When I woke up around 8am, Kai was awake and continuing the search. She made grilled cheese for breakfast with some of our leftovers, which was yummy even though I’m not normally able to eat in the mornings. Kai got on the phone and made some calls and sure enough had booked us the most incredible hotel – right on the water, with a pool, and the only hotel chain in the world owned by a Hawaii’an! Kona Seaside Resort, and she got it for a steal – and in order to get a free room upgrade, I tweeted about the hotel.
We packed up and started to head to the next hotel, which was right by the airport. There was a scenic point I wanted to stop at but we missed it, so we went down the next little road to turn around, but the road looked interesting so we drove it instead, which ended up being one of the best of many spur-of-the-moment decisions of the entire trip. At the end of the long and sketchy road there was a small parking lot, so we got out and followed a path through the trees. On the other side was the ocean, with the brightest water I have ever seen, different layers of green and blue until it blended into a gradient at the horizon. The water was in stark contrast to the black rocky outlets leading into the sea, awash with frothy white water when the waves crashed over. We spent a lot of time there, sitting and watching the waves and taking photos.
A couple appeared from down the beach and asked if we wanted a photo taken together, which we accepted – and the guy told us that a little ways down the beach there was a sea turtle sunning herself on the rocks! We hadn’t planned to walk far but we needed to see that.
We were both wearing sandals and the walk down the rocky beach path was pretty uncomfortable because all the little stones would get caught in our shoes. It was no better with shoes off. Finally, we saw the sea turtle. No one else was there, so was sat about 4 metres away and just kind of regarded her. She would move her head every now and then but otherwise seemed perfectly content to sit there. Kai and I always introduce ourselves to animals – they really do seem to understand. For example, when we were driving down the road to see the green sand beach, there was a field of cows and one of them was walking in the ditch by the road. I was surprised and thought maybe she was stuck, because the hill looked pretty steep for her legs to clamber out of. So we asked if she was stuck in the ditch, and not a second later, she walked up and out of the ditch, easy as you please!
After a while of chatting with the sea turtle, other people did come and go, and then we left as well. It was the closest I’d ever been to a sea turtle.
We walked back to the car and made our way out to the main road once more. We didn’t bother going to the scenic point because it couldn’t have surpassed what we’d just witnessed.
The drive to the hotel wasn’t too long, but we were thirsty and suddenly remembered the pop that we’d had with us for the entire trip. We’d gotten it on the plane and this pop had experienced so much! We put it in every minifridge we’d come across in hopes of having a nice cold drink, but we’d either forget about it or weren’t in the mood for it – so it would get warm and the cycle would continue. We even brought it with us to the top of Mauna Kea because we’d intended to have a picnic up there, which was not meant to be. So this pop had been up in the air on a plane, climbed a mountain, been around the entire island of Hawai’i, and at last we were drinking it! And you know? It tasted different! Like it had had a good life. I did take a photo of it but I won’t share it in case it looks like a promotion.
Anyway, we made it to the hotel early and asked if we could get an early check-in. I told the staff about the tweet for a room upgrade and showed her, and she made that happen, and then I told her it was Kai’s birthday, so we got another room upgrade, and early check-in. Woohoo!
The room was lovely and had a great view of the ocean, as well as some of the town of Kona. We were really excited! We got changed into our swimsuits and went back down to the pool, which we had all to ourselves. It was lovely to have a little swim, and the pool didn’t have nearly the chlorine that Canadian pools have, so it didn’t feel gross on the skin. We had brought down some food so we enjoyed some macadamia nuts and the musabi. Back in the room later, Kai had to work on filling out the contract for her new job, which was due soon. It took longer than either of us expected; I spent most of the time on the balcony, writing in my journal and enjoying the sun and the sense of remove from the busyness of the trip.
She was still working away when I came back inside and began to organize everything to pack. This would be our last full day in Hawai’i. We had a lot to organize – we hadn’t left a lot of room to pack all the souvenirs and new goodies we’d bought! I stuffed the duvet back into the stuff sack – quite a feat! – and began to organize things between the two carry-ons, one backpack and one purse. Once Kai was finished, she helped and we finished up, leaving the room because we were about to go for a shop to get gifts for our friends and family.
We walked down to the shops and explored and spent a lot of time picking the perfect gifts for people. Then we went to a restaurant called Splashers, which was by far the most expensive dinner of the entire trip. But the food really was to die for! I finally got a mai tai, which wasn’t my favourite, and Kai got a margarita or two. We sat outside and had a beautiful view of the ocean and the sunset. We were there from the time the sun began to go down until it got dark, with the tiki torches flickering in the night.
Kai and I decided to go for a walk on the pier. Kai was a little tipsy because she isn’t much of a drinker and we each had two drinks. I held her hand tightly to make sure she stayed steady! This kid on a bicycle came up quickly behind us and shouted something, and I jumped a mile in the air – amazing startle reflex! Jerk.
Across a boat launch, we watched a luau with dancers and fire eaters and cool stuff. We couldn’t see much but it was fun. After that, we returned to the hotel room for our last night in Hawai’i. We decided to watch the move The Descendants because we wanted to watch something that had been filmed in Hawai’i. Kai fell asleep! I turned the movie off so we could finish it together later and watched Dead To Me on Netflix instead until I got tired around midnight and called it a night.
Read about the last day: