We arrived last Sunday evening. Quite a long wait at the airport, but we sent one person on to get the rental car while the rest waited for the luggage, so we got 2 long waits done at once!
Went on the Fairwinds morning snorkel cruise.......amazing! Good food......smooth ride, so nobody got seasick...YAY! And absolutely the most beautiful snorkeling possible. The water was so clear by Captain Cook, and such beautiful shades of blue. The crew was friendly and helpful, and in no rush to follow the clock. We ended up seeing whales in two different spots! Enjoyed the water slide and the high jump platform too. All around the best we could hope for! Martin, the videographer, was friendly, informative and attentive without being in your way, and I can't wait to see his final video! Definitely would go with the Fairwinds again and again and again!
We have also snorkeled a few times at Kahalu'u Beach Park, which is directly across the street from our vacation rental home. Everybody has gotten to see sea turtles (and been taken by surprise a few times!). Fun experience, and lots of unique memories. Kind of rocky near shore to walk out.....water shoes a must, so we appreciated the snorkel boat cruise even more as the water was deeper, and you didn't have to worry quite as much about bashing into rocks! Kids tried body surfing, or boogy boarding.......lots of fun, although they learned a lesson from the lifeguard, after going out deep near the surfers......never go without fins on!!! They got stuck in the current and could not move.....a neighboring house told them what to do, before they got too banged up on the rocks, and the lifeguard said that if they had not gotten out at that point they would have been on their way to Maui!
My husband has hunted birds twice now with Patrick Fischer, from Parker Ranch. He loves hunting, and is entranced with the wide variety of birds on the island. In one day he saw more species than he dreamed possible. Turkeys, pheasants, dove, quail, francolins, and chuckars. Hunting at a variety of elevations, and in different terrain, has been an amazing experience for him. Patrick Fischer is the ultimate guide, and a great person to hunt with. Jim has hunted in many different places, and this hunt was the first one that I set up for him.......he has been overwhelmed by how much it has exceeded his expectations, and wifey here gets to take the credit for encouraging him to try it!!! Not many people can say they have been bird hunting in Hawaii!
My sons golfed at Makalei Golf Course, and got a kick out of seeing peacocks walking around like they own the place! Turkeys too, and they even saw an albino pheasant! The golf was challenging and fun, and the course was amazing. Thanks for the recommendations we got on here guys!
Friday night we went to the Kona Village Luau. Relaxing, fun evening, with great food, and a wonderful show! The Imu ceremony, dinner, and show were conducted at a leisurely, but steady pace. Food was excellent - I was concerned beforehand that my kids would have a hard time finding things that they would like, but everyone (excuse the pun) pigged out!!! I had read about other luaus having kind of a "cheesy" Las Vegas type show, and was pleasantly surprised at how good the Kona Village was! Lightly funny, beautifully done, and very enjoyable! My kids are 24, 23, 19 & 17......so pleasing them was quite an accomplishment. Even our toddler grandson, having not had a nap all day, was mesmorized by the dancers. I had looked at the idea of a luau as something you have to do once, if you visit Hawaii, just to try it, thinking that my kids would be bored, or that it was dumb........after our experience here, I definitely would make the Kona Village a family tradition for any future trips to the Big Island. (gossip tip too.....we actually sat at a table with an actress that my son recognized, and her current director!) Didn't have the nerve to ask for a much wanted photo op, but gave us a thrill anyways!
Having a vacation rental home is the way to go! We have our own pool and hot tub, bbq grill, pool table, foosball, and a lanai with a view right down our driveway of the ocean. We walk down the driveway, cross Alii Drive, and are on the beach! No trying to find a parking place, and a kitchen where everybody can fix what they want, whenever they want! No hotels for us ever again!
Still have a week to go.........but time is going way too fast!!! Aloha!