Trip Start Jun 24, 2009
Trip End Jul 08, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Sunday, June 28, 2009

Adown day, kind of.  We were heading back to Hapuna Beach but a look at one of the guides mentioned another beach just a mile or so further.  This one, called Mauna Kea Beach turned out to be even better and more beautiful.  As part of a hotel we went through security and got a day pass, loaded up the stuff and headed to the beach.  It was stunning.  A smaller crescent with the ubiquitous lava on each end and wonderful clear water and perfect sand.  What was even more impressive is the spot be found.  It was nestled against a rock wall and had a huge tree providing shade for Mariefrance. The shade extended to the ocean edge allowing sand castle building in less direct sunlight.  It was a close to perfect as it could be!

We swam and frolicked and created castle after castle (all succumbed to the ocean) and explored a little cave.  Mariefrance noticed some other people with fresh coconut and went off to find the source.  She returned successful with a fresh nut opened with some of the juice saved.  The maintenance people who supplied the coconut, for free, had even fashioned out to the nut two sharp scoops to get at the succulent delicious meat adhering to the inside.  There is no comparison between this fresh pulp and that dry stuff that is passed off as coconut back home.  The boys were not impressed with the meat but enjoyed the slightly sweet juice.

Lunch was suppose to be at the condo but it was such a perfect day…well, all the days are perfect so it was such a perfect spot that we decided to walk to the beach side restaurant at the hotel on the beach.  It was a lovely setting and  Mariefrance and I split a Cobb salad and the boys a club.

Back to the beach and more swimming and action packed castle building and then we returned to the condo.  We freshened up and off we went back to the Kona area for a coffee plantation.  Up the side of the mountain and passed the Donkey balls shop located in a tiny town called Kainailu and this time we decided that we had to stop.  Alex bought half assed donkey balls and Nick blue donkey balls and we bought frosted Ass donkey balls.  After making every rude comment one could make about this balls we tried them,  They are Macadamia nut surrounding by 50 layers of chocolate and they were delicious.

Off we went in search of kona coffee.  We ended up at the Greenwell coffee plantation  which as been around for over 100 years.  We tasted some coffees while we waited for the tour..

We learned how the coffee was picked and processed and how kona was one of the best gourmet coffees available and it was due to a particular combination of the volcanic slopes and weather.  We learned that the fruit is picked by hand as it turns red.  We tried the fruit and the outside was slightly sweet and the inside, the bean itself, very dense.  We learned that the plants are all grafted due to a particular nematode liking the kona coffee but not liking a different plant.  So they grow a lesser coffee plant , cut it down and graft the good plant on the resistant one.  The plants are good for about 30 years.  We also saw bananas and avocado  and mangos and a variety of wild life including a cat which took an instant liking to Alex.  Then, we, of course, bought some coffee.

As we were leaving the guide found a small Jackson chameleon and it climbed all over me, Mariefrance and Alex.  The guide found a grasshopper and demonstrated the size and speed of the chameleon tongue.   From a distance of about 6 inches its grabbed and enjoyed its treat to our excitement.

We headed back and tried to find two restaurants which we had a coupon for in Kona and found one, closed on Mondays and then the other, closed on Mondays.  We considered Pizza hut but changed our mind and ended up at Tanta’s right next to the restaurant we ate at on the first night.   Great view of the ocean and the food was ok and inexpensive.

We headed home and to a night swim and bed.
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