Hawai'i 2.0, Day 6: Livin' la Vida Mocha
The parade finishes moving past our vantage point on their way to the final festival location, and Lucie and I decide to go grab a quick breakfast before we head over there, to avoid the traffic (traffic on the Big Island, LOL) so we groove on down the Mamalahoa Highway and have breakfast at the little cafe at Kona Joe. I go for a simple cheese omelet, Lucie goes for a simple bacon-eggs-and-toast combo, and I have two espresso smoothies, one of the best coffee drinks I've ever had, which I still remember fondly from two and a half years ago on our first trip, and which are every bit as good as I remember. Yum!
We make the obligatory stop at the gift store where we buy gifts for family, coffee for ourselves, and then some coffee for ourselves; then it's off to the Kona Coffee Festival. We find a parking space surprisingly close by, wander through the stalls, and then realize we spent almost all of our cash at Kona Joe's when we could have used plastic, and almost none of the vendors here take plastic... and there's no ATM nearby. Arrrgh!
We spend our last few precious dollars buying cold water and a plate of Filipino food, take a seat in the open-air auditorium and listen to the live music for a while, and take a gander at the ikebana displays and the handmade leis that were entered into the contests. The grand prize lei is [of course] a coffee themed number with unripe coffee cherries, ripe red coffee cherries, dried but unprocessed beans in parchment, processed but unroasted green beans, and roasted beans at what looks to be a full city roast; one strand of each wrapped around each other. It's a very nice display, a true and loving homage to Kona coffee, and it gives me a little bit of a caffeine high just taking its picture. Me likey.
We do find a few vendors who are set up take credit, so we buy what we can (I pick up some sterling silver coffee bean earrings), get business cards where we can't buy, and drink more cold water. After the rainy days on Oahu, the massive amount of sun we're getting on the Big Island seems almost brutal, but it's part of being in Hawai'i so we'll take it and be happy. Hot, sweaty, and reddened, but happy.
After we get done with the coffee festival, we decide to continue on up the Kohala coast and see how far we can go. There's a statue of King Kamehameha up at the very tip of the island in Hawi, but the rental car we have isn't very good at mountain inclines (which is unfortunately not the best thing in Hawai'i, but it's a convertible which is a must) so we just decide to see how far we end up going; no pressure. We realized our last time here that this is the best and most relaxing attitude to have, and one that's shared by many on the Big Island.
And several hours later, the jitters go away and I'm able to fall asleep.
Coffee consumption: a can of Royal Mills iced coffee, 2 espresso smoothies, a large iced mocha, and two scoops of Kona coffee ice cream.