Day four was an exciting one in our Hawaii itinerary because it marked a big change in our trip: we drove from the Hilo side of the island to the Kona side. But not before stopping at the Hilo Farmer’s Market.
It was a high priority on my list because it’s rated as one of the world’s best. I’m so glad we went. Not only were the colorful fruits and flowers a feast for the eyes, but we scored some major deals.
I’m a confessed passion fruitaholic and Hawaii totally enabled me. Whereas I pay $1.99 per passion fruit at my local Sprouts market, in Hawaii we bought them fresh and fragrant by the bagful for $3. Um, score! We also stocked up on passion fruit jams and butters as well as some local honey, coconut-covered mac nuts, and a hand-carved tiki guy that now adorns the Hawaii shelf in my travel-themed office.
Gorgeous, right? While it’s true that the main feature was beautiful, I also admired some of the greenery along the path to the falls. We just don’t get to see this much green in Arizona, so I hope you’ll indulge me.
As we drove from Hilo over to Kona we passed the time by playing a Hawaiian version of “going to grandma’s house.” You remember that game, right? The gist is that you have to name an item starting with the letter ‘a’ and then ‘b’ and so on. Our version required that items had something to do with Hawaii. The challenge made it fun. Among my favorites of the items named were: aloha, keiki (which is Hawaiian for kids), ukelele, and ‘ohana (Hawaiian for family). If ever you find yourself driving from one side of the island of Hawaii to the other, I highly recommend you play a round or two.
Upon arriving on the Kohala coast, we were so excited to check out the condo where we were to spend the next eight days of our trip. Oh, and I can most assuredly tell you that we were not disappointed in the least. Here’s a visual of why:
We found the place on VRBO. It’s located within the Mauna Lani Resort, which features a beach club and several shops. Our rental also included a golf cart that we were able to use for
booze runs quick trips to the neighborhood market. The kids could not wait to make use of that pool.
We started the day the way any champions would: with breakfast. Our new neighbors came to Arizona from Hawaii and had recommended several hot spots for us. Breakfast on day 5 was enjoyed at Island Lava Java in Kona. We were give a table on the patio, just across from the ocean. I ordered a roasted veggie omelet with mac nut pesto. Um, yum? Already I’ve duplicated the dish at home. Sadly, my version is not presented alongside orchids of any kind.
Still considered a sacred place by Hawaiians, it’s basically an outdoor museum where visitors can learn an important part of Hawaii’s history. We took the audio tour, stopping at several numbered locations to listen to recorded cultural details. It was all very interesting, but what I most enjoyed were the views.
Back in Kona later that afternoon we stopped for the quintessential Hawaiian treat: shave ice. We visited Scandinavian shave ice, as did a whole slew of other tourists; the line was wrapped around the block. I can see why. The shave ice was soft as snow with a perfect ice to flavored syrup ratio.