Yesterday I went snorkeling for the first time.
We drove two hours to Kona because we heard the best snorkeling place is near Captain Cook's Monument.
Take our first stop for example, Kealakekua Bay. No need for sandy beaches here, you can simply scramble over boulders into rough surf and then be repeatedly smashed back onto them as you try to get to the water. Not only that, but once you're out there, in waist deep water, there's no fish or sea life to clutter your view — just a sandy ocean floor as far as you can see. If you lose a flipper, simply wait for the next wave to carry it back to you. Plus, do all this while locals gawk at you from the parking lot. And don't forget the fun adventure of getting back
on the boulder-lined shore.
OK, so we learned the hard way that Kealakekua Bay is not a snorkeling spot (from there you can take a kayak over to Captain Cook's Monument and snorkel). However, our experiences at Kealakekua made Pu'u Honua O Honaunau
(Place of Refuge) O-MAZING (as Becky says). You could swim about a quarter of a mile out and float over lava tubes that brought the ocean floor within three feet. We saw a variety of colorful fish, coral and sea turtles. I couldn't stop thinking about Crush from Finding Nemo:
"Whoa, little dude!"
Since we were in Kona, we stopped by Greenwell Farms Coffee
and took part of a tour. Regulations for Kona coffee are insane (which is why it's so expensive). All the Kona coffee in the world is grown in this 39-by-2-mile area. More than 200 Kona coffee farms exist; most are less than five acres.
Next, we got pretty for Becky's Birthday Luau. The Luau was held at King Kamehameha Hotel, which is his former estate. The show was put on by Island Breeze,
a Christian group I saw perform in Aberdeen, Wash., when I was 15.
This luau is not billed as Christian, but the faith of the performers shines through. Hundreds of people attend the beach front luau to eat the good food and see a show that includes Polynesian dancing and a fire dancer. Several of the songs performed were worship songs translated into Hawaiian.