Hawai'i One-3, Day 5: Living Big
Our next stop is next door at Kona Haven, a coffee shop (I know, right? In Kona?) where I buy an iced coffee with a couple shots of espresso added, grab some bottles of water, and a bag or two of their coffee offerings, a brand called Kona de Pele. I'm assuming they're referring to the Hawaiian volcano goddess instead of the soccer player, but the coffee is mighty tasty regardless of the moniker's inspiration. From there, we figure it's about time for a light early dinner, so we look at our options and decide on Thai Rin, about a block away. It's not one of the busy and loud bars or cantinas that are everywhere, which we'd just as soon avoid; it's not a chain like Bubba Gump or Subway, and it's not very crowded. As it turns out, this might be because the food isn't exactly spectacular... it's not bad either, just average and a little bland, which is surprising for Thai food. Lucie has the chicken pad see ew, and I opt for the tofu in Thai garlic sauce. I locate the container of chili sauce that's available, and do get the food to my desired level of spice and flavor after several scoops (probably about a third of the container.) We continue along the road, past the farmer's market, until we get to Kona Henna Studios.
We take our time meandering back, not only to go easy on the soles of Lucie's bare feet, but also because there's still a lot to see and do... we stop at a bike rental place and look into renting bicycles -- it's a good idea and one we'll definitely do next vacation, but they only rent the bikes, helmets, and locks, and we'd need some serious hydration if we wanted to ride; so we make a mental note to bring our Camelbak bottles and backpacks, and our own helmets, for next time. We poke around at the Keoki's Donkey Balls store, buying some of their huge chocolate covered macadamia nuts and some other coffee-related items for us and for friends and family. We also take a short break and have dessert at the Daylight Mind coffee roasters restaurant, where we find a quiet table by the ocean and nosh a bit. We share some chocolate covered strawberries, Lucie has their chocolate coconut cake, I go for their brownie sundae, and also have a chocolate spiced rum coffee milkshake. The combination of sweet, sweet, sugary, and intensely sweet proves to be -- surprisingly -- very sweet. Very tasty, a good combination of textures with the gooey crunch of brownie, the cold smooth ice cream, and thick milkshake, and all of it refreshingly cold on this hot and humid evening... but very very sweet.
We take a brief poke around the goods for sale in the lobby, I pick up a couple bags of freshly roasted coffee from two of the roasters' local affiliate farms (Kona Earth and Papa Kona) and an aloha shirt for this year's Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, and we continue on our way. The roadside walkway is a little rough on Lucie's feet, but we make it back nearly without incident -- the only casualty is that the exercise and humidity makes me sweat profusely, and the henna on my forearm slides a little and becomes less clear. You can still tell what it's supposed to be, but it's not as sharp as the Sharks logo or Lucie's patterns, so that's a bit of a bummer, but certainly not in any way anything that subtracts from the appreciation and enjoyment that we feel being back on the Big Island.
After the henna dries, we clean it off and admire the results, then head to bed for the evening; we've got an early morning ahead of us.