Kona, Hawaii

The black sand coast of the Pololu Valley, Hawaii

Mokulele pilot, baggage handler, and flight attendant.

Mokulele pilot, baggage handler, and flight attendant.

Aloha! Back to the majesty of the Hawaiian Islands and the serenity of the “hang loose” lifestyle. We took a direct flight from Phoenix to Maui, and then a “little” hopper over to Kona. I had no idea how small the plane would be. It was a 9-seater, and the pilot pulled triple duty as pilot, baggage handler and flight attendant. No co-pilot—so I guess you need to have faith that the pilot is healthy and fit.

Bev next to our ride to Kona: Mokulele Airline's Cessna 208B Grand Caravan

Bev next to our ride to Kona: Mokulele Airline’s Cessna 208B Grand Caravan

Champagne and treats

Champagne and treats

It was a short 40-minute flight to Kona and then about a 25-minute drive to the Marriott. I had advised them in advance that we were celebrating our anniversary (albeit a month or so late) and low and behold when we got to our room we had a chilled bottle of champagne along with Tuxedo Chocolate covered strawberries. Thank you Marriott. In addition to that lovely gift, we also received a coupon for an additional two glasses of champagne at the hotel bar. I do so love champagne.

We were pretty wiped out from our travel day and elected to eat dinner at the hotel; the quality and service were quite good. Carl opted for the macadamia nut crusted Mahi Mahi and I had baby back ribs. We shared the crab and lobster bomb (divine crab cake-like balls) with truffle aioli. Yum. The ribs were so so, but the Mahi was delish.

With a three-hour time change from Phoenix, we were, of course, up quite early. We enjoyed dining outside this morning at the breakfast buffet and then set off to northern Hawaii. We went to the end of the Highway at Pololu Valley. We passed through Hawi, but everything was closed due to Thanksgiving.

We had been given a recommendation from a good friend to not miss Pololu Valley, and to be sure we hiked down to the black sand dunes. It was a very lush environment down the hill but the entire time I am thinking about how steep it is going down and knowing all the while, what goes down, must come up…

I Love Hawaii

I ❤ Hawaii

I prefer to hike UP and then on the back half of the hike, it is all down hill. This was the complete opposite, but, as it turns out, the uphill climb wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be on the way down. (Of course, I wasn’t carrying the 40lb pack of camera gear that Carl was carrying.)

When we got to the bottom, we found a cool swing made out of a large piece of driftwood and agreed it was a good spot for a photo. We walked around the beach and found the water to be very warm and turquoise in color. On our way back to hike up the trail, Carl found a large heart-shaped rock and in a moment it came to us – WE HEART HAWAII! Carl tried to talk me into hugging the rock for a photo, but I vehemently declined as I had already met my posing quota for the day. Carl, reluctantly, agreed to pose with the rock.

On a driftwood swing, Pololu Valley, Hawaii

On a driftwood swing, Pololu Valley, Hawaii

Later we consumed a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Krua Thai (just ok), which capped off our first day. More tomorrow Haole’s. Mahalo.

Leaving Maui in route to Kona

Leaving Maui in route to Kona

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5 Comments

  1. kathimurr
    Posted November 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Looks like awesome fun…wish I was there with you!

  2. newlife4bev
    Posted November 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It looks like you are having a wonderful time and great food. Look forward to more pictures!
    Mom

  3. Pamela
    Posted November 25, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink | Reply

    Veuve Clicquot, no less!
    I was visiting Carl in San Mateo when he bought a bottle of Veuve for you! 😉

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