Friday, April 29, 2011

Two days in Hawaii and not bored yet ...

... and that despite the slower pace, the lack of responsibilities, and a general sense of aloha. Forty-eight hours into my stay on the Big Island I can proclaim that I don't come across as a mainland tourist: Jenny and I had a Happy Hour margarita (not the regular lime variety but rather lilikoi, one of those funky tropical fruit, closely related to passion fruit) one finds in these parts in a small place up in Kawaihae. The waitress right off pegged us as locals. Well, that's an easy one for Jenny, whose Indonesian background is easily interpreted as kamaaina, but what about me? The beautifully green-eyed waitress opined that I did not show any stress and seemed to be so relaxed. Well, I told her that I was hanging nine, but that I intended to hang ten by the end of the day. Tourist, after all, I guess.

Lilikoi margarita in Kawaihae
After pleasant flights on Tuesday I arrived an hour late at the open-air Kona airport, and Jenny (who had arrived six hours earlier) was there to pick me up. The "apartment" where we are staying is actually a condo in a gated part of the Waikoloa Beach Resort complex, and it is as big and definitely much nicer than my humble Lubbock abode. Jenny is buds with Bill (aka WEO) who not only owns this condo but has been building a multi-million home just north of  Kawaihae for the past few years. Damn, the infinity pool (see below) is having a leak.

Jenny inspecting the leak of Bill's (background) infinity pool

So far, we've been spending our time riding the bike (moi) and hitting dimpled balls (Jenny). As a golfer, she enjoys being here right on the 15th green, even though the fees are a bit on the steep side—but you do get a break after 2 p.m. when the fee drops from $135 to a mere $85. You cyclists out there, don't you ever bitch again about steep entry fees!

The only sucky thing about the condo is that we don't have a direct view of the ocean. Oh well, I can get over it, but it'll take another 23 minutes. Seriously, this is heaven. I feel like the poor kid on the block among the privileged. We took a walk around the compound yesterday, hitting the beach after a 10-minute stroll. The anchialine pools hold water similar to tide pools, and their colors are totally mesmerizing.

Anchialine tide pool close to the condo
Another few steps, and here we are: The beautiful ocean that brings the occasional tsunami and the migrant whale. Tomorrow we'll dive in the pond. Jenny knows the local dive mistress, Denise, who will take us for a two-tank dive in exchange for serious dollars. The zodiac probably won't allow my taking the camera along, bvut maybe we can mooch a photo of one or the other paying tourist.

Lubbock looks better by the minute, no?
And thus it ends, my first Hawaii update. Stay tuned for another one, maybe with a photo of Happy Hour at Kona Brewing Company. Oops, that was yesterday already, and here's the pic:

Having a beer or five after damn near dying trying to pedal 26 miles—Kona Brewing



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