So, an interesting day all the way around.
We managed to get one of the last parking spots so took our towels and our cooler and settled in for a day at the beach.
I FORGOT how beautiful the BI beaches are. Really the best in the islands I think. Wow. And the weather and water was perfect.
Several interesting things here...
Ocean 1, Me 0
The waves were really great. The kind you can play in and ride and not really worry about getting pummeled into the ground...unless you stand in exactly the wrong spot, which I managed to do while trying to get water out of my eyes. One wave is all it took...I was up one minute and being tossed around the next...slammed into the sand on one hip. Left a nice bruise I have a problem with the other hip (torn cartilage) so at least now I am even! Sunglasses didn't fare so well...or maybe they did. Who knows. They are probably in Maui by now.
Great guys at the beach hut
So I couldn't stand the rest of the afternoon with sun in my eyes so I walked up to the hotel beach hut thinking they might sell sunglasses. Nope. I asked the guy working where the nearest place was I could get a pair, and he said hmm. Then opened his drawer and pulled out another pair. Someone found these on the beach, he said, and no one claimed them. So, free sunglasses for me. Not nice ones, but neither were mine and they keep the sun out of my eyes! I will add that I am surprised I made it this far with one pair of glasses...generally I go through a couple of pair a trip!
In the afternoon, a local guy built an incredible sand sculpture on the beach. It said Aloha on one side, and was covered with plumeria on the other. (sand sculptured, really 3-d ones). He said this beach has the best sand for it, and that he does it because it makes something nice at the beach for all to enjoy. So cool!
The kindness of strangers
Later in the afternoon, a mature gentleman (80 we found out later) was standing at the waters edge trying to put on surf socks and fins. He got the socks on but the fins were difficult...heck if you are 100 percent able-bodied and flexible it is difficult to put fins on when you are standing straight up! We watched for about 10 minutes and he still hadn't gotten them on, so DH went down to offer assistance. Between the two of them, they managed to get them on and after a couple of stumbles through the waves, he made it out to swim, and he was quite the swimmer. We struck up a conversation with him and found out he was from the South as well, long ago. Really a nice man. I think everyone on the beach was watching as he swam, because he went way, way out, but no worries ...he was back after 20 min or so. So proud of DH for offering to help and enjoyed meeting the gentleman as well.
After our friend was safely back from his swim we left the beach to clean up for dinner at plantation grill in kawaihae.
On the way to dinner we stopped in the lobby for the Hilton tree lighting ceremony. The tree is nice...Not spectacular...but they had a great musician who sang with the ukulele
..really enjoyed his version of O Holy Night in English and Hawaiian. And there were the cutest young girls (probably between 6 and 10) from a hula halau who did several hula for us! Too cute!
Plantation Grill review: This place has potential. We shared a salad...with yummy homemade dressing. DH had surf and turf (BI beef and kiawe smoked shrimp) that came with blue cheese and bacon mac and cheese and roasted tomatoes. I had ahi with house made spaetzle.
The side dishes were totally the star. Beef was good...shrimp was slightly overcooked but tasty. The tomatoes were really good and the mac and cheese was awesome! The ahi...I asked for it to be cooked medium and our server all but refused insisting it needed to be cooked rare. I realize many prefer it that way but not me. But it was. If I had it to do over I would've asked for the chef. The server was a bit of a doofus. Anyway the spaetzle was nothing short of incredible. I really could've eaten a plate of it.
We opted out of dessert - too full! I think the Grill has a great menu and chef. The location isn't all that great but it is convenient for the resort area and the prices are reasonable. (each of our entrees was $32.)
DH says this was the best day! And he has decided he wants to come back and stay at the Mauna Kea beach hotel. Hey, who am I to argue?! :)
Our last sleep in Hawaii...tomorrow night we are leaving for home...