Hawaii 2021

Thursday, Nov. 18

Our last day already, time has gone by so fast.

We got to the beach just after 8:00 for a swim. Not many people there at that time.

Very calm morning
Nicely kept beach
Paddlers from Waikoloa stop for a break
Lots of room for a little bird

After a bit of packing we went for one last walk around the shore and past the fish pods.

Gates let water and sometimes fish in and out
Handsome fellow was fishing

We had dinner on our lanai today, trying to use up the last of our food.

Steak, baked potato and salad, and the fridge looks empty

We have eaten every one of our meals outside, pretty nice.

We enjoyed the nice sunset!

Now to finish packing.

Aloha

Wednesday, Nov.17

We received our Covid test results via email this morning both of us are negative; Kathy says, “ I suppose now we’ll have to go home tomorrow.”

We got back from the beach around 9:30 after a swim and lounge in the sun. Nice and calm again today, 28o.

Haven’t seen many of these. It was in about a metre of water, blends in nicely
These little fish are usually close to the surface

The manager here helped us print our test results. She has been very friendly and helpful through out our time here.

Our walk this morning was around the shore and back up past the shops where Kathy stayed to do some browsing. It is 30o here this afternoon; doesn’t usually get this warm. We are enjoying it while we can.

Gates let ocean water into the fish ponds
Good spot to see turtles in the afternoon. I think they might be out having breakfast now.

Outlook from the hotel lounge, we opted for the beach restaurant instead

Te macadamia nut hummus and vegetables was so good last night we chose it again


Kathy likes this picture – he’s eating a vegetable. The carrots really were delicious!

We thought there was potential for a great sunset but it turned out better looking NE away from the sunset

Still pretty nice looking out over the water

We walked back to our place as it got dark thinking we are so lucky to have been able to come here again.

Tuesday, Nov. 16

It was off to Waimea to get the Covid tests needed to re enter Canada.

Paniolo country. Nice clear morning in Wiamea

We stopped at the Hamakua Macadamia nut factory on the way back. We usually stop here each trip to buy a few nuts to bring back. It has been a great place to stop because one could test all the flavours of nuts. That little treat was not available this time.

Back to our place in time for lunch.

We decided to try out the pool this afternoon. It is a short walk through the grounds. We had a quick swim, sat and lounged in the sun for awhile.

Around 3:00 we headed off for a walk and ended up going along the shore past the hotels; our usual.

Emptying shoes
Dinner was going to be on the beach
Kathy ordered fish and chips, I ordered veggies and macadamia nut hummus. We shared
There is a nice lounge up there in the hotel that we thought might be good for a last dinner out tomorrow
We passed this sign and checked it out, sounds like an insurance company convention
Kathy counted 50 tables with 8 people per table. We’ve seen quite a few events like this going on here. I think we were just a little early for the open bar
Moon through palm trees, maybe we will see the eclipse on the way home

Back to our place around 6:00.

Monday, Nov. 15

We were up early and down to the beach by 8:00 for a swim, back a little after 9:00. Kathy is keeping a eye on the weather; she needs some bright sun and it is partly cloudy again today.

We headed off for a walk just before 10:00, to “49 Black Sand Beach”. It is toward the south side of the resort area. It is a public beach, as are all beaches in Hawaii, but you have to go through a gate, past a manned guard house, and if driving, pick up a pass. A sign said all the parking spots were taken but since were of foot we were welcome.

This is a fairly swanky little enclave at Mauna Lani of a few dozen nice places with their own private beach club. Nice walk along the road.

Busiest we’ve ever seen this little beach

We walked back past the beach we swim at, and through the fish ponds. There is a separate spot for golf cart parking here. Carts can drive on the roads in the resort. There is a place that rents them in the shops but they are pricey, a four seater like the nearest on here is $70/day.

Good spot for a drink of water
A tree service was working here, looks like a Bartlett truck

Back to our villa after 2 hours, just on time for lunch, I’d say, but first, some painting:

It has pretty much cleared up so Kathy decided to do some fabric painting off the lanai.

Quick walk to the shops this afternoon.

Very interesting trunks on these trees
The grocery store is busy and Tommy Bahama’s restaurant is busy but the rest is quiet with lots of vacant stores

Sunday, Nov. 14

We have an overcast morning here, even had a few raindrops. 27o. Much different looking at the beach at 8:30 compared to noon here yesterday.

More people were arriving by the time we left
These fish have been in the same place for a few days

Off for a walk after a shower and cup of coffee. We seem to have a routine of walking down the road to the shore, along in front of the hotels and back up through the fish ponds. This takes us past the little grocery store and we can pick up a few things we might need. The longest part of this is along the beach, so it is pretty nice.

First time we’ve seen all the courts in use, all 9 of them
Just like at home, the yard work never ends
Hibiscus with bee
This guy was just hauling himself up on the beach
Different colours this morning. Spot the helicopter? Spot the surfer?

Definitely busier than when we left a while ago

This walk was just about exactly 5 km by my device, Kathy’s says 7.9 km!! Hers includes a round trip from the parking lot to the beach.

We headed out for a walk around 3:00, partly scouting out a place for some art work. Still overcast but no rain.

Setting up for an event at the hotel
Oven was heating up.
Nice bench at the hotel
One of the hotel shops
We’ve seen quite a few mongoose but they are hard to get close to
They always scoot away

Happy hour on our lanai after our walk, which doubled the distance for both of us.

Saturday, Nov. 13

We headed off to Waimea to one of the four Saturday morning farmers’ markets. This is about a 30 min. drive. They seem to be quite popular, lots of local produce and artisans, and lots of visitors.

She seemed happy to be wandering around

We were back to our place around 10:00 a.m. and then headed out for a pre lunch walk.

We walked through the fish ponds.

Lots of people getting a fish pedicure (and more)
Just before noon the beach where we usually swim in the morning was packed
Not far, this would be a better place to go for a swim
Or just relax

About a ten minute drive is the next resort area to the south, Waikoloa Beach. Great place to go for a walk – 2 nice hotel properties and a nice uncrowded trail along the shore.

Nice road through the resort area. Not many people walking along the roads and trails
Just inside the lobby of the Hilton Hotel. There is a tram to take guests to their building. There are also boats in a canal that can be used

There are 4 or 5 buildings, in the grounds. Lots of places to walk with lots of art work on display.

Once we got back onto the grounds, we came across a couple of Nene, the state bird.

One of the many statues on the grounds
This statue reminds Kathy of my Dad
An artificial lagoon for water activities
One of the many pool areas. This picture made me glad we are staying where we are
Kamuela Provision Company restaurant where Tan and Trav had their wedding dinner

Nice walk back along the shore through the Marriott Hotel to where we had parked. Once the sun goes down it gets dark quickly here and we had to turn on headlights coming back for dinner.

Friday, Nov. 11

from Hawaii

Back from the beach around 10:00 this morning, with a few pictures.

Kathy said she was going to remember mornings like today in January when it is cod and wet outside.

The guys are still here working on trimming the palm trees. We had to move the car when we got back and didn’t see this fellow above where we parked.

We are off for a walk after a shower and a coffee. The pictures will tell which hotel lobby we walked through:

 

Reflections with the fish at a hotel pool
Trail through a lava field
There a few paces to stop along the way
At the entrance to a lava tube
Back for lunch

Dinner on the lanai tonight after a pretty relaxing afternoon. We were going to go to Tommy Bahama’s for Happy Hour but it turned out they were too busy, or we were a little too late so Happy Hour was here on the lanai.

Pretty evening, about 26 degrees

Thursday, Nov. 11

We thought we would try walking this morning and maybe swimming later on.

Coconuts
This is a female night heron; it was nice enough to pose
In front of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel
Replica of a native Hawaiian dwelling
Kathy saw a painter on the beach

The town of Kona is about a 30 min. drive to the south, just a little past the airport. Kathy wanted to look for some fabric. It was a quick and successful shopping trip (the best kind). On the way back I topped up the gas tank. Gas was $4.70/gal. We also stopped at the little grocery store here to top up some of our food supplies. We were back for a late-ish lunch.

Before dinner we headed out for a walk, similar route as this morning.

Interesting plants to see
Potential for a nice sunset
We met Zeus – who has moved here from California
Male Night Heron looking for dinner in the fish ponds

It was getting close to sunset.

Nice colours in the trees
Pretty nice sunset

Back to our place for mahi mahi tacos on the lanai. It has cooled off to 27 degrees, which feels great.

 

Wednesday, Nov. 10

Another nice day for a swim after breakfast.

Today, Kathy used her camera as well
First time I’ve seen these in a school like this
So took a few pictures of them

Before lunch we walked to the shops, saw the goats again but figured that as cute as they are I have enough photos of them for now. Not so for egrets who were following a lawnmower as we left the grounds.

 

The tree trimmers have been busy around the villas since we got here. The climbers don’t use spikes when they are climbing the palm trees.

The rings clamp around the trunk

Kathy stopped to look in a few stores while I carried on for a walk. Picture perfect weather; around 28o.

This afternoon we’ve been invited to visit Ann and Frank, who live about a 20 minute drive north of Mauna Lani. They showed us some great hospitality. We had a tour of the inside of their home and a walk around the yard. They are very proud of the work they have done since they moved in about 5 years ago.

They have lovely artwork
Including one of Kathy’s garden quilts
Great views from lots of places inside and out
Frank made these barriers to help keep wild pigs out of the gardens
Back of the house
Front of the house
Infinity pool with whale watching outlook

 

Tuesday, Nov. 9

We had a good swim this morning, much calmer today. Back for a shower and a coffee around 9:30.

We decided to go for a longer walk this morning over to Waikoloa Beach which is the next resort area to the south of Mauna Lani. Without going out to the highway, the only way of walking between the two resorts is along the King’s Trail, the rough lava path that historically ran along the west side of the big island and remains usable in places.

Young donkey close to the shops
Heading south on the King’s Trail
There are some petroglyphs and other old sites along the trail

We had a quick look around the two market areas here; the King’s Market and the across the road, the Queen’s Market. Both were pretty quiet with quite a few stores closed.

Right around noon, very quiet
I waited outside while Kathy looked in this store. Everyone wears masks inside any stores.
We ate our lunch on a bench here, at noon, inspite of what the clock says

It was a long, hot, walk back; Kathy’s step counter app read 20,000 steps and about 14 km, mine was about 15,000 steps and 11 km. I was positive Kathy was with me the whole way.

Last Tuesday we had dinner down at the beach and we thought it would be good to try it again today.

Hope everyone is doing fine with the windy weather at home. I’m not missing yard clean up.

We had a lovely evening at the beach restuarant:

Looked like it would be a good sunset.
Kathy insisted I use this one
We had finished the fish tacos and this little guy was offering to help with the Poke
Torches close by
Last look back at the beach restuarant

It’s a short walk back to our place after a great evening!

After we walked back

Kathy’s stats for the day; lots of walking!!

Monday, Nov. 8

Down to the beach as usual around 8:00; it was very windy and choppy. Kathy was one of the few people in the water when she went in for a swim.

After a cup of coffee, we walked down to the beach at Holoholokai Park. A few years ago, Kathy placed a lei in the water here in honour of her friend Myrna.

Myrna’s lei in 2015

Since we arrived this trip Kathy has been collecting fallen blossoms and has made two leis that she wanted to place in the water to honour Myrna and her close friend Marnie, who recently passed away.

 

The two leis drifted out together. There happened to be a turtle in the water right where Kathy let the leis go. (It doesn’t show up in the photos.)

We carried on toward the hotels.

Inevitable result of walking on the gravelly beach

Even along the edge of the beach there were flowering plants to see.

It looks like petals only grow on half the flower of this plant

We had an excellent, memorable meal at Brown’s Beach House the year Tan and Trav were married. Six of us right at this table.

We walked through part of the newly renovated Mauna Lani Bay Hotel.

Just inside the entrance looking down to ground level
Part of a dispay of hula skirts

We carried on back to our villa. Kathy’s phone said it was a 7 km walk.

Our afternoon walk took us through the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel in the opposite direction that we walked this morning. It looks very nice, as one would expect. It was closed for over a year while it was renovated. It reopened about a year ago, I think, so business has probably been on the slow side. It looks fairly busy now. Apparently, Auberge hotels spent about $200 million on the reno.

We walked along the beach enjoying the sights. It is overcast here but nice and warm.

Egrets looking for dinner
2 turtles this afternoon
Ceremony on the beach
Cute art on the beach, endless materials to work with

We walked through the Fairmont Hotel, it is pretty as well.

Nice floral display in the lobby

Dinner will be on the lanai again tonight. It is 28 degrees here. We’ve had all our meals outside so far.

Sunday, Nov. 7

 

Down to the beach as usual and back around 9:00. We decided we better figure out where we were going to get the Covid test we need to get back into Canada when we come home. We drove to Waimea, a town up the hill on the way to the other side of the island. It is the third largest town on the island and is known as the home of Parker Ranch, which for a while was the largest ranch in the U.S. It is about 2,000 feet elevation and is always cooler and usually cloudier than where we are staying. Today was no exception and I had to put the wipers on briefly.

We were glad we went because the drug store that first came up as the place to get the test said they often take 5 days to get results back. Another clinic was recommended and we located it although it was closed today. Hopefully we can book an appointment for the test there on Nov. 16, a couple of days before we head home.

Stop sign at the Parker Ranch shopping centre

Kathy found some craft supplies at the local Ace Hardware store then we drove back in time for lunch.

There are nice flowers all over.

This afternoon we headed up the road past the shops and saw the herd of goats. They seem to like this area of the resort. We continue to see and hear lots of birds. They are a bit of a challenge to photograph while out walking.

Yellow finches are nearly always in pairs
Gray Francolin are pretty common skulking around the edge of the lava. They have a very distinctive call.

We walked toward the southern side of the resort to the Golf Villas where we have stayed several times. It afforded the opportunity to find a few golf balls.

It’s easy to see why golfers don’t spend too much time looking for balls hit into the lava. We saved a red, a green and a white ball which Kathy thought might be good for an Italian friend.

It was cloudy in the west this afternoon but sunny in the east. Mauna Kea looked lovely in the sun

Saturday, Nov. 6

Down to the beach for a swim after breakfast.

Not many people on the beach at 8:00 and the water is maybe a bit clearer.

Here’s what the downstairs lanai looks like:

Just outside the door is a table beside the outdoor kitchen
Along from the table there is a glider

For our afternoon walk, we headed up past the shops and along the road to the beach where we swim in the morning. Along the way we passed a small herd of goats which were nice enough to let us take some pictures.

They were nibbling on the stuff planted along side the road; it looks like aloe vera.
Egrets are pretty common around here. we’ve seen them catch geckoes

We carried on from the beach club past the hotels and back to our place. Nice walk!

We sat down on a couple of loungers for a few minutes, had a drink of water and looked out toward Maui

We guessed how many turtles we would see. I predicted 3, Kathy said 5, and I think we saw 8.

There’s two of the turtles resting in the sun. The weather network says it’s 29 degrees here. We commented to each other how easy it is to walk here in the warm temperatures. The old joints and muscles seem to like it. Kathy has gone to the store before dinner, about a mile round trip.

She just arrived back and says she has walked 11.4 km. I’d say she would be ready for a glass of wine!

Friday, Nov. 5

We got to the beach around 9:00 today and decided to go for a walk before swimming. We walked along a shoreline trail for about 15 min. It is very clear today, that’s Maui in the background.

There have been a few whale sightings, not by us, but we’ll keep our eyes open.

The shoreline is very rough along this stretch, but there is an old trail.

Parts of the trail are very rough going and we didn’t have good shoes for this walk. Nice views over the water.

The trail goes down toward the water here then back up along the top of the cliff to a black sand beach you can see at the top of this picture, then along to the resort area south of Mauna Lani. We will make our way over there at some point in the next while.

 

When we got back to the beach where we parked we had a swim then lay in the sun for a few minutes to dry off.

After a cup of coffee we walked to the shops and did some shopping. It is a small mall and a lot of the stores are closed; maybe some will reopen as more tourists show up.

Our afternoon walk was the loop to the beach, past the hotels, through the fishpond and back to our place.

Where the luaus happen at the Fairmont

The beach bar at the Fairmont Orchid was open and Kathy got one her favourites: a fresh made ginger ale.

There are lots of birds around but they are hard to photograph with my phone. I will keep trying.

There are different ways to walk through the fish ponds. It is always very quiet through here.

These look like mimosa trees

Walking along the road passed the shops and looking east, we could see Mauna Kea clearly this afternoon. There are observatories at the top. We’ve seen the summit covered with snow other times we’ve been here at the end of November.

THURSDAY, NOV. 4

I’ll stop saying this soon but it is another gorgeous morning here looking out from our lanai over the golf course as the sun is coming up. A bunch of white egrets were following the lawnmowers which must have been churning up breakfast for them. We are off to the beach for a swim in a few minutes.

 

We got to the beach around 8:00. The water was a little murky but much clearer than yesterday.

There seem to be two kinds of sea urchins here
Yellow tangs are easiest to see

Out of the water, sitting in the sun to dry off for a few minutes.

A few people on the beach but not many in the water

After showering, Kathy walked up to the Jam’s World store in the shops to check things out. She has gotten some great quilting fabric there in the past. No luck today, however as their stock has been a bit limited lately.

We had a handyman come by to look at a couple of things that needed tending to and I hung around with him. The villas where we’re staying are about 16 years old and some things are showing signs of wear. He left around 12:30.

We went for a walk around 2:45, heading toward the beach by the Fairmont Orchid. This plumeria was on the way out of the villas.

 

Mauna Lani resort, where we are staying, is about 3200 acres and about 3 miles along the shore. Holoholokai Beach Park is at the north end of resort. A little area called Puako is just north of the resort; it consists of one road running parallel to the shore with houses on either side of the road. We like walking along the beach here. It is mostly lava with little pockets of sand.

There are usually turtles to be seen, which of course means more pictures.

The tide was high but we enjoyed the beach.

Kathy with a coconut

The next and last resort area north of Mauna Lani has two hotels, the Hapauna Beach Hotel and the Mauna Kea Hotel which we can see from Puako beach

The housing along here ranges from very quaint to super luxurious. We went up one of the frequent beach accesses and walked back along to the end of the road, and along a trail back to Mauna Lani.

Back in the villa grounds

The pool area of the villas is closed right now for maintenance and should be open on Saturday. We are looking forward to trying it out. Kathy said she thought a swim in the pool would be very nice after our walk this afternoon, about 2.5 hours, along with her walk this morning, about 2 km and along with her swim at the beach. Tired girl.

Nov. 3

It was 22 degrees and clear again this morning, very nice temperature to eat breakfast on the lanai.

After breakfast we headed to the Beach Club a 5 minute drive away.

There are far fewer chairs here this year, I guess because of Covid.

Getting in the water was really easy, we both estimated the water temp to be about 25 degrees.

We quickly saw that the water was very murky so there was not much to see snorkelling.

This was very close to some coral. We took off our masks and swam around for a while then used a lounger to dry off in the sun.

We are thinking it would be a good morning to go to the grocery store so after changing we headed to Waikoloa Village which is about 7 or 8 miles up the road. There is a larger grocery store there and better prices than the store at the resort. We came back with 6 or 7 bags of groceries – hopefully we are good for a few days.

We headed out for our afternoon walk around 3:00.

Just passed the shops we saw a little group of wild goats, then a little further along we saw a larger herd of goats on the golf course.

 

We stopped to watch them and take a few pictures.

They walked up fairly close to us and we wondered how they were going to manage crossing the road which some cars going by. There were some frisky little ones running around in front but it looked like they stopped and waited at the road.

The older ones lead the group across

We carried on to the King’s Trail, which is an ancient path in the lava. Apparently it was made about 1,000 years ago. It stretches all along the west side of the island. Parts of it a still intact.\

It must have taken a lot of hands to move all the lava.

In this area the trail goes past one of the golf courses. Where these houses are, it was vacant land about 10 years ago and now they look very well established with lots of vegetation.

We carried on passed the fish ponds passed the hotels and then back towards our place. On the way we saw the first turtles of this trip and got a few pictures to add to the many.

Nice scenery along the way.

The Fairmont Orchid has a program to raise bees to help with pollination and to harvest some honey
Just about back to our place
Enjoying the nice light off the lanai while doing these pictures

It is 6:00 here just about time to do some grilling. Happy hour is extended.

While the grill is warming up we looked at the sunset and figured it was worth a picture.

 

Nov. 2

The townhouse looks pretty nice this morning but one thing we noticed last night is how little there is in the kitchen as far as supplies go. There is a bit of a spice rack but nothing else. We are used to maybe a jar of jam, some ketchup, maybe some sugar.

It was off to the nearby grocery store to the something for breakfast. The grocery store is in a little mall about a 10 minute walk from our place. We got some eggs, juice, tea, coffee, bread, etc., thinking we would do a larger grocery shop later.

 

 

 

After breakfast we went for a walk down the road to the Fairmont Orchid Hotel, one of the two hotels in the resort.

The hotels keep their grounds beautiful and are lovely to walk through. There are around 10 tennis courts here although 1 has been converted to pickleball. It was one of the 2 courts being used this morning.

 

There are lots f nice water features on the grounds.

This is the little lagoon in front of the hotel

This log looks familiar although I think it may have moved since the last time we were here:

 

Further along, we come to the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and the beach that we usual go to swim. It is around 11:30 here and it is pretty busy.

 

We carried on to the paths through the fishponds and found something new.

Kathy thinks this has always been here, I think it is new. It is built so people can sit on the edge and dangle there feet in the water. This tuns out to be a way to have a free pedicure!

This walk took us past the grocery store and we stopped and pick up lunch makings.

By this time it was about 28 degrees and sunny.

We decided to head to the beach for a bite to eat around 4:30, I think. This is the path in our townhouse development that leads us to the pool.

Along the way to the beach we saw quite a few nice flowers; they always seem to be in bloom, no matter what time of year.

Past another nice water feature:

To the beach restaurant at the hotel

Great spot for a drink and an early dinner.

Wine and a Mai Tai

We walked back along the beach:

That is Maui in the background.

There has been a lot of feral cats in Hawaii and I think there are programs to try to stop their growth. We only saw one today, a fine looking guy who was not at all interested in being friendly.

Back to our place to relax. This was a 20,000 step day for me; 9 kilometres. It seems very easy to walk here in the warm weather; nice on the old joints.

 

Nov. 1

Our trip to Hawaii was at first part of a birthday present but had to be rescheduled several times. Finally we are able to go to the Big Island starting today. Our flight to Vancouver is leaving at 4:10. We should be arriving at KOA around 10:00 tonight after a 6 hour flight.

I’m looking forward to sitting on this log tomorrow.

We left from YYJ a little after 4:00 on Monday for a quick flight to Vancouver. This is our first time going via WestJet.

We spent a lot of time wearing a mask! The whole time in airports, except for a quick bite, then the whole time on the planes.

 

Time for quick bite before boarding.

The 6 hour flight was nice as there was no one siting beside us. We got to our townhouse a little before midnight Hawaii time which is 3 hours behind us.

 

2 thoughts on “Hawaii 2021

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