Hawai'i 2.0, Day 4: Island Hopping

Our last day on Oahu dawns, we finish packing our luggage, give our last tip to the parking valet, and head to the Honolulu airport.  I pay an exorbitant amount to the car rental place for gas (we end up running too late to fill it up ourselves that morning), we check in to the airport, and pay another exorbitant amount to Hawaiian Airlines because all three of our suitcases are too heavy.  We wince, and keep telling ourselves "you're helping the economy recover!"  A short hop to Kona, and we say goodbye to Oahu until the flight home.

Now, I don't want to say anything bad about Hawai'i, but Oahu is a serious rollercoaster when it comes to blood pressure... driving through Honolulu and Waikiki is frightening during the best of times, with turn-only lanes popping up at every corner, and with almost no advance warning, causing everyone to make sudden turns, slam on the brakes, change lanes quickly without signaling... in my opinion, it's worse than driving through San Francisco.  And yet, you drive out of town for ten minutes, and there are beautiful green mountains, calming scenery, quiet beaches (scattered among the crowded ones at least), and places that are relaxing as any place I've been.

...And then the rains come down and your blood pressure goes through the roof again as you try to navigate safely along mountain roads (although technically, I suppose every road in Hawai'i is a mountain road) and you're tense until you get back to your hotel, where you can hear the ocean and feel yourself relaxing right up until the police sirens scream by.

Heck with the treadmill; if you want a cardio workout, stay a few days on Oahu.

Anyway, the Big Island.... we get our rental car (a convertible this time), have a grand and entertaining time trying to fit our luggage into the back seat and the trunk that's all of two cubic feet big, and make our way to the same place we stayed last time, the Royal Kona Resort.  We'd thought about trying some new (and maybe cheaper) place, but the existence of Don's Mai Tai Bar is the selling point that make our decision for us.

We unpack, and Lucie finds a nifty note from the TSA telling us they checked her luggage for safety reasons.  How thoughtful!

We take a short trip down the Mamalahoa Highway (just because I like saying "Mamalahoa") and hit a Chinese place for dinner before heading back to our hotel to make sure the quality of the mai tai bar hasn't gone downhill since we've been here last.  The mango daiquiri is still awesome, and piña colada still smooth and refreshing, and the poke needs a little salt but that's okay.  We face the setting sun, enjoy our first Big Island sunset, and feel ourselves relaxing.

Welcome to Kailua-Kona; enjoy your stay.

Coffee consumption: 2 cans of Royal Mills iced cappuccino.


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