Monday, April 20, 2009

Hawaii Day 4 - The Big Island

First a disclaimer.. I have been working on the formatting of this blog for about an hour and I'm giving up. So please overlook all of the bizarre and random spacing. Can't figure it out....)

Aloha from Hawaii's Big Island and the beautiful Outrigger Keauhou Resort. We have had a wonderful day full of unexpected disappointments and exciting opportunities. But first let me begin where I left off yesterday. Dinner at Chai's Island Bistro.

Chai's Island Bistro.

I must admit I was a bit apprehensive as we drove to this restaurant. It was located in a shopping area near where the big cruise ships were parked. I promise I am not a cruise ship snob but I have found that the best of local food is not always found in their shadows. I was wrong about Chai's. Chai's is a fine dining (white tablecloth) restaurant serving classic Hawaiian with strong Thai influences. We ordered the prix fixe dinner for two and got to taste some of the best dishes the restaurant had to offer. The food was delicious. I can easily say this was our best hawaiian meal to date and it was accompanied by three live musicians performing a mix of hawaiian music and contemporary. We sat outside and relaxed in the ambiance of the music. It was a wonderful evening.

Happy couple outside Chai's.

For you foodies. Here is our appetizer platter. Yum yum.

Last morning in Waikiki.

It was so hard to say good-bye to Waikiki and our beautiful hotel. We enjoyed one last breakfast in the courtyard (coconut toast! yum) and drove off to the airport for a short ride to the Big Island.

Big Island arrival.

Okay this must be what it used to be like when you landed in Hawaii. We got off the plane on stairs and walked across the tarmac to a beautiful open air airport. I took a picture of it on my phone and sent it to my mom and she thought it was the hotel. It is quite picturesque. In addition to the pleasant surprise of the open air airport we were greeted by local musicians and a hula dancer. Aloha! I am trying something new in this blog. Go to the bottom of this blog entry and look for a link to a video I took at the Kona Airport.

Our tarmac arrival. (Please excuse the extremely bad hair - I should have put on the hat.)

Our first hula dancer. A wonderful surprise at the Kona Airport.

Drive to hotel: to dive or not to dive.
Once in the car we headed off to the hotel. I should mention during this time (actually just before we boarded) that we found for the first time that our night dive with manta rays was cancelled. Apparently a large group had cancelled their trip leaving the dive below the minimum number of participants. No fear Heather is here. We put in a quick call and during our short flight Heather came to our aide. As we arrived we learned that our dive company had called again and the dive was back on because they had found some other interested divers. Yeah! or so we thought. Then just after we arrived at our hotel and was settling into lunch overlooking the tidepools below we got the call that again that the night dive had been cancelled. This time apparently the dive instructor had just called in to say that he had been hurt earlier in the day and would not be able to dive. I took this as a sign that we were not meant to dive. It all worked for the best however because when we arrived at this beautiful hotel we found out that one of the best snorkel sites in Hawaii was located next to our hotel. So we again called in our savior Heather from Outrigger who went to work on plans for us while we went snorkeling. We had a wonderful time and were happy with the array fish we were swimming with when all of a sudden we were joined by a sea turtle. This made our day. Happy and tired we packed up our snorkel gear and walked back to the hotel to get ready for a sunset dinner at Huggo's. (This is supposed to be the site of our dinner tomorrow night but we moved it up after our night dive was cancelled). Back at our room we were greeted with a plate of fresh fruit and cheese to snack on as we showered, relaxed and got ready for dinner.

View of our hotel as we arrived.

Entrance to hotel grounds. Beautiful.

View from lanai (1 of 3 we have in our two room suite). Outrigger spoils us again.

View from lanai #2 overlooking tidepools.

Picture of me on hotel grounds rocking the hat but still extremely pale skinned. Hope to change that soon.

Picture of hotel from the tidepools.

The turtle. What a treat.

Me and the turtle.

Yikes...not too graceful in the water.

Dinner at Huggo's.

We had were seated a lovely waterside table for two and were treated to a beautiful sunset and great fresh seafood.

Sunset from Huggo's.

Aloha for now.
Tomorrow - volcanoes......

Video of Airport arrival.

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