Hawaii, July 4 – August 17
Wednesday, August 17
Packing up day. We were going to golf this morning, but I cancelled it. I just wanted to relax and pack stuff up with no stress. We’ve done this before, so things went pretty smoothly and we had an early ahi tuna dinner one last time. Everything fit.
Our neighbor Pat was gracious enough to take us to the airport and we left about 6:00 pm to allow her time to come home not quite in the dark.
A long and sad day … school starts on Friday, ugh!
Tuesday, August 16
One last trip to 69 Beach on our Anniversary, #31 to be exact. Instead of walking straight down the path, veer to the left, around the restroom area and it takes you to the left side of the beach quicker.
Didn’t take lunch with us, so we left about 1:30 and ate at home. We tried to get into KPC one last time, but ended at the Manta Ray at the Mauna Kea. My strip steak was actually pretty good. No manta rays last night for viewing. KPC said that is was full until the 8:00 pm seating, strange …
Monday, August 15
Organizing stuff to shut things down here. Sandy and Darrell came over for dinner, Sandy served the 2nd batch of her lasagna. Nice conversation.
- 18 oz POG juice
- 18 oz coconut-pineappple juice (RW Knudsen)
- 3 oz light rum
- 3 oz dark rum
- 3 oz Malibu caribbean rum coconut liqueur
Pour over ice and enjoy! Makes about 6 8-ounce drinks when over ice.
Sunday, August 14
Relaxing day, went to Puako for 10:00 am Mass. A visting priest from Mater Dei in Palm Springs, go figure. A beautiful day, clear and windy. Sandy suggested we go up to Hawi and explore around. We found a couple of beaches to explore, Kapa’a and Mahukona beaches on highway 270. Mahukona is expecially enticing, it is an old sugar can train station and wharf. There is a ladder right down to the water from the wharf, easy entrance and exit.
Lunch at the Lighthouse Delicatessen in Hawi, great sandwiches. We went there to try La Casita, but it was closed on a Sunday. Their hours are variable, but Monday-Saturday for sure. They sometimes combine a Sunday brunch with the Lighthouse. We need to come back. Lighthouse has a nice selection of beers on tap and wines for picking. Very cool place, highly recommended. Sandy had the meatball bowl with fresh bread, highly recommended!
Dinner was the Kirin Restaurant at the Hilton. Nice outside dining on the lanai, but the service was rushed and the food was just OK. We had a price-fixed meal for ＄48/person.
Saturday, August 13
Nothing on the books to do, a lazy day. Went down to Kona to Bite-Me, Costco and returned vis the Belt Road. Explored the beaches down by Hualali and the National Park above the airport. Lots of cool places and bays to try. Wawaloli Beach and A’opio Beach in Honokohau Bay and Manini’owali/Kua Bay to try next time!
Took Hina Lani road uphill to its intersection with Belt Road. Belt Road is a LONG way back! Dinner was wine and cheese!
Friday, August 12
Cleaned up around the place, my cousin Mark, Mary-Ellen, Matt, Morgan and Mackensie were coming for a BBQ. They stopped in the morning to refrigerate the dessert and returned later in the afternoon after a day of snorkeling at A-Bay. Dinner was flank steak, ahi tuna, corn-on-the-cob, mashed potatoes and flan for dessert. It;s a lot of work getting ready for Friday pupus at the pool AND getting ready to feed 7 people! Sandy made some Costco stuffed wontons for the pupu platter and combined with the Panda orange teriyaki type sauce, were delicious.
Thursday, August 11
We journeyed to Kona to let the installers finish the vertical blinds and ended up at Kona Brewery, maybe for the last time this summer. The spinach salad is really refreshing and the verticals came out very nice, Sandy is happy!
Wednesday, August 10
T-time at the golf couse about 11:00 am. 18 holes is a little tiring. We had new window treatments added to the condo, ordered from Costco, but only the mini-blinds came in. The installers had no clue where the vertical blinds were. We left them to finish, while we played golf and re-arranged tomorrow afternoon to finish the install provided they could FIND them.They did. Sandy made pizza for dinner, it was just like home!
Tuesday, August 9
Light breakfast, finished up the transition to Lion with Office 2011, Acrobat X and PhotoShop Elements 9.
Test fit the car cover on the Subaru and made sure everything fit and ties down. We are going to leave the car in our condo spot and I am going to leave the solar trickle charger on the dashboard. We’ll see.
Dinner was chicken enchiladas again, yummy!
We are running out of time here, I’m feeling sad …
Monday, August 8
Worked on updating my MacBook Pro to OS X Lion. Took my time and went slow. So far, no issues to report. Hit the range while it was installing and had Buzz’s Sandtrap salad bar for dinner. The market tanked today, based on the AA+ rating granted to the US by Standard and Poor’s. Sandy had a rough day due to the 600+ point Dow Jones drop.
Sunday, August 7
Church at 12:45, a nice slow morning. Sandy make lasagna for dinner and we had our neighbors Pat and Gene (from down below) over for dinner. They are fun to talk to!
Saturday, August 6
Eddie Vasquez needed another ham radio operator as support staff for the MS bike race from A-Bay to Kawi. 6:00 am came early and off we went. The event was a little disorganized with everyone learning on the job, including me! The Yaesu VXGR handheld worked really well. Eddie lent me a mag roof mount and I used the external speaker/microphone to transmit. All 3 frequencies were programmed into the radio and with the 2 band receive monitoring, it was really easy to stay in contact with Net Control and the other SAG vehicles, we were SAG4. Eddie was SAG 3. SAG 2 and SAG 1 never materialized.
Sandy made chicken enchiladas for dinner.
Friday, August 5
Quickie breakfast from Waikoloa Village Market, an egg/ham crossiant. Early lunch at the Royal Kona hotel, burgers and mai-tais at Don’s. We dropped off Anna about 12:15 for her 1:45 flight. She boarded on time at 1:15 and made it home successfully and on time. We saw Cowboys and Aliens and finished the day with dinner at Romano’s Macaroni Grill in the Queen’s Marketplace. The chicken parmesan salad was refreshing.
We missed the Friday happy hour at the pool, oh well.
Thursday, August 4
Breakfast waffles, lunch with Subway at Hapuna Beach. Wind was churning up the water. Final dinner at Canoe Club at the Mauna Lani was good, just a little salty. Great ocean view! I prefer KPC for the atmosphere.
Wednesday, August 3
Egg and bean burritos for breakfast and morning black sand beach trip on the Sea Smoke. They do a nice program, I still highly recommend them. The affternoon was spent relaxing at Hawaii Calls and dinner BBQ at home was Ahi tuna. Consistently, the Waikoloa Village Market has better, fresher fish that the Aloha Market in the Queen’s Marketplace!
Tuesday, August 2
Quick breakfast before surf lessons with Kona Mike. Make sure you pass this guy up, he’s more interested in making money than providing a quality lesson, according to Anna. Dinner was flank steak from Costco!
Monday, August 1
Mauna Kea for snorkeling and beach relaxing. Lunch at the Hau Tree and dinner was bean and chicken burritos.
Sunday, July 31
Lesiure breakfast of waffles and 12:45 p.m. Mass at the Waikoloa Elementary school. 47 people attended and the church is deciding numbers of people attending vs building a church satellite somewhere in the village.
Anna arrived about 7:00 p.m. from LA. Dinner was wine and cheese and stuff.
Saturday, July 30
Brekfast with Eddie Vasquez and his wife Dorothy at the King’s Grille on the golf course. Eddie is a ham operator, active in the local CERT and they both are just nice folks to be around. They are in C-120. A relaxing day, cleaning up the lanai and getting ready for Anna’s visit tomorrow. Dinner was Cashew Chicken on Sandy’s wok on the electric stove. Came out just as yummy as at home!
Friday, July 29
Leisure day with T-time at 11:30 a.m. We played 17 holes, skipping 10 to get in front of a 3 some. It is tiring to play 18 holes. Unwinding at Banjy’s Paradise Bar and Grill with a couple of beers. They now have 12 beers on taps and we ended up with a pizza snack and leftovers to go for dinner. We were tired!
Thursday, July 28
Ernie and Carol left today, a short trip but fun, Hawaiian Air flight to Honolulu and then onto the mainland. Two hours late leaving Honolulu, but they made it home safely. Dinner was at Eddie Aikau Restaurant in the King’s Waikoloa center. We had happy hour, anxious to try the full dinner menu, pricey. Interesting to see how they will do against Roy’s.
Wednesday, July 27
Circle Island tour today! Got up early and headed out on the northern route for the Circle Island tour. Breakfast at Tex for malasadas, the best! We drove down to Hilo for the Farmer’s Market and more shopping, they do have lots of cool stuff there for tourists! Not sure of the rest of the trip, but Ernie and Carol decided to do the circle island tour and so we headed for Volcano and Kilauea.
As usual, Kilauea was spouting off and the show was wonderful, it’s amazing how many weather areas you travel through around the island.
It is a LONG trip around the island and as we drove around Naalehu, a tiny mac nut farm had some coffee and tips for a great burget place for dinner. You really do forget how big the island is on this side. The weather is perfectly suited for coffee growing. Annie’s Burgers was a great stop and the burgers were pretty good too. Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) is served on tap, retro!
Tuesday, July 26
Girl spa day and day for guys to cook. Girls off to the Mauna Lani for their shopping and spa day and the guys headed down to Kona to the Harley shop to check out the new toys. Lunch at BiteMe for the 2.50US fish tacos, can’t beat the price!
Lots of cool Harley bikes to choose from and dinner was flank steak from Costco, it too is a good deal. Nice day to relax!!
Monday, July 25
Beach day to A-Bay via the Marriott hotel. Lunch at the Hawaii Calls and then snorkeling on the beach after that. A little sunburned but everyone survived. Dinner was spaghetti and movie night!
Sunday, July 24
Church in Waimea for 8:00 Mass and breakfast at the Paniolo Inn. A day to relax before the luau at the Marriott Resort!
Saturday, July 23
A run down to Kona, ultimately at the Walmart for Ernie’s blood pressure medications. He left them at home, so we had the prescription moved to the Safeway in Kona, he uses Von’s back home. But, it was out of the meds, so they were nice enough to transfer the prescription to the Walmart next door.
Lunch time had us at the Royal Kona Inn and Don’s MaiTai bar. Yummy as always, good burgers to split. Afternoon shopping on Alii Drive for family stuff back home and dinner was spaghetti at home.
Sunset watching off the 4th tee was fantastic but cool due to the wind!
Friday, July 22
Ernie and Carol arrived safe and sound on the Hawaiin 001 flight to Honolulu and the connecting flight here to Kona. They arrived at 1:30, did a few errands before they arrived. Lunch was crackers and cheese before a fabulous dinner at the Kamuela Provishioning Company (KPC) on the Hilton Hawaiian Village property. They do have a gorgeous view for dinner!
Thursday, July 21
A day getting ready for Ernie and Carol’s arrival tomorrow. Clean the place up, sheets on bed, new towels and all that kind of stuff. Dinner was ahi tuna on the BBQ, it is good stuff.
Wednesday, July 20
Traveling back to Kona today. Breakfast at the Tropics restaurant for one last view. Mokulule flight 1026 was on time and we arrived back at 1:30 p.m. A few errands in Kona getting ready for Ernie and Carol. We tried El Maguey down in Kona for a late lunch/dinner. The tacos were OK, we’ll have to try something else before passing judgement. We did buy a lot of crap in Honolulu. The Hilton Hawaiian Village and Lagoon Tower were just too crowded and did not leave either of us with a great impression.
Tuesday, July 19
We went down to Ko Olina to visit with Linda and Bruce Bott. They are staying at their timeshare at the Marriott Ko Olina, a nice place. Lunch at the LongBoard Beach Restaurant was mahi-mahi burgers and tacos. They were nothing to write home about, we’ve had a lot better.
It was nice to relax in the afternoon and take in the nice scenery. We left about 3:00 pm and headed down with the car one last time to Waikiki and dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. BIG line, but we headed to the bar and got right in. I had a lightly, lemony breaded chicken dish that was really quite good, the smashed potatoes were great too. Sandy had the “chopped” salad, I think my choice was much better!
Dessert at the Lappertt’s ice cream place on the Village property was Kauai Pie, delicious!
Monday, July 18
IHOP just around the corner from the Hilton, down on Kalia road. We saw Harry Potter at the Ward 16 Consolidated Theaters, just west of the Ala Moana shopping center. Relaxed a bit today, tried a mai tai down at the Moana Surfrider and came back to a Jack-in-the-Box private dinner activity down on the lawn below us. It ended with a Samoan fire dancer demonstration/dance about 8:45 p.m. Those guys are crazy!
Sunday, July 17
Shopping at Ala Moana after watching the women’s FIFA world cup final game, USA vs. Japan. Fantastic play, USA dominated but Japan pulled it out and deserved to win. Enough shopping, I’m done! For the guys, the MaiTai Bar on the 4th floor is a nice break from the grind, it is next to the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant.
Lunch was leftovers before we left and dinner was at the local Outback Restaurant, right around the corner.
We hopped on the Aloha Bus and took it to downtown Waikiki, a nice little tour.
Saturday, July 16
Today we are heading to the north shore to the Hale’iwa Art Festival to check out some cool stuff. We tried the Tropics for breakfast. It is on the premises of the hotel and was OK.
The festival was fun and lots of cool art work was displayed. We found 2 pieces to display from artist Paul Forney, it is being shipped to us in Waikoloa. After the festival, we headed back to Waikiki but stopped in to the Dole Plantation for a quick break. It is a fun place and the Dole pineapple whip is amazing, I don’t know what it is made of but fabulous.
A quick stop at the local Safeway and we decided on a Round Table since they are on the complex. It wasn’t too bad, and dessert was a Lappert’s Kaui Pie.
Friday, July 15
Shopping day today, ugh. Breakfast walk was eastward toward Diamond Head. We ended up at the Royal Hawaiian (the Pink Palace) for breakfast. Good stuff, oatmeal and eggs benedict, good choice.
Part of the plan coming here was this was part of our VIP Hilton Grand Vacation Club and we needed to hear a pitch. Our timeshare presentation was at 11:15, and surprisingly, we were done by 12:30 pm. We were upfront and said we weren’t interested in anything. Our sales rep was Marc Gosselin.
Off we went to the Aiea shopping center, focusing on the Bed, Bath and Beyond. Mom scored with good stuff at the Macy’s and BBB. We bought a Samsonite rolling carryon duffel bag to store everything and ship it back via checkin. Lunch at the Monterey Bay Cannery in Aiea was just OK.
Dinner was at the Aloha Tower Marketplace, Gordon Biersch. The blackened ahi tuna tacos were probably one of the best that I have had. Sandy had the lobster and shrimp mac and cheese and that too was quite good. This place is a keeper to return to.
Thursday, July 14
Flight day today to Oahu via Mokulele. Our flight was on time at 12:45 and we arrived in Oahu at 1:30. After getting the car, we got lost, ended up at the zoo and finally arrived at the Hilton Grand Vacation Club. We are/were staying at the Lagoon Towers, rooms 622 and 623. We are next to the Rainbow Tower. We were supposed to stay in the Grand Waikikian Tower, but got mixed up. We are in crowding shock, too many folks. The room wasn’t ready until 4:00 pm, so we just hung out.
Dinner was just down the street by the marina at the Chart House. I thought it was part of the chain, but it isn’t. I had the Ahi Tuna lite dinner, and mine wan’t too bad. It was a teriyaki flavored piece of fish, just right. Sandy had the opa (moonfish) and it was just OK, not fantastic. We’ll pass on this place next time.
Wednesday, July 13
Paperwork day. I realized that I better get started with schedules for Algebra 1a and Algebra for the next school year. After thinking about different approaches, I decided to stick with last year’s approach and use Schooolfusion to maintain my websites. I had to un-archive the Algebra 1 page and build the new calendars for 2011-2012. Apple’s iCal application really sucks at moving items from one calendar to another in another year. You can’t display 2 copies of iCal to click and drag, it has to be done in the one iCal window. But, it got done!
Dinner was taco salad. Not too many of these work days hopefully!
Tuesday, July 12
Car day in Kona. The green hornet has its 2nd appointment at Automotive Engineering Kona for spark plug wires, valve cover gaskets, and brake pads and oil change. All got done, except for the oil change and the car is working as it should. I had to wait for the car, since Sandy was working today. I spent the time wondering around downtown Kona and Alii drive. Lots of things to do and shop. Island Lava Java down in Alii drive (free Wi-Fi) is a nice place for beakfast. The car was done by noon, as promised, and the brakes NO LONGER squeak. You could hear us a mile away coming with those noisy brake pads. AEK turned the rotors as well so all is good.
Kona Kwik Lube (74-5590 Alapa Street # E, Kailua Kona, HI 96740) took care of the oil change quickly and efficiently, they are on Alapa street in the industrial area too.
The afternoon was spent doing errands at K-Mark, Walmart, Costco. Got back home about 4:15 pm. A long shopping day for me!
The condo was nice and toasty by the afternoon and Sandy didn’t put the air conditioner on. Too hot to cook, so we went to the Marriott for dinner at Hawaii Calls. It was 2-for-1 pricing and the Mai-tais were great. Sunset was fantastic down on A-Bay but it was interesting to see the effect of the tsunami on the bay, there is no longer one continuous beach, the sea wall was wiped out just about in the middle.
Monday, July 11
Golf day, Sandy had stuff to do workwise so I putted around cleaning things, like windows, around the place.
Golf time at 2:00, 18 holes, except one, to space ourselves out. Done by 5:15 or so. Both of us were tired, I forgot how much effort this stuff can be.
Dinner was tacos from a kit. Again, fresh ingredients really make a difference.
Sunday, July 10
Today is church day. We went to 8:00 mass in Waimea. It was good to be back with Fr. Bob. After church, we went toSolimene’s for breakfast.they have expanded next door and on Sundays they have an informal brunch. Prices were reasonable and the food was great.
Came back to the condo and went out to the range. A little rusty, but not too bad. Made a t-time for tomorrow at 2:00, a little anxious.
Dinner was albacore tuna from the village market ＄9.99 per pound and it was delicious. Just cook at 2 minutes per side, not 3!
Saturday, July 9
A nice day exploring Waimea’s 2 farmer’s markets. Both have fresh produce and good eats. The one behind the Parker school, Waimea Town Market is from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and the other on the eastern outskirts of town, Waimea Hawaiian Homestead Farmer’s Market is from 7:00 – 12:00 noon. Fresh, handmade tamales at the Waimea Town Market! El Maguey (Kona) and Mi Ranchita (Hawi) are 2 restaurants run by sisters with a husband from Mexico, must tries!
Cleaning day, putting things away as well. Dinner was spaghetti and lemon meringue pie (from Pat, our neighbor below) was delicious!
Friday, July 8
Leisurely morning, Sandy did some work and I went out for my first walk. It was the 3.5 mile loop down to the bridge. Today it was windy! Talked to the Universal Radio folks and the Beeman’s Pharmacy folks about billing screwups, supposed to be all fixed now.
Headed to Kona to do some errands, pick up the Subaru and return the rental car. Car needs a tuneup, instead of tranny work but needs to go back on Tuesday for wiring harness, argh… parts coming from Honolulu.
Did our first Friday happy hour by the pool and brought Pat 2 cherry tomato plants from Costco, picked up another orchid too to see if we can actually make them work! Dinner was flank steak from Costco, yummy!
We find things that are missing are really missing from the condo. Pens, highlighters, wine opener, “Hawaii, The Big Island Revealed book”, WTF!
Thursday, July 7
Sandy had her first meetings today, so we did a quick run to the market for breakfast and a few supplies. She worked in the morning while I puttted around getting the car and condo ready. About 1:30, after a quick Subway sandwich lunch, we headed to Kona and the car places.
Problem 1: Safety check place was out of stickers, so … she suggested another place by the Target store. It charged less, but the Subaru didn’t pass the safety check because the windshield washer fluid isn’t working! Argh … Back to the tranny place. Next door to Transmission Technology is Automotive Engineering Kona, where they re-charged the freon for me and replaced the windshield waster pump. Between the 2 outfits, we will find out what is wrong with the stumbling of the Subaru, hopefully for tomorrow’s rental car return period is up.
Transmission Technology – 75-5546 Kaiwi St., Unit E, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, phone 808 331-8310
Automotive Engineering Kona – 75-5546 Kaiwi St., 808 327-9878
By this time it was past the 3:00 show for Transformers 3 so we did a few errands at Target. Early dinner was at the KBC, pizza and salad combo. The movie was at 6:30 and was just OK, not great. Home by 10:30 or so …
Wednesday, July 6
Time to travel back to Kona! After a great breakfast with Anna at Longhi’s in Lahaina, again, fantastic food, banana and mac-nut pancakes and eggs benedict, we had our return flight to Kona leaving at 1:00 p.m. After some quick shopping on the main drag, we drove back to the airport and our 1:00 p.m. Mokulele flight left at 12:45 because all 9 passengers were checked in and ready. That was kind of nice!
Back in Kona, we stopped by Transmission Technology to get the Subaru tranny looked at, something is wrong and needs to be fixed. These guys have good reviews. They are on Kaiwi street in the industrial section of town. Across the lot is also a safety check outfit that can do a safety check. So, … we keep the rental car until Friday, come down tomorrow and drop off the Subaru, pick it up Friday and return the rental after that.
Returning to the condo, I unwrapped the Subaru and started it up, so far so good! We took it for a spin to charge it up and ended up at Buzz’s Sand Trap down by the Hilton for a salad bar dinner, still a great deal!
Rearranged and uploaded pictures so far of this summer and Bart’s service.
Tuesday, July 5
Today is Bart’s ocean scattering on Maui. We had a Mokulele flight, from the commuter terminal to Maui. It left at 10:53, really 11:25, and we arrived to pick up Curtis and our rental car.
Lunch at Panda Express and we arrived at the Maui Ocean Club, room 2308. Bart’s service on the America II was at 4:00 from Lahaina Harbor. It was a very nice service and Anna did a great job. I did a GPX track of the sail. Dinner was at the Lahaina Grill, a fantastic meal.
Monday, July 4
We are packed up and ready for Kona. Our bags are both right at about 48 pounds, wow. Delta flight 1299 is on time for a 1:55 departure from LAX. We left about 9:00, stopped at Long’s drugs and passed on visiting dad, I was worried about time and traffic and security.
It was the 4th, and there was no traffic and we arrived at Avis by 11:00, took the shuttle and sky capped the luggage. Security was a breeze. By noon we were at the Delta sky lounge relaxing!
The flight was boarded early and we left on TIME.
By 4:00 pm we were in Kona, car and luggage with us. We headed to Outback, and the Safeway for a few things. We got to the condo by 7:30 pm and were home.
We unpacked a bit, got the wireless up, changed the bed sheets and hit the sack. Tomorrow is a big day.