My brother drove Landon and me to the airport at 4:45 in the morning (best brother award). Our flight wasn't until 6:30, but rumor on the street is that you need to be there an hour and a half in advance now because security is so hard to get through. It was one of those very few times that it wasn't hard to wake up that early, though. I was too excited to sleep. I had gotten a glorious spray tan the night before and had just re-dyed my hair purple; I was a mermaid in the making and I couldn't wait to get to the beach.
It wasn't a horrible flight; my seat wasn't next to anyone in the family and the seat next to me was empty, so I had a little extra room to stretch. I was able to catch a few z's, do more sudoku puzzles in one sitting than I have in my entire life combined, and watch half of a movie. It was more than 7 hours of travel time, but we touched down in Kona at 12:00 pm. I had worn shorts in anticipation of the tropical weather, but needed a jacket the entire flight because the plane was freezing. As soon as we stepped off the plane, we were blasted with 85 degrees and 80% humidity. That jacket came off faster than you would think possible.
We went to the resort and dropped off our luggage and then all piled back into the minivan to head to Costco where I ate the most satisfying hot dog of my life. We stocked up on a ton of food and goods. Landon and I bought snorkel gear (we didn't have enough room to pack ours from home) and a couple of boogie boards for cheaper than you could rent. Costco FTW.
By the time we had done all of our shopping, eating, and unpacking at the hotel it was about 6:00. Landon, Kenyon, Kyndal and I went down the beach down the road from us to dip into the water. Landon and Kenyon snorkeled, but Kyndal and I just waded around. We weren't there longer than 30 minutes before two dudes came tearing out of the water saying there was a shark as big as them about 40 off-shore. They were obviously very shaken up and I waved Landon and Kenyon back in. We later found out that it was probably just a white-tipped reef shark, which according to the locals are, "basically cats." They probably would have been fine, but you never know.
We dried off and went back to the hotel, and crashed pretty much the second we got it. Sure, it was only 7 pm, but in Utah it was 11 and we had been traveling all day; we were wiped. But, going to bed that early, meant I was up and out running before 6 am. It wasn't that hot, but oh my gosh, that humidity is ridic!! I would run 3 miles and practically dehydrate myself from sweating so profusely!! But running along the coast is beyond beautiful and being at sea level meant I had never experienced such oxygen. It was a dream.
I got back in time to join everyone for breakfast and head out to the beach. We took our boogie boards and lunches and spent the entire day playing in the sand, riding the waves and just swimming around. Basically, I was in heaven.
Honestly, the next three days were basically the same. We beach hopped every day trying to find the best waves and spent hours upon hours boogie boarding. It was actually pretty amazing not following a schedule and just being able to play, eat and swim to our hearts content. With the exception of the serious sunburns Landon, Kenyon and Kyndal got. They got fried the first day and there was no going back. I was on top of the sunscreen action, luckily and I stayed bronzed and unburned for the entire trip. Landon was so badly sunburned that he shed his skin like a snake over the course of the vacation; I tried to tell him to wear sunscreen, but it was too late. So by Sunday everyone needed a day out of the sun. We did go down to the beach early in the morning for some boogie board action, but went back to the hotel before the sun got too high. We got a beautiful breakfast at the Lava Java and then spent the day walking around the farmer's markets before we went back to the hotel for some R&R.
They had every sort of tropical fruit you could imagine; though we didn't buy any of the mangoes because of the giant mango tree right out side our patio at the hotel. It smelled incredible though, and I love walking around these little markets. We didn't buy much, I did get a pair of sandals that I swear the entire world has except me, so now I finally feel like I belong. And Landon bought some chocolate covered macadamia nuts that we hid from the family.
So that was the first few days of our trip. Just kind of taking it easy and having a ton of fun. I will say that the Big Island definitely is a different sort of landscape compared to Kauai; and it isn't what you think of when you picture Hawaii. It's basically lava fields as far as the eye can see; not a lot of greenery or jungle where we were staying. But it is still absolutely beautiful in it's own right.
Take me back!!!
Stay tuned for more...