Dec. 17

Same routine as the last few mornings.  We like it.

 We were wondering about the health of the coral.  It looks good to us, and there seems to be lots of fish around. Our pre lunch walk was along the road past one of the golf courses here.  We don’t see very many people golfing.  They are lovely courses and priced to suit.

 When we got to the Kings Trail Kathy went one way toward Waikoloa and I went the other.  This trail has been around for a long time and goes for miles and miles.  On the left is the first hole of the South Course.  I brought 6 lost balls that were close to the trail home with me, and left a bunch more. I drove over to meet Kathy at a little shopping area and we had a bite of lunch there.

At around 5:30 we walked next door to the shops to see the show that happens every Monday and Thursday.

Dec. 16

Kathy has been enjoying playing with her photos.

Off to the beach for a swim around 8:30 after breakfast.  We like these cute little fish.  This is the first one I’ve seen this year.

 Some the usual fish were around as well.

 We were back around 10:15 for a shower and a coffee.  A walk before lunch is our plan.

We enjoyed a really lovely evening with Ann and Frank at the Luana Lounge.  They live not too far from Mauna Lani and were nice enough to drive down for a visit.  We last saw them about this time last year when we got together at the same place.  Some people are really easy to be with because they are so friendly and interesting and that describes them perfectly.  We shared some stories about what we’ve been up to, shared some good food, a few drinks and listened to a talented musician before walking back to our place.

Dec. 15

We were down to the beach a little earlier today, it is the calmest day we’ve had.  The water was lovely and there were lots of fish as usual.

We had time for a walk to the Fairmont Orchid before lunch.  This looking out through a lounge, over the Christmas tree to one of their pools and the ocean.

 There are a bunch of trees in the lobby decorated by local groups and businesses, much like the ones in a Bay Centre at home.Good view of Mauna Kea today.  We’ve seen it with lots of snow this time of year.Here’s a picture taken a couple years ago from almost the same place.

We decided on one more walk – a stroll actually to possibly have a drink at the beach bar.  The Fairmont Orchid has lovely grounds on the way to the beach.

 We were lucky to get a place to sit right by the beach. We see the same moochers as at home.

 It was such a good place that we stayed for dinner and watched the sunset.   Great place for happy hour (or two).

We are missing Colin and Margaret’s 50th and final Beetle Party this evening and are a little sad not to be there, (just a l

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.