Getting Acquainted with Island Time

Trip Start Oct 22, 2012
Trip End Nov 23, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Friday, October 26, 2012

I am writing this first entry just after midnight, bare-chested on the beach, under a nearly full moon.  I can hear the ocean lap against the sandy beach, and the gentle breeze has a nice, cooling effect on this rather warm (currently 27 degrees C) night.  And while I could go on and on, describing this beautiful, clear night, and how the moon reflects almost perfectly on the ocean's surface, this blog entry isn't so much about Spencer Beach County Park, as it is about how Mariajose and I came to be here... 

As you may know, we flew out of Calgary Monday morning, just before (as I've been told since) Alberta's first blast of winter hit.  I guess we just managed to escape nasty, below freezing temperatures and nearly a foot of snow...   After a short lay-over in LAX airport, we landed at Kona International Airport about 19:45.  Stepping off the plane onto the open tarmac, we were greeted with a humid, hot blast of air and immediately collected our bags and proceeded to pick up our rental car -which took forever! Finally, we left the airport grounds, plugged the proper coordinates into the GPS and made our way to the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort, which would be our home-base, as we settled into life on the Big Island. 

I'll digress for a moment and say that instead of writing in depth about each accommodation and restaurant we went to, in this blog, I will instead provide an external link to each TripAdvisor review that I post. 

Anyways... We used our time at the Sheraton to get accustomed to Hawaii and prepare for a few weeks of camping.  But before that, we decided that the first thing to do, on our first day, was to go in search of a beach.  So after having lunch at Island Lava Java, along Ali'i Dr., downtown Kailua-Kona, we headed north of the airport to Kua Bay and Manini-owali Beach.  It was a little tricky to find, and not the most popular beach among tourists, but there were a few other travelers nearby.  I do note the significant difference between a tourist and a traveler... But that is a whole new topic best left for its own blog entry... 

Following our beach day, we used the next day to run around the city and get supplies from Costco, Walmart and a camping store.  That night saw us stop at Lulu's for a few happy hour pints, before hitting Bubba Gump's for dinner.  After stumbling back to the hotel, we called it an early night. 

Yesterday was a lazy start, as we packed up our gear, checked out of the hotel and eventually made our way to Spencer Beach County Park, 30-some miles north of Kona.  We found a nice, shaded, sheltered campsite in the crook of a big old tree and decided to call this place home for the next week. 

Today, we awoke with the sun, after struggling to acclimatize to the hot, 25-30 degree C nights without A/C.  We cut up fresh avocado, tomatoes and pineapple for breakfast, topped it off with a chocolate covered macadamia nut, and chased it down with some Trader Vik's Mai Tai mix.  It was then 200 yards across the beach from our tent to a nice, open, soft, sandy spot where we lazed in the sun and surf until after noon.  To escape the heat of the day, we hopped in the P.O.S. Chevy Aveo rental car and drove around North Kohala to Hawi (pronounced Haa-Veee), where we found an awesome sushi place called Sushi Rock, some great scenery and made a plan to return to hike in a couple days.   

And now I return to my sitting here, blogging by moonlight in my shorts... But I said I didn't want to make you too jealous... So I'll wrap things up by saying, "Aloha from the Big Island!"
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