First Full Day In Hawaii. 12/31/10

We were so jet-lagged that Eric and I slept in until 9 AM (we went to bed around 11:30 PM, but I woke up around 5 AM for about an hour due to jet lag).  Then we ate our ritual first breakfast at the condo on the lanai while we watched the waves.  What is the ritual first breakfast?  Well, hot chocolate for Eric and coffee for me.  Bear claw pastries for Eric and a toasted bagel with cream cheese for me.  Why is this the ritual first breakfast?  Because the first time we stayed at this condo on The Big Island we did this, and we’ve picked up the same things every year before we collapsed in bed on the first night…it is easy and it symbolizes the fact we are in Hawaii to both of us…no matter how jet-lagged we are.

Usually, we look for whales and dolphin while we eat breakfast, and although we looked this first morning, there were none to be seen.  Every morning is different, tomorrow we may see both.

After showering and dressing we started making activity plans for the week.   Our dives are planned, Eric’s whale-watching trip is planned (this is another ritual, we always try to do it on his birthday, but this year they are not going out on Wednesday, so we’ll have to go on Thursday), and a Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tour of the Waterfalls and the active lava flows (we’ve done this before, but not since 2001 or 2003) and a trip to Volcano National Park (and a meal at Ken’s Pancake House in Hilo OF COURSE!!!) are all planned as well as a birthday dinner for Eric (again not on his birthday, as it turns out we are doing the manta ray night dive on the night of his birthday!).

We went to the Wal-mart to get a better cable for the internet (no wireless here, only high speed wired and the cable was really short and in a very awkward place, very difficult to actually use the laptop) as well as some last minute supplies (I found some Blue Moon Winter Ale here when it was sold out weeks ago on the mainland!) for our laid back New Year’s Eve celebration. 

After the errands were run, we went down to Kailua-Kona town, which is the touristy part of the town (most shopping is on the slopes of Mauna Loa for locals).  Before dinner, we stopped at the local farmers’ market that we always go to and we bought ourselves some homemade banana bread from the same lady and her friend/daughter that we did years before (yes, it WAS a fresh loaf…LOL!).  They had also made some lovely coconut rolls and cheese rolls.  The banana bread was for breakfast on New Year’s Day (and it was a huge loaf, so I may never eat the bagels again until the banana bread runs out) and the rolls are for our New Year’s Day dinner of rib eye steak on the grill down by the condo’s pool.  YUM!

But I get ahead of myself (when do I not when it comes to food?), after we went to the Farmers’ Market we went to Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co. for dinner and drinks while we waited for the sun to set. They have seats with a great view of the ocean and sunset (Kailua-Kona is on the southwest coast of the Big Island) and I particularly like their Pear-Berry salad with spring greens and their Key Lime Pie which they make just like my grandmother did (with condensed milk and graham cracker crust and lots of tangy key limes), so that is what I got to eat for dinner, along with this yummy shrimp cocktail where the shrimp had been marinated in something after boiling that made them slightly spicy.  Eric had the coconut shrimp and the bartender invented a drink for him out of Malibu (coconut rum), banana liquor, Absolut Vanilla and some vanilla that Eric loved so much that he had to thank the bartender on the way out personally.2010-12-31 16.31.47

We had a lovely waitress by the name of Kavra who was born in Kailua-Kona and is going to college in Honolulu, but is here working at her old job for her winter break.  She was a total sweetie.  She took the photos of us together.  The photos of Eric that I’m posting (as well as any sunset pictures I got before my cell phone battery gave out) were taken by moi’.WP_000027

Also, of note, the photos of the a reflection of the sunset (the last one of 2010 and the first decade of the 21st century) in Eric’s sunglasses are part of a photo project Eric and I have been working on for probably a decade or more entitled, “Through the Eyes of Eric”.  Sometimes the photos in this series don’t turn out well, due to the fact that when we take them we can only see them on the small camera screen.  These turned out well.  Lucky us!

After dinner, we drove back to our condo and watched the ball drop in NYC at midnight EST time live.  It was something we’d never done before, even though we’ve been to New  Year’s Eve parties in Hawaii (when we couldn’t get our condo until after New Year’s Day) before and kissed in the New Year at Hawaii time.  One year, we actually celebrated on a plane for every time zone we were in when it hit midnight in that time zone (that was a year we couldn’t go by way of Houston and had to spend an overnight in LA and then take a Hawaiian Air flight from there to Honolulu) as we flew over it…actually…the whole plane did that was awake!  That was interesting, but I prefer to already be at my destination the day before a holiday if I can.

We started to watch a movie on DVD, trying to stay up until midnight AND being jetlagged, since we wanted to see the locals set off fireworks, but suddenly at 10:30 at night, my jet lag came back with a vengeance.   I got ready for bed, just in case I fell asleep, and Eric said he’d wake me up a little before midnight our time.  I didn’t fall asleep before then, but we were watching the clock and kissed in the New Year’s and then went out to the front side of our condo (which faces the slopes of Mauna Loa and thus where most of the locals lived and where we’d seen small fireworks before on New Year’s Eve) and watched some at a distance for a little while.  Our view wasn’t too good, due to the trees that block out vision of the road (as well as the noise), not like the years we watched it from the lanai of the bar of the Keahou Sheraton during their New Year’s Eve party), but we still saw a little and it felt like New Years Eve.

Then, exhausted, I went to bed.  I didn’t read, we didn’t watch TV, I just passed out.

After all these years staying here, I think this is the most organized we’ve been on the first full day.  I think after all these years we SHOULD be organized or it would mean I hadn’t learned anything.

Happy New Year!


Posted in Hawaii.

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