Dec.18

Kathy made us a wonderful breakfast today.  We were able to open a few cards out on the lanai before heading to the beach for our morning swim.

This holiday has gone by quickly, just like the last 40 years.

Very calm today although the water was a bit murky.  We spent about 2 hours at the beach, about half in the water and half sunning.

 One of at least three types of sea urchins we see around here.  This is a Crown-of-Thorns starfish, only one I’ve seen this year.  They can get up to almost a meter across, eat coral and can be damaging to a reef if there are a lot of them.   A lot of the fish like to hide out in little nooks and crannies.

After a shower it was off to the shops for a bit of looking around before lunch.

Here are a couple of pictures of our place.

Inside the front door looking up to the main level.

 Downstairs there are two bedrooms, a laundry room, a little office area and the garage.

This one of the bedrooms and its ensuite:

 

 This is the other bedroom, its ensuite and its walk in closet:

These bedrooms look OK but they are pretty small compared to the master bedroom and its ensuite.  You might get the idea that we have maybe more room than the two of us really need.

Around 2:30 we drove a couple of minutes to a park beside the hotel and walked along a trail to be beach in front of Puako, a little place beside Mauna Lani.  It has a couple of kilometre long beach with lots of pools in the lava and the a few bits of sand.  We did see a lot of turtles along the way, I counted at least 25 and did not take pictures of all of them.

 We talked to this lady and her little dog, Daphne who reminded us a lot of Jean’s dog, Billy Kathy had noticed that our place has solar panels on the roof.  There are an assortment of devices in the garage that we do not have at home.

It is about 4:45 and we are off to the hotel for a celebratory evening.  It is about a 25 minute walk each way.  There may or may not be pictures after a while.

We ended up with a nice spot at the lounge to watch the sunset, share a couple of appetizers and listen to a good musician.

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:

15FD0BA4-33A6-41B9-85E1-DAB169B20043

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.