Sunday, June 15, 2008

It's a really BIG island.

Here we go with another rousing Hawaiian tale (and you'll be relieved to know I'm condensing it all into two posts.) This time from the Big Island, or the Island of Hawaii. Yeah, THE island of Hawaii. The others are just impostors. When I was there when I was younger, it was my least favorite stop because it was all barren looking and kinda boring and we were really only there for 2 days so I didn't get to see the cool shit. This time, I did. We had been researching stuff to do before we left and we happened to see a special on the Travel Channel about Hawaii, like they don't show them 23 hours a day or anything but whatevs, and they spoke of a magical snorkeling spot on the Big Island that promised we would see many awesome things. We confirmed its awesomeness online and made a plan to go there on our first day. The spot is right next to a place called the City of Refuge, which in ancient Polynesian times was a place to go when you broke the law so they didn't kill you, which was the punishment for ANY crime. Yeah, nice. No gray area on that one. Anyway, the snorkel spot did not disappoint. You basically climb out onto these lava flats, which are at the same level as the water, and kind of plunk yourself in. We liked this place so much that we went back the morning we left. The water goes from 10 to 100 feet within this area and while the internet promised we might see dolphins in the deep parts, the internet lied. What else is new. No matter because it was kick ass anyway. It was seriously like being inside a giant aquarium without the plastic plants. We took some shots but you know how those underwater shots look but here you go anyway:

Notice the GIANT fish with snorkel gear on flashing gang signs. They are deadly and should not be approached. Ever. The larger colorful fish at the bottom was one of three that followed us around the whole time. It was bizarre. They would stop when we stopped and if we all switched direction, they would switch as well. They swam just a foot or so away from us. I hope they weren't a fish I eat because they seemed really nice. Maybe they were there to make sure we didn't steal anything.

We spent a LOT of time driving around on this island. I think people are surprised to see how much driving you do but nothing is near anything. We were in an area called Waikoloa, which is basically a resort area. Kona was the nearest "city" to us and it was a good 30-40 minute drive away. Our resort on this island was a crazy mega-resort, which was a big change from our laid-back place on Kauai. This place was HUGE. It had this place where you could get in the water with dolphins, for a hefty fee of course, but we were just as happy to go down and watch them play. Everything here was magnified by a jillion, even the art, which was everywhere. You can see below that the statues were even big. My sister has been collecting Buddha statues since she was a teenager and they had them in droves. I think I was subconsciously converted. Here's some pics:

The top pic is the view from pretty much anywhere on the resort. Gorgeous. The dolphins were really cute and the trainer asked us if we had any questions and I asked where I could buy one and she got al bitchy as was like "they are NOT pets" except that yeah lady, they are YOUR pets since you get in the PEN you keep them in and play with them everyday but I'll let it go since I'm on vacay. The giant staircase was where Dog the Bounty Hunter wed his magically
big-boobed wife Beth, so I spent a good deal of time singing the theme song except that the only words I knew were "Dawg, the BOUNTY hun-TER" so I sang that over and over. I'm sure that everyone was really excited that I did that every time we passed the stairs which was every day. It was such a large place that you could take a boat or get on the monorail to get to your room but they didn't run as quickly as we wanted so we ended up hoofing it a lot, which meant a 10 minute FAST walk just to get to the front desk. Damn you walking. They have like 7 restaurants and a little shopping mall there too. It was really nice but kind of overwhelming. The middle of the resort is a big ocean-fed lagoon that you can snorkel in. It was okay but it's shallow and cloudy so we didn't get to see much. Jeff ventured out into the area marked "do not enter this area" (of course) to see if there was anything to see but all he saw were a couple of turtles which were old hat at this point. It was still kick-ass though and we will try to take little Kimchi there when he gets older.

Okay, this is long enough for today. I've got one more installment to go so stay tuned because it involves FIRE.

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