Sunday, March 11, 2007

Aloha!

Oh, Hawaii, how I love you!

Here are just a few reasons why, from our family's recent trip to this beautiful island!
(Warning, long, long post from a week-long trip without a lap-top!)

We stayed at a great time-share resort called the Kona Hawaiian Resort on the big Island of Hawai'i, in Kailua-Kona, which is on the west side of the island (the dry side!). It was just minutes from the downtown waterfront area and all the shops, so several mornings we walked into town, and had breakfast at Island Lava Java, this wonderful coffee shop with a can't-be-beat view of the ocean and killer coffee & cinnamon rolls.

Other than filling ourselves with wonderful Kona coffee, most of our days were pretty laid-back. This was a very different vacation for me, however. I normally have an agenda of things I'd like to see, restaurants I'd like to go to, etc.

Because we'd been to this same place 2 years ago, my "agenda" for this trip was pretty simple: lay by the pool, swim & snorkel in the ocean, maybe see the volcano at night, and eat at my favorite restaurants, the Kona Inn, and Don the Beachcomber, located literally at the ocean's edge. What I didn't factor in was traveling with a very active toddler :) As any parent of a young one knows, their schedule immediately becomes yours, otherwise no one is happy!

We were able to fit in, between Kyra naps, a tour of one of the many coffee farms on the island called Greenwell Farms, where we found out how coffee goes from the tree to your cup. You probably won't recognize the name Greenwell Farms. That's because they don't actually produce roasted coffee for the mainland. This is because once coffee is roasted, you only have a limited window for it to retain its freshness. Instead, they get the beans to the cherry stage (baby coffee beans), and these are what they sell to your local Starbucks or Peet's, where they roast it for your drinking pleasure. Below are pictures of a coffee plant in bloom, and in cherry-form. By the way, the coffee plant is a member of the gardenia family, so when they blossom, their fragrance is heavenly!



And now, I'm going to let the pictures tell the rest of the story:

Kyra, the curly-haired, with her new-found friend, the coaster basket

Stretching our legs, and wearing our hat...

First time in a swimming pool. I'm not too sure about this. Good thing my Daddy has me.

The view from our lanai. Not exactly on the beach, but still a great place to sit and relax.

The Dolphin Encounter at the Hilton Hotel in Waikoloa

Walking around the grounds of the Hilton Hotel in Waikoloa

Look at that curly hair! We gave up on ponytails after the first day...

You can bet David was wishing he had his fishing rod!
Koi ponds at the Hilton Waikoloa

So cool wearing Mommy's sunglasses!

Nap time on the lanai...

Mommy & Me on the Lanai

Our travel companions, Kristin's parents.

I'm ready for my photo shoot...

Sunset at the Kona Inn restaurant

Kyra & Daddy at the Place of Refuge, one of the Top 10 Snorkel places in the World!

A Place of Refuge (Pu'uhonua o Honaunau) native--the Hawaiian Green Sea turtle

Kyra's first dip in the ocean...not a big hit.

We just needed a calmer surf...Kyra & Mommy sitting in the warm ocean.

Kyra at the Beachcomber restaurant with the surf in the background

Say Cheese!

Another spectacular Hawai'i sunset on our last night

The morning of our last day, from our lanai


Well, the real world is calling me with loads of laundry and other normal daily tasks that need to be done.


Blessings, K~

2 comments:

Jocelyn said...

It looks like an amazing vacation!

p.s. Your hair looks really cute in the last pic :)

Matt Singley said...

Wow! What a trip! I'm happy for you guys, that is great.