Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Aloha Travelblog, Day 3

Happy Valentine's Day!

Day Three: After John returned from another morning of surfing at Pinetrees with Kirk, the four of us decided to make our way from Kona up the northwest coast of the island, across the vast stretch of black lava fields, to visit the famed and fabulous Kohala Coast. This is where John and I first experienced Hawaii, back on our one-year wedding anniversary, when we stayed at the Fairmont Orchid: The Nicest Hotel I've Ever Stayed In. Those were the days of mai tais and plumerias, of eating our meals--slowly--in restaurants, and of washing, conditioning, and moisturizing our hair
and bodies with the unending Aveda products the hotel magically replenished each day (no kidding...I came home with nearly a suitcase full of travel-size luxury bath products that lasted until at least Finn's birth nine months later--you do the math--sustaining my aloha buzz for months.)

But back to reality. And, in so, traveling with kids. (Somewhere in that big black field of lava, by the way, is a great metaphor of the vast difference between our two visits to the Big Island...) We stopped at Hapuna Beach State Park, named in a number of books and lists as the nicest beach in the United States. I'm not sure if it was the nicest--I mean, just how does one rank the
beaches of Hawaii? Most of them are gorgeous, have warm, clear water, and tons of tropical fish. This must be like rating ice cream or massages or other such pleasantries, where even the really bad ones are pretty damn good, a job I'd surely love to have--but Hapuna Beach did not disappoint. Sure, the parking was easy, we were able to wheel the kids down to the sand in their strollers on the nicely paved paths, the showers were great and the bathrooms were clean, yada yada yada. But just take a look at these pictures! The water was BLUE for days, the sand nice and fine, the beach plenty wide so that our neighbors were not on top of us. (OK, maybe now I get how they rate beaches.)

John, whose many talents include the ability to keenly observe subtle atmospheric changes, noticed a faint cloud gathering on the horizon that he predicted would soon enlarge and dump rain on us. Despite the fact that it was still clear, hot and sunny where we sat, I took his word on it and by the time we showered off ourselves and the kids, packed everything up, and made it to the car, it began to sprinkle.
By the time we were halfway back to Kona, it was pouring.

But as the rains in Hawaii often recede soon after they arrive, we had clear skies again within hours. We took it easy that night, making a light dinner of assorted poke ("bite-sized pieces of raw, fresh fish mixed with seaweed and kukui nut relish") and udon noodles (a meal my Mom was so thankful to have nearly missed, no doubt, but one of my personal favorites), and cruising across the street to catch the sunset at Magic Sands Beach. A truly magical day in paradise, spent with my favorite people in the world.

1 comment:

jlf said...

This looks like a GREAT day!!!

I want to gooooooooo!!!!