Cornering Kona | My Family Travels
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            I spent a week in paradise. Kona, Hawaii. I met a lizard instead of a blond surfer. I spent the week making friends with a little, green invasive species. Neither one of us belong in Hawaii, but we desperately want to.

            Why Kona? Many ask us that question. Why not Oahu or Maui? Our second trip was the answer to that question. The Big Island has a tossed salad of places. Each portion of the island has a variety of weather and beaches. I looked up pictures of the mentioned tourist cities and other travelers pointed out the industrial likeness to San Francisco. Having been to that city, I’d rather visit an island. I won’t delve into those travels. This account is of Hawaii only. This second trip allowed us to further respect the ocean, the Goddess Pele and the humidity. We also knew that seafood is prevalent. Having a love for every culinary taste and texture, I, bluntly saying, stuffed my face.

            I took photos from our rental house. It’s preferable to some to rent a house. Resort life is the center of shopping. Rented houses are in the middle of island life and have working kitchens. These houses come with gecko life. If you stay be sure to greet my friend Franco Verde and his family.

            The local beach was a step away and we made a ritual of walking here. La Oloa happened to be great for the locals to show off their boogie boarding. At night walk I'd walk down and sit on the rocks near the waves washing up and watch the moon peeking between the palms. This moment was hard to compare to anything else I’ve done. Anyway, there are many other activities. If you book ahead you can go horseback riding for $100-per-person. It’s a non-nose to tail ride at Paniolo Adventures. The tour for the mentioned price is 2 1/2 hours and takes you on the sloping hills of Waimea in the northwestern corner of the Big Island. The horse ranch was quaint. My horse, Pohaku,  was well cared for and able to put up with me. For a watery adventure I advise snorkeling. Having been afraid of water for most of my life, I have only recently come around. My brother and I went down to Two-Step Beach which is notable for snorkeling. There we swam alongside butterfish and sea turtles. It’s easy to practice here if you’re a beginner like I was. If you like being in the waves, boogie board at the attractive Hapuna. Or lounge… If you are uncertain about toeing the water there is always shopping. Captain Cook has shops that captivate. I fantasized over frosted donkey balls at the Donkey Ball Factory. Head up the road and you’ll find the Kona Chips. Try out a Chinese pretzel. If you want real food, head to Rebel Kitchen. My favorite small restaurant of the island. Ask for the Barbeque Chicken Salad. When you shop, stop at the eccentric Blue Ginger Gallery, Lucky Cat Boutique and any open market you meet. The products are of interest and the mangoes, juicy.

            I wouldn’t forget the volcanoes. Just head southeast through the Hawaii Volcano National Park. You will see the active plume of Kilauea first and then the humped landscape from Mauna Loa. Walk the trails to smell the sulfur banks and keep back from the steam bluffs! Observe the hand of the volcanoes and Pele’s work on the island of Hawaii. If you sunbathe long enough you’ll want to stay with Franco Verde forever!

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