Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | December 30, 2011

Solo in Kona: My Hawaii Adventure Day #2

It’s the end of a long day, and I am glad to be back at my hotel room, getting ready for bed by posting a journal entry.  My day was pretty low key, but I still got out and about and have the sore feet to prove it.

I slept almost 10 hours straight last night, which was amazing and much, much needed.  I think I was out minutes after my head hit the pillows, which is not usual for me at all. I’ve got a lovely king-sized bed in the room, and am very much looking forward to snuggling up in it again shortly.

I found this on my walk on the beach. I looked it up: Mahalo means "thank you."

I woke up at about 6:30 this morning, but didn’t really want to get moving quite yet.  I am on vacation, and decided I would enjoy it. I slid open the panels that cover the balcony windows to find that the sun had already risen (no morning sunrise with my coffee), so I had coffee in bed and read for a while.  I did a little writing and spent little time watching the ocean, before finally deciding it was time to shower and get ready to truly begin my day at about 9 o’clock.  After I’d showered, figured out an outfit, and put on makeup, I made my way out of the hotel and found a nice restaurant that overlooks the ocean (though most places do, here).

I ordered a coffee and a Hawaiian mimosa (don’t judge, I’m on vacation!) which uses a pineapple, orange, and guava juice blend instead of plain orange juice. They call it “POG”.  It was very delicious.  I also had a stack of pancakes with banana and macadamia nuts.  They were delicious but pretty large – I couldn’t finish them.  A woman who was also travelling alone sort of took over half of my table (I was seated at a set of two that could be split up), having exchanged a “what do I do here?” look with the waitress when the woman pretty much plunked herself down when I indicated that no, it wasn’t taken.  I decided to make the best of things and make friends.  The woman was a little demanding with the waitress, but it was actually rather pleasant to have someone to converse with over my pancakes and delicious Kona coffee.  She was from New York, though originally from Russia. (I heard the accent and used it as a discussion starter.)  She had a husband and kids back home, but once a year gets to take some time to herself, and she chose Hawaii.  I didn’t catch her name, but I think she’s going to the same Luau I am tomorrow night, so perhaps I shall bump into her again.

Making a palm branch hat by the ocean.

After my leisurely breakfast, I walked up the main street and visited the little shops that line the way.  There are tons of little shops.  Hand crafted jewelry shops.  Arts shops.  Clothing shops.  A farmer’s market.  All the kinds of perfect shops I love drifting in and out of.  I saw some pretty neat things, including an outdoor church.  I wanted to take a few pictures, but someone went up to pray at the stone altar just as I discovered the lovely little area, and it felt too intrusive to take pictures.  I will probably go back at some point to get a few.

The farmer’s market was pretty neat, and I shall definitely have to go back there for souvenirs for the office, and maybe to pick up some fresh fruit.  It is all so beautiful and fresh and smells so good, unlike at home where it is really not fresh or particularly beautiful. I chatted a bit with a woman in the back and bought a pendant made of the volcano rock. Apparently, you aren’t supposed to take the rock away from the Island, lest you anger Pele, but this one had been blessed in a ceremony, so I will not be incurring the goddess’ wrath.  I think I bought it more for the story than to wear, but I do like it quite a bit.  I think I am making a habit of that kind of souvenir, since I bought a medallion in New Orleans for much of the same reasons.

The beautiful palm trees I encountered on my walk.

After walking a ways (for about 2 hours), I was feeling a little dehydrated, so I found a place to have a little lunch and a drink.  I ordered a drink called a volcano, because it comes with a sugar cube that is lit on fire, and it was too cool to pass up.  What I didn’t realise is that the drink was also ENORMOUS. Quite a bit larger than I would have guessed looking at the picture.  I don’t know if it was quite as big as the fish bowls they serve at Boston Pizza, but it was definitely up there and most certainly way more than I usually drink in one go. I am very, very glad that I also ordered something called an Ahi Tower, which was Ahi (fish) marinated in Poke sauce (and very like sashimi) in a tower with mango and seaweed.  It was fabulous.  So was the drink, though I couldn’t finish it.  I did the best I could, but could only drink over half of it, which made me feel lovely and relaxed and just on the edge of needing to be rolled home.

I continued shopping after that (and copious amounts of rum loosens the purse strings a little). I walked by a little place where you can pick and oyster and get its pearl. I drew a couple for 40% off, so decided to go for it.  It was very, very neat and I got a rather large white pearl, which the lady drilled for me.  I then bought a setting for it, a little “cage” with a starfish, since that is kind of my thing.

The sea cucumber-like creature that I found in a tidal pool.

I also bought some souvenirs for my parents at a little coffee place, and I bought a souvenir for my unborn niece or nephew because I want a head start on being the cool aunt who takes amazing trips and brings back presents.  I also spent some time wandering around on the beach.  Much of the shore is lava rock, which looks like giant black pumice stones.  I did some climbing and looked in little tidal pools.  I found a sea cucumber or something like it in one.  In others, where were these little puffy things that could be sea urchins or maybe are just some type of seaweed.  I’m not entirely sure.  I did not see any starfish, but I think I did see some little crabs.  I say “think” because they were scurrying away from me about as fast as I was scurrying away from them, since their movement reminded me of spiders and I was moving on instinct before I even realised it.

After all that shopping, I made my way back to the hotel to rest my feet before dinner.  I got in at about 6 o’clock, and debated going for a little dip, but ended up sitting on my balcony.  I almost didn’t want to go to dinner, but finally went at about 7 o’clock.  I wanted to go to this little bar called Huggo’s, but there were no free seats so instead I meandered until I was at a place called Rosa’s Cantina.  There was a guy playing the ukelele and singing, so I felt like it was a good spot.  I kind of wanted a hamburger, but since it was a Mexican restaurant, I had a burrito instead.  It was good, as was the Hawaiian margarita (different juice with my tequila), but I kind of was craving that hamburger.   The wind from the ocean was also cold, so I skipped dessert and more chill ukelele playing to come back to my hotel room.  Apparently, being from Canada doesn’t make me immune from getting a bit chilly even in Hawaii.

Tomorrow is going to be even more low key, as I plan to read and swim and relax here at the hotel for most of the day, since I will have the luau to write about at the end of the day.  I’m very much looking forward to it.

Until tomorrow. Aloha!

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