Kona, Hawaii

view from condo at country club villas in kona, Hawaii

Well, after our adventure at Green Sand Beach we arrived at our next vacation rental, Country Club Villas in Kona. It felt good to shower off and unpack our bags as we knew we were staying put for 3 weeks. The condo itself is lovely with a magnificent view off our Lanai. The entire back wall, including our bedroom, is sliding glass doors and windows so the picture above is our first sight every morning.

view of sunset from lanai in kona hawaii

While this is our last view at the end of every day.

Lydia has been enjoying all our new little pets. Well, the geckos and lizards anyway. She freaks out at the sight of cockroaches. Had to piggyback her home one evening when one ran after us while we were out walking. Oddly enough, for a short period, it did seem to be chasing her. Permanently scarred.

Gecko in our condo on the big island hawaii

This is Billy, our favorite gecko that lives in the kitchen.

For the first couple of days after our arrival in Kona, we just chillaxed, hung out at the pool and hit Costco again to load up for the next few weeks. Since we hit the Big Island we have been keeping costs down by eating at home, but after two weeks, we decided to venture out and try some Hawaiian cuisine. I know most of you will be completely shocked to hear that Lydia wouldn’t eat it. She said it tasted good, but just couldn’t get past the look of it. Too Green for her liking. We heard about Super J’s from other travelers who spoke very highly of the food. We decided on the pork and chicken lau lau, which is meat wrapped in taro leaves then steamed and traditionally served with rice and macaroni salad. Pretty tasty.Super J's on the big island of hawaiiNow, well fed and rested, it was time to start exploring the island again. We decided to check out a new beach which is quite a bit North of us, but well worth the 1/2 hour drive. Great for snorkeling and playing in the surf. Pretty sure we will visit this one again during our stay.

Hapuna beach, bg island hawaii

As it turns out, another absolutely fabulous spot for snorkeling is in Kealakekua Bay near the Captain Cook Monument. To get to the bay, you have to hike the 12 km round trip or boat in. Kealakekua Bay, has by far, been the most beautiful snorkeling to date for us. Long coral reefs with huge drop offs and plenty of fish, Eels and octopi.

captain cook trailhead big island hawaiiThe kids as we are about to start our venture down to the bay and some views as we hiked. Trust me, we did not look like this when we got back up. What you can’t see in the picture is the fine print on the sign. It reads:

The Ka’awalda Trail is physically demanding. Many hikers have suffered injuries and required rescue. A 3.8 mile hike. The return is uphill. Nearly 1400 feet in elevation. During the hottest part of the day. There is no shade along trail. Strenuous terrain ahead.

For our family, it took some time to get back up. We made plenty of stops and went through 3 bottles and one jug of water. On the way down, kids talked the whole journey. On the way back up, no one said a word.

Once you reach the beach, you are rewarded with great snorkeling, a monument for Captain Cook and the knowledge that you are standing at a signficantly important historical location. Our only regret is that we didn’t have an under water camera.

Now equipped with a camera, we have to somehow convince the kids (and myself) to make the trek again.

Captain Cook monument Kealakekau bay big island hawaii

plaque for captain james cook kealakekua bay big island hawaii

Yesterday, we took a road trip to the Northern tip of the Island. We followed the stunning Kohala Mountain Road from Waimea to Hawi through rolling green hills and an eucalyptus and ironwood lined highway. Gorgeous!

plaque for captain james cook kealakekua bay big island hawaii

Aerial photo of Kohala Mountain Road courtesy of Douglas Peebles.

Once we reached the Northern tip we explored the two quaint towns of Hawi and Kapaau and stopped for a quick bite at the highly recommended Bamboo restaurant.

Hawi and bamboo restaurant on big island hawaii

King Kamehameha statue in Kapaau big island hawaii

In Kapaau, is a statue of king Kamehameha that was actually lost at sea and recovered after a new statue had already been re-commissioned. As a result, one was placed in Honolulu while this, now extra one, came to Kapaau. Bless the clever Sailor that somehow fished it out of the drink by the Falkland Islands and brought it home to Hawaii.

On route home we stopped to check out a few historical sites. First, was the birth place of King Kamehameha, then Lapakahi State Park which is an old village site and last was Pu’ukohola Heiau State Park which is a massive structure where Kamehameha gained dominion over the Big Island.

pu'ukohola state park big island hawaii

Two more weeks left on the Big Island!




  1. I enjoyed reading about your doings and got some good chuckles with the fine print of the hike. Sounds great. Merry Christmas.

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