Saturday, December 17, 2016

All the Food

While I may not be a plating genius, the welcome dinner poolside (and on a wooden surfboard) did not disappoint. All the sashimi, poke and sushi you could eat. Yum!
We headed to Imari for a work team dinner at the Hilton Waikoloa Resort where we stayed. I had a watermelon mojito and Brian and I shared the Agedashi Tofu, Sashimi Sampler, the Lava Tube (spicy ahi roll topoped with seared ahi and spicy ponzu sauce), and the Tiger Shrimp Roll (shrimp tempura, cucumber, spicy aioli and tobiko rice).
As soon as we left the resort, for our vacation time, we headed straight to a local spot, Broke da Mouth Grindz. I had this yummy calamari steak with kimchee fried rice and Brian had their signature Garlic Furikake chicken.
After settling into the treehouse, we headed to the Ohelo Café, about a mile away. It was a rainy night, so a four cheese pizza sounded perfect, to go along with my yummy blood orange martini.
Our Airbnb host left us all the fixings, and instructions for, this delicious papaya, key lime yogurt with toasted coconut and macadamia nut granola treat.
As mentioned in my last post, one of the owners of the Inn we stayed at is a chef and you have the option of adding dinner to your stay (a no brainer!). Everything Kenny makes is locally sourced and expertly cooked, like this amazing salad with lemon pepper fish.
The breakfasts at the Inn were also scrumptious - and I LOVE breakfast! From the homemade English muffin to the local fruits and veggies, it was pretty perfect.
At the end of our trip we raced the clock (and our returning flights) to have one last island meal. We headed to the beachfront, Huggo's on the Rocks for fish tacos that were as awesome as being able to watch the waves and have our feet in the sand.

There you have it, all the food highlights from The Big Island of Hawaii. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Petroglyphs & Green Sand Beaches

After breakfast in the treehouse, we headed back to Volcanoes National Park to check out the petroglyphs (see above), Devil's Mouth (a giant hole in the ground, so, not pictured), and some winding roads that led down to an expansive, ocean view (30 miles long, so impossible to picture).
We finished up at the park, had some lunch, and arrived at our next destination, Kalaekilohana Inn & Retreat. This charming, four-bedroom inn seemed like the perfect place to end our trip. One of the owners is a chef and the other is an artist and musician. They built the property themselves and every detail has been thought of - from a fridge full of local beers to access to laundry (mom, you know how delighted this made me) to delicious and healthy breakfasts and dinners.
The rain came almost as soon as we checked in, so we skipped checking out the Black Sand Beach in favor of showers and relaxing on this amazing lanai (I NEED this porch).
Beautiful bouquets of local blooms adorn the tables throughout the inn.
After a great night's sleep and yummy breakfast, we headed out to the Green Sand Beach for some hiking (7 miles roundtrip) and swimming. I took this photo from above and it's a bit deceiving how high we were. If you look to the far right edge of the sand, you'll see two tiny humans for scale.
We then headed down the road to the southern most point of the United States. I was a bit bummed that there was no official sign (like at the Equator and the end of the Florida Keys) but according to the map and the locals, we were on it. I was worried about being photographed at the very point, so as not to end up as a news story about people swept away to sea due to a photo op, so we settled for one a little ways in.
The lava rocks and the colors of the ocean had us both snapping as many photos as we could in an effort to capture waves and splashes. I was thrilled that our last full day included some sun! As soon as we made it back to the inn for showers, the rain rolled in. Thanks for stopping by, and I promise 'all the vacation food' in my next post!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Volcanoes & Treehouses

Oh my, how I've missed you all! My recent trips have all been work-related and haven't left me with much time to blog until now. Brian came with me and enjoyed the week with a couple of the other vacationing husbands at the resort we were working at in Waikoloa on Hawaii's Big Island. Luckily, my workweek has ended and the vacation has begun.
After picking up a rental car, and dining at a local establishment - Broke da Mouth Grindz - we drove across the island to our treehouse paradise in Kilauea Volcano. I've always wanted to stay in a treehouse, because I always wanted one as a kid and it's a house, in a TREE! Anyway, this place was amazing, complete with a hot tub on the deck, an outdoor shower, and the most comfortable bed that enabled 11 hours of sleep for me, two nights in a row. (Kind of like when you're camping.)
Whenever there's a robe provided, I'm in it. Enjoying the birds and a strong cup of Kona coffee.
The trail to the treehouse is lined with beautiful flowers and plants like this one.
After breakfast of papaya and homemade macadamia nut granola, we headed to Volcanoes National Park to do some hiking. We picked a 4-mile loop that had us hike across a crater. The scenery made me want to strike action movie poses like this...
...and this!
We were able to see a tiny pool of active lava from the Jaggar Museum & Overlook. The park rangers let us look through their telescopes to see the lava splashing around from the steaming area in my palm.
Lava tubes carry lava underneath the earth. This particular tube is no longer active and we were able to hike all the way through it. It's like a circular cave inside. After this, it started raining and we headed to lunch - more on all the food adventures later. For now, I'll sign off and see you real soon!