Dec. 14

We are settling into a routine: breakfast then down to the beach for a swim, back to our place around 11:00.  Not very many people here at 9:00.

there were lots of fish as usual.

Kathy brought her camera today and may have some pictures to add.

Around 2:30 we left for a walk, almost like yesterday but in the other direction. Saw some of the same things – turtles.

This guy was headed back to the water, they are not what one would call frisky but as they say, slow and steady.

We carried on around the hotels along the beach, along beside the fish ponds and along a path that crosses a lava field.  There some interesting formations like this lava tube.  Ancient Hawaiians used them for shelters.

There are quite a few feral cats on the island, they are usually very timid but this guy walked right by us like he was on a mission.

Back to our place around 4:30, a good walk, and now for some lanai time.

Dec. 13

Beautiful morning here at our new place.  Breakfast out on the lanai.  This is the outdoor kitchen part of the lanai.

We’ve been looking forward to swimming in the ocean and after breakfast we drove a few minutes to the area called the “Beach Club” which is for people staying at Mauna Lani.  It is a fairly protected little sandy beach.  We put our masks and snorkels on and pretty well the first thing we saw was a turtle.  We were able to swim along with it for a several minutes, it didn’t seem to mind the company.  The water was a little murky but I did get some pictures.

as well as a short video.



We were in the water for a half hour or so, looking at the fish and enjoying the warm water.

After stretching out in the sun for a while we headed back home at around 10:30.

The resort area where we’re staying, Mauna Lani has 2 hotels, the Mauna Lani Bay and the Fairmont Orchid.  A favorite walk for us is to walk a loop that takes us down to ther shore past the 2 hotels along the beach then back to our place.  This is what we did this afternoon.

We weren’t in a hurry and it took about 1 1/2 hours.

Along the way we saw a herd of goats.  They are fairly timid but cute.

 Close to the beach are some large ponds that are fed by freshwater underground streams.  The ancient Hawaiians used these ponds to growing fish.  There are lots of fish in these brackish waters.

It was quite windy along the beach but lovely and warm.

 The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel has been closed for major renovations.  It is supposed to re open in about a year.  The staff was let go and the owners are hoping they will come back.  It will be interesting to see because I’ve heard that Hawaii has the lowest unemployment rate in the U.S.  The parts of the hotel that we’ve seen have been very nice, so after a reported $100 million reno it should be even farther out of my league. There was a nice rainbow up the coast just about where we were staying a few days ago.    This has been turtle day!  First while we were swimming and now walking along the beach.  It is hard to resist taking pictures of them.  We both have quite few.  We have enjoyed seeing the Christmas tree at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel.  It has varied but this year it is the same as last year. Behind the hotel there are 9 tennis courts.  I think in dozens of times walking by them I have seen people using them twice.  No sign that they are giving in to pickle ball yet. We’ve walked past this little structure quite a few times without going over to read about it.  This is the road in Villages that our place is on.  That’s it on the left.  Nicely kept.After our walk we went over to the pool for a quick dip and a sit in the sun.



Dec. 12

We are on our way to Mauna Lani today after our one night in Hilo.  We had breakfast in the restaurant and were treated to a nice rainbow from our view out the window.

We could just barely hear the frogs during the night but not enough to keep us awake.

Our after breakfast walk took us to the large Japanese garden right beside the hotel.

then to little Coconut Island which is in front of the hotel.  This island is called Moku Ola in Hawaiian which translates to “Island of Life.”  Legend has it that you are feeling ill, swimming around the island 3 times would heal you.

 This coconut tree is marked with the heights of different tsunamis that have hit the area.  Kathy is pointing to the highest one which hit in 1940, I think it said 26 ft high.  Apparently this is one reason why old downtown Hilo has never been modernized; it will undoubtedly get hit again.

Looking out the other way we could see a cruise ship in Hilo for the day.

We left Hilo around noon and drove over the Saddle Road, a different route than we took getting to Hilo.  It sort of cuts straight across the island rather than along the coast.

We stopped for a bite to eat in Waikoloa Village at a Mexican food kiosk that we usually go to at least once.

 We were a bit early to get to our townhouse so we went for a walk along the shore at Waikoloa Beach. This is one of the bigger beaches on the island, it is called “A Bay”, short for a long Hawaiian name.We got to our new place around 4:00; were expecting it to be pretty nice and we were not disappointed.  It is in the Villages at Mauna Lani.  Here are the first few photos.

At first glance it appears very well stocked even a dozen or so beers  in the fridge.

After a quick walk over to the market, dinner on the lanai this evening:


Dec. 11

We left our place and moved to Hilo.  This is a several hour drive with a few stops along the way.  We stopped at Honoka’a where there is a fabric store that Kathy likes.

We then stopped at the Hawaiian Vanilla Company, the only vanilla farm in the US.

Before we left, Kathy said good bye to her little goat friends.

 Honoka’a is an old sugar town.

 Sugar growing along side the road.

The Vanilla Company has a nice store.

 Just Shakin grows their own fruit for their smoothies.






 We stopprd at Rainbow Falls, a popular tourist spot close to Hilo.

 This banyan tree was huge. Hilo was sunny,   This guy had a very relaxing way of fishing 


Hilo has a good farmers’ market everyday.

 Lots of paddlers along the waterfront.

 See the two little mongoose?

This was our view for dinner.  Mauna Kea is in the background.

The annoying noise in this clip is caused by little frogs which were accidentally released on the island.  Common in the Hilo area, they start after it gets dark and continue well into the night.  The tree they are in is just outside our window.


Dec. 10

Another day with no big plans.  After breakfast we went for a drive to the north end of the island, to the towns of Hawi and Kapa’au to the Pololu Valley lookout.  This about a half hour drive and after about 10 miles it starts to get to less and less arid.

 We stopped at Keokea State Park along the way back.  It was pretty windy and the water was very rough.  There were showers for rinsing off after swimming but no one will be using them today.  A Hawaiian fellow was fishing in the lee of a little breakwater.  He didn’t have any luck that we saw.We stopped at a gallery in one of the towns and at a couple other parks with shore access.  The coast is very rocky along this part of the island with no sand to speak of.

Back to our place for lunch.

After reading for a bit we decided to head down to the macadamia nut factory, which is a short drive from our house.

 It is a good place to go for a snack as they have free samples of nuts and coffee. after getting back we walked down the road to see some goats that we have noticed as we drove by.  They were quite friendly, or maybe just hungry.

There were a few birds, tooWe’ve got a checklist of things to do before we leave tomorrow, some we can do this evening, some we’ll do in the morning.

It has been hard to predict what the sunset would be like but tonight turned out to be spectacular.  Here are some photos, they don’t really do it justice.

The sky was full of colour for at least 180 degrees.

Dec. 9

After breakfast we drove down the hill a couple of miles to Spencer Beach State Park and went for a walk along the shore.

  We came upon several little sandy beaches along the way.   The place we’re staying is under the rainbow up on the hillside.



 After about 30 min. We came to this sign and had to turn around.

Next to Spencers Beach Park there is a national historic site called Pu’ukohola Heiau.  There are 2 big stone structures (Heiau)  that were originally built by King Kamehameha in the late 1700’s.   By building these, he was told that the gods would enable him to achieve his destiny and unify all the Hawaiian Islands.  It worked out well for him in the end. On the way back we stopped in the very small community of Kawaihae and looked at Harbor Gallery, which has lots of incredible carvings.  (No photos were taken)  I did come away with some ideas.

It’s not quite as windy so far today and once again it is sunny and warm.  This is the view from my chair on the lanai looking south down the coast of the Big Island.


Kathy was happy with the way her fabric turned out the other day and is doing some more pieces out back.

If I turn my head 90 degrees this is the view looking west:

It’s lunch time and it seems to me it will be easy to hang out here this afternoon.

Dec. 8

The weather continues to be nice and clear although breezy.  Our walking choices from the house are pretty limited.  Up the road or down the road.  We walked up the road as far as we could then came back for a cup of tea.

The house is at the end of a steep driveway.  It’s obviously a very dry part of the island, in the shadow of the Kohala Mountains but there is some irrigation around the house, hence the nice vegetation.  The lanai runs around 3 sides of the house so it is possible to to be in/out of the sun or breeze.

There is a bit of lawn at their front of the house and no landscaping at all around the back.  Kathy thought it would be a good place to try some fabric painting because what she likes is lots of sun.

It is turning out to be quite windy around the north end of the island with wind advisories for both the east side around Hilo and over here on the west side.  Probably would not have been a great day to go swimming at a lot of the places around here, there is also a surf advisory for 20 – 30 ft waves.  When we go out we’ll have to watch out for falling coconuts.

When Kathy was out for a little walk up the road she noticed that there is a lime tree beside the driveway.

The road our house is on is quite short, there are only about 6 houses, ours is on a 3 acre lot.  At the end road there is an empty lot with a nice view to the south east.  The mountain in the background is Mauna Kea.  If you look closely (or magnify it) you can see the observatories.

It is getting close to sunset time.  There is bound to be some pictures shortly.  In the meantime, Kathy is busy concocting a drink for herself with very fresh lime juice.

Sunset tonight was looked just like last night, we have photos anyway. Barbecuing duties await.

Dec. 7

Today is our first moving day.  We have the condo until 11:00 and plan to take a scenic route to our next place.  After breakfast we went for a walk in Kona.  It is another beautiful morning.

 Even along roads off the beaten track there are nice flowers.

We stopped at the market on the way and Kathy bought some fruit for the next few days.


 When we left Kona we drove south for about 30 min. And stopped at a National Park where the House of Refuge is located.  This is a very sacred spot to Hawaiians The ancient Hawaiian culture was brutal by today’s standards.  Ordinary people could face death for all sorts of reasons such as stepping on the King’s shadow.  If someone was guilty of one these crimes and they were able to make their way to the Place of Refuge before capture, they were free. There are some fresh water ponds here, fed by underground springs.   Nice paths to walk among the salt and pepper sand made from white coral and black lava.  After we left the park we headed north through a community called Hualaloa.  There are a lot of artists in the area and lots of little galleries.  Some of the buildings are quite old.   We had Mexican food and then looked in some of the galleries, then carried on our way.  Some lovely work but really pricey! We drove to Waimea along this inland road about 35 miles.  It is probably the third biggest town on the island after Hilo and Kona. At about 2500 ft elevation Waimea gets a lot more rain than the leeward side.  It was drizzling a little when we we stopped at a grocery store.  We then headed for our place. About a 20 min drive back to the west side.

Our place is a house located in the northern part of the west side of the island.  It is a 3 bedroom house which has 2 of the bedrooms locked off.  It’s located about a mile from the water but has an expansive view.  Looks like there will be lots of room for the 2 of us.  Here are a few pictures.   This looks like it might be an easy place to stay for a view days.  There will be sunset pictures . . .  Today 5:44

Dec. 6

Today always reminds me of Bill, it would be his birthday.  On a happier note, it is Mike F’s birthday as well.  After breakfast a walk is part of the routine where ever we are.  We headed down Ali’l Dr away from town a little way.

Another gorgeous day.  Not too interesting a place to walk, lots of cars, narrow sidewalk area, and not much to see so we headed the other way.

The pier is at the other end of town and it was very quiet compared to this time yesterday when all the cruise ship passengers were coming ashore.

One of the larger hotels is here and they have a little sandy beach where paddle boards and kayaks can be rented.

The hotel staff was getting ready for tonight’s luau.  Food gets covered on top of the fire to cook all day.

We headed our own ways agreeing to meet back at the condo at lunch.

After lunch we watched a  native fisherman try his luck right below own lanai.  Quite a precarious spot especially with the waves breaking over the rocks.

He had a long fiberglass pole with a snare on the end but we didn’t see him catch anything.

It was off to Target in the afternoon, then to a fabric store where Kathy has had success finding rayon for her quilting.  For me, the best thing about the Target store was the flowers growing up the side of the building.  They looked very seasonal.

Success at both stores and virtually no waiting.  This gave us time to relax some more when we got back.

We have the choice of sitting in the sun or the shade this time of day.  There is a bit of breeze and the odd cloud this afternoon so it is not too hot in case anyone should be worrying about our comfort level.

Around 5:00 we headed down the road and stopped at a couple places for an appetizer and to watch the sunset.

This evening looked liked it had potential for a really nice sunset but ended up being OK.  We were in a nice spot overlooking the water.  There are lots of places with entertainment along the way and we stopped to watch a few.

It is Looking like Christmas is coming.

We stopped one last time at the bar next to our place on the way home.  4 little mai tai tasters:

We will be moving on tomorrow. This has been a memorable time in Kona.

Wednesday the 5th

Good sleeps last night after a long day of traveling; seems like we have adjusted to Hawaii time, enjoying 2 extra hours.  We had wondered if we would see any cruise ships in Kona and this is what Kathy saw when she looked out the window:

There were 4 tenders ready to carry passengers to the pier, about a 5 minute ride.

We decided to go out for breakfast since we did no grocery shopping yesterday.  There are lots of choices close by and we stopped at a place along the main drag which runs along the waterfront.  A cute little gecko came along the rail looking for a handout.

 We went back to our place to think about what to do with the rest of the day.  The lanai is a pretty comfortable place to spend time.

Nice places to sit and have a cup of tea.

Before we knew it was time to think about lunch, still no groceries so out we went, settling on Kona Brewing Co. where we have gone most times we’ve been here.  Nice to be able to sit outside.

And have a nice fresh beer.

We carried on, Kathy to check out a few places to look for art supplies and me back along the waterfront.

The pier area was buzzing with lots of people, mostly passengers heading back to the ship.

The little boat on the left is one of the tenders just coming into the pier which is on the right.  This is the bay where the Ironman triathlon starts.  Hundreds and hundreds of swimmers head out toward the big building ion the background which is right next to our place.

The main tourist place in Kona is Ali’i Drive.  It is busy

and full of all sorts of places ready to separate tourists from their money.

I don’t think I’ll be driving anywhere today so probably no groceries.  It’s 2:45 and maybe Kathy will stop at the nearby farmers market for some fruit.  This might mean a walk next door to Don The Beachcomber’s where we were yesterday.  After the big lunch earlier, maybe an appetizer will be enough.

Kathy just arrived back with a nice Hawaiian dress and some breakfast supplies.  More later . . .

Our condo has a small pool right by the shore.  A big wave will splash water onto the pool deck.

As the sun was setting the cruise ship sailed away.

Meanwhile, there was quite a crowd gathering next door for a luau.

And almost right below our lanai someone was getting a massage.  I didn’t watch to see how it ended.  (Thanks to Kathy for this photo)

As we were leaving our place to find some dinner saw a little dog that reminded us of Greta.

We ended up next door and had a good seat where we could enjoy the luau dancers at the same time as music from the bar; Beatles, Tom Petty, etc. quite a mix.   Kathy looked great in her new dress.

The luau is happening on the other side of the hotel pool.

We sat out on the lanai when we got back.   There were not very big waves but they will help lull us to sleep before too long