Sunday, July 18, 2010

Somewhere Under the Rainbow

Good morning (well afternoon for you guys- this time change this is quite weird to me). Eric and I have now been on the Big Island for about a day and a half. We arrived Friday, rented a car and headed up to our hotel, which is about 30 minutes from the airport. The hotel we are staying at is absolutely beautiful, if you don't believe me here is the view from the lobby...


I didn't fork over the extra God-only-knows-what for an ocean view, but personally I can see the ocean just fine from our room, so either we were upgraded or people who normally stay in this room don't have good long-range vision. One interesting thing I have noticed about hotels is that for some odd reason, cheaper hotels seem to have free internet, and fridges/microwaves in the rooms. Can someone explain this to me? If I am paying God-only-knows-what for a room, can't you include the $12 internet? I mean really. But maybe I'm just paying for this beach...



Alright it might be worth it. Haha.

On Friday, after we arrived we explored the grounds and then ate dinner at a Japanese restaurant downstairs. I got chicken teriyaki...


We split this Asian pear crumble for dessert...


It was pretty much heaven in a dish.


After dinner we go to see THIS sunset...


As an East Coast girl, this is not something I see every day.

Yesterday Eric and I parted with the gorgeous hotel and became the tourists that we are. I am no trip planning rookie (obviously), but I've got a lot of AWESOME ideas for things to do from Susie's amazing Big Island posts. It's a lot more personal than a guidebook to have a blogger tell you what they did and liked.

We started the day at Kona Brewing Company. We did a tour with a really funny guy, who clearly loves his beer. I don't know why but it never really gets old learning how beer is made, everyone seems to have slightly different ideas about it- and you always learn something random in the middle. Like for example, Kona Brewery doesn't put their beer made in Kona in bottles (just kegs), so when you get a Kona beer in a bottle, it's probably made it Portland Oregon, lol. The tour ended, of course, with a tasting. I did not like any of the beers we tried but I don't think it was the company and more just the ones they gave us were heavy and not my style.


For lunch we hit up Big Island Grill. I'm on a mission to find cheap, but good places to eat and this place was just okay for me. I ordered chicken teriyaki (again) and the chicken was dark meat or something, yucko. But at least the meal was reasonable. AND I found a self serve fro yo place next door...


Our day only got better from here when I took another of Susie's recommendations and hit up Kona Joe. I was a little hesitant about this tour because although I love coffee, my stomach does not and #2 it was $15 each which is a lot compared to the normal free or very cheap brewery and winery tours Eric and I always do. HOWEVER, I did not need to worry at all as this was by far one of the coolest, if not the coolest, tour I've been on. The tour guide was Deepa, who is the co-owner of Kona Joe with her husband. They grow coffee on trellis's like wine is grown. They actually have a patent on this style of growing coffee, which has tons of benefits including increased production of delicious coffee.



Eric and I were up to our usual good luck when Deepa said she had never got a peaberry bean while on a tour and then BAM, right in our hand was this peaberry!


Or maybe they just tell people that so they can feel lucky. Who knows?

Anyway, it was cool having a tour from the owner because she told us all the awesome stuff they do, including using a special machine so they are not harming the environment while they make coffee. She also told us that in California they can make "Kona Coffee" using only 1 bean from Kona... ridiculous! Apparently in Hawaii, that's not allowed- it has to be at least 10%...still though, I want mine to be 100% haha. We also go to go in the room that the coffee is stored...


At the end we got to try some amazing chocolate covered coffee beans and samples of some coffee. I would say 99% of the time I don't miss coffee at all but this tour definitely made me miss it!

After this tour we headed down to Pu'uhonua o Hanaunau (Place of Refuge). Basically, in ancient times there were a number of laws that people had to follow under the kapu system- men and women could not eat together, people of lower classes could not walk certain trails, etc. The punishments for breaking the endless number of laws were very harsh and basically ended in death. could reach the Place of Refuge and perform a set of rituals given to you by a priest, in which case you could return home and all would be okay.




We basically spent hours here: learning about the history, enjoying the scenery, observing the crabs and sea turtles and watching the crashing waves.







On the way home we stopped at a perfect Mexican restaurant called Senor Billys. It was clearly a local hangout and was the most reasonably priced and best meal we've had in Hawaii. yay!


After dinner we still had a ways to go before getting back to our hotel, but the drive was pleasant as we had a rainbow on one side of us...


And a gorgeous sunset on the other...


Yeah, I might just never come home.


  1. Looks like an amazing time! And you look adorable in that white dress!

  2. Looks fabulous! So glad you're having a fun time. The sunset there is AMAZING!!

  3. you guys are having so much fun! I have no idea how you are finding time (aka i have no idea how you are waking up at 5:30) but keep up the good work!

  4. WOW! What a honeymoon! Looks like you guys are having so much fun! Awesome!

  5. KELLY! What an amazing trip! You look so cute in all of these pictures by the way!

  6. I know what you mean about the internet though. I stayed at the Bevery Hill Hilton a few months ago and they charged for wireless. I got so annoyed that I complained and they said that my next visit would be upgraded to a suite for free (like I'm going to spend the big buck to go to that hotel again, lol)

    Glad you are having a great time....can't wait to see you again!

  7. Wow - that looks amazing! I am glad you guys are having a great time so far! You are def in Paradise right now!

  8. **Jealous!!** This looks incredible. Glad you are enjoying Hawaii!

  9. Please come home some day! I miss you!
    Are you glad you chose hawaii yet : )

  10. It looks like you're having a great time! You guys are such a cute couple!!

    Also, whenever you get sick of that dress in your second picture, you can send it to me. Hahaha!

  11. Wow, it looks heavenly. So gorgeous! :)

    Hawaii always looks so mystical. Can't wait to visit some day.

    The coffee "brewery" tour looks incredible. How neat!

  12. Kelly, the rainbows are following you and Eric everywhere! These photos are great and so is your blog! Interesting about the Kona beer - Peter and I really liked it, but I didn't know that about the kegs vs. bottles. (do you think they really ship the bottled beer from Portland to Hawaii - we bought it on Maui quite a bit!