Day Two:  Vacation begins

We woke somewhat early, and went to eat the hotel’s buffet.  Tom really enjoyed his omelettes (Yes, he ate two of them).  I enjoyed the pineapple.

It was Sunday morning, so after breakfast, we went back to the room to watch Tom’s talking heads.  I napped.  Both Tom and I tend to prefer keeping some of our regular habits during vacation.  We like to laze around on Sunday mornings.  We like to have quiet evenings in.

In the afternoon, we visit a monthly street fair held by the village of Kailua-Kona. There are over a hundred vendors spread over the length of Ali’i Drive, the main drag ‘o tourism in Kailua-Kona.  We stopped to purchase a box made out of koa wood. We listened to some Hawaiian bluegrass.  Tom stopped to talk to a local photographer.  We could have spent a fortune at the Village Stroll, but Tom and I are careful spenders.  We bought some locally made soap and a photography book on top of the decorative box.

It was considerably warmer and wetter than Minnesota is this time of year.  After about an hour and a half into shopping, I was really hot.  We headed back towards the hotel, only to stop for some shaved ice at the Scandinavian Shaved Ice store. It was like a snowcone, but with more flavor and bigger!  We had a pineapple, lemon-lime ice.  As we were sitting on the street people watching, people came up to me to ask about it.  Everyone wanted one after seeing mine!  I was a trend-setter for the first time in my life!

Vendors lined Ali'i Drive in Kailua-Kona

Scandinavian Shaved Ice was a welcome treat in the middle of a tropical day!















After finishing our ice, we went back to the room for a mid-afternoon nap and shower.  As you can see, the day was a little over-cast, but it was also hot and sticky.  This would be a theme for our vacation.

At 4:00, we headed over to the Hulihe’e Palace for a concert on the grounds.  The Palace was closed for the day, but the Daughters of Hawaii opened the grounds for a free concert of Hawaiian music.  We sat on the ground and watched a small bank play some Hawaiian standards.  The highlight of the concert was when a local native dance ensemble came to dance.  The dancers were maybe 11 years old, but they were extremely good.  They danced to music provided by a native singer.  He was a little hard to hear over the surf, but the music was not the thing for this part of the show.

After the concert, we lingered on the grounds for a bit.  Then, we headed to Tante’s for a dinner.  I had a dinner plate with some teriyaki beef, chicken and shrimp.  Tom had a shrimp cocktail.  I know I enjoyed my meal more than Tom did, but perhaps the most interesting part of the meal was the view–located just above street level, Tante’s has an unobstructed view of the harbor, and of Ali’i Drive.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel, and noticed that hundreds of birds had taken residence in the Banyan tree on the front lawn.  Bird song combined with the ruffles of feathers, and the rustle of leaves to create a deafening cacophony.   A young father reached up to pull a branch down, only to release it, causing the birds to fly up out of the tree all at once.

Thinking back, the sound of birds was ever-present on our vacation, except when we were in Volcanoes.  There, we heard only wind.