The days are definitely beginning to blur together. I can imagine how living in a paradise like this might become a blur. But a good blur.
Today was our day to once again become adventurous tourists and to visit a coffee plantation. Of course a plantation to us, or at least me, meant acres upon acres of coffee trees on a foggy hillside covered with pickers filling their burlap bags with bright red berries. Wrong. That image apparently comes from television. Coffee actually grows on bushes that are severely pruned back to the stump every few years and resembles the structure of our butterfly bushes back home. Since the beans don't begin to ripen and turn red until the fall, there were no pickers. And there were no acres and acres of plantations. Most of the coffee is grown in the backyards of everyday citizens who tend to their plants after work. They bring their beans in to a processor like Greenwell Farms who then removes the pulp and roasts them. Very interesting. We learned a tremendous amount from our Greenwell tour guide. Back at the tasting shed we decided that we all loved the chocolate covered peabody coffee beans (peabody referring to beans that were single and not split upon opening) and their reserve blend. They both went in our shopping bag along with some local honey from the blossom of tropical flowers we couldn't even pronounce. They are a diverse operation and grow fruit as well as coffee. The avocados looked amazing.
Deciding there was not much further south along the coast we really needed to see, since getting to Cook's Bay to snorkel was not going to happen due to its lack of accessibility, we traveled the short way back up to Kauila-Kona and hit a local beach. The snorkeling there was phenomenal according to Bill and the kids. The kids got their fill fairly quickly, but Bill would have, as expected, stayed all day.
By now we had the first clear skies, or almost entirely so, since arriving in Hawaii. We drove up Ali Drive into the touristy, older harbor area of Kona. We parked by an outdoor market and made our trek through it to look at everyone's wares.
Then Bubba Gump's called. Here was lunch. And so tasty. Too bad there's not one back in Oregon. The surf came right up to the sea wall there, and you could stand and watch the waves crest, full of the brightest yellow tropical fish. Very amazing sight. We always have room for coffee, so we hit up the coffee shop father along the boardwalk for iced coffee. The Kona coffee here is so mild we drink it plain with just a tad of cream. Back home it would need to be sweetened and flavored for my taste. Now I'm wondering how I'm going to make our 8 oz of Kona coffee last a long, long time.
We had decided to have big, fat tasty steak one night on the outdoor built-in grill at the villa...a treat considering we only eat venison and elk at home. So knowing there was a Costco in Kona, we stopped there for enough groceries to hopefully last us the rest of the trip. And more sunscreen. Although the prices elsewhere on the island where considerably higher than the norm in our part of the States, Costco prices appeared to be steady. If it weren't so out of the way, we should have definitely shopped there first. Back to the resort, quick change of clothing, and back to the pool and beach.
When you're on vacation time and not checking the clock or packing your cell phone everywhere, it's amazing how time can slip through your fingers. Before we knew it, the sun was setting, and I was caught without a camera. The sky was such a deep blue and the light was fading, the moon was overhead, and palm branches were swaying. Would've made a great shot. So instead of spending time trying to compose the 'perfect' photo, we hiked around the point across the lava shoreline hoping to perhaps come across a hidden sandy beach. Nada. Not here. Definitely land of the lava. We did have a bird's-eye view into the backside of some pretty incredible homes here though.
Another late outdoor dinner. This time a Korean taco kit from Costco, Tazo passion fruit tea lemonade...still glad I packed those tea bags...and some homework by the kids. Tonight we remembered to set the air conditioning before going to bed. A tragic mistake last night. No windows to leave open all night to catch the ocean breezes here...the one lovely thing about the last rental location. I did rather miss the frog chorus too.
Links to other posts in this series: