had an early flight to catch.  I went to bed at roughly 10:30, and woke up nearly an hour before my four a.m. wake up call to make my 4:25 a.m. shuttle.  (Hence the possible incoherence – I’m running on about 5 hours of sleep and I’ve already been up close to 20 hours.)  My plane didn’t leave until 6:40, and I thought just over two hours was a good enough cushion for an international flight.

I was almost wrong.

The line to check in was insane.  The line to go through customs was ridiculous.  The line through security was not bad, but after the other two insane lines I had to contend with, I cut it pretty close.  I had just about ten minutes between getting through and when I boarded the plane (though I will note that I was impressed at the speed and efficiency with which the multitude of travellers was processed, so kudos to them).  Of course, we then sat on the tarmac for half an hour waiting on our de-icing.

The flight to Seattle wasn’t too bad, and then I had a long enough layover, despite our late arrival, to have some breakfast in the bar that has the football team name. I can’t remember it now – maybe the Mariners?  Anyway, it was standard fare, eggs and bacon, but the sourdough toast was tasty.  After that, it was a five hour flight or so to Kona, and we got a complimentary Mai Tai at the end, which is a rather tasty drink.  By the time the plane arrived, though, it was about 3 o’clock in Kona, and 6 o’clock back in Edmonton. I’d officially spent more than 12 hours in airports and airplanes.  Yuck.

The sun sets in Kona. The camera didn't quite capture its beautiful shade of red, but it is still lovely.

Once I got my bags (at an outdoor claim, the airport is really neat), I taxied to the hotel because I was too exhausted to figure out the shuttle.  Expensive, but worth it. I’ll shuttle on the way back, but I have no regrets.  I checked in, showered the airplane off, and then went to check out some of the activities.  I took some brochures then did a little exploring, sat in the sun and made some decisions.  After I’d watched the sunset, I booked a few adventures so I have something interesting to write about and not just “sat in the sun, read, don’t burn!”. I was starting to see double, so I went to the Tiki Grill (Don’s Tiki Grill, I think it is called) for dinner and listened to the strains of the luau while I ate a delicious salad with lettuce, fresh pineapple, mango, papaya and avocodo with a creamy mango citrus dressing that was too die for, accompanied by a “Lime in Don Coconut” drink, which was less sweet than I thought it would be.  I had sweet potato pie for dessert because I’d been good with the salad. It was good, but not something I think I’d have again since it was rather similar to pumpkin pie, which I am not fond of.

In any case, I had a good few hours in Kona so far and have some adventures set up starting on Friday.  Tomorrow I think I shall

Even my salad got an orchid!

book a spa appointment (a different kind of adventure!) and wander the town a little.  I am currently charging the battery for my camera, so will edit this post tomorrow to add pictures.* I have purchase the internet package for the week, so should be able to update regularly.  Though I would like to point out that my inexpensive Travelodge room came with complimentary wireless, while any relatively fancy (I’m not taking 5 stars here) hotel I’ve ever stayed at in the United States charges you extra. This may also be the case in some relatively fancy Canadian hotels, too.  I wouldn’t be an iota surprised if it happens everywhere.  Everyone always wants to make an extra penny (or $40 plus taxes, in this case).

Anyway, I have started to ramble (or may have been rambling all along), so I’ll sign off and get myself ready for bed.

Until tomorrow!  Aloha!


*Edited to add pictures, but leaving the insanity of whatever I managed to get out yesterday!

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