Saturday, January 20, 2007

Day 4: whales and luau

On our 4th day we woke up in Kona and drove to a beach in Kailua that is known for some good snorkeling. However, when we got to the beach, a very nice man at Ocean Sports told us truthfully that the snorkeling was not good that day. Due to the choppiness of the water last night, the sand was stirred up and the visibility in the water wasn't so good. But he offered us a reduced price at an impromptu whale-watching tour that they had set up to accommodate folks who'd had snorkeling reservations that day. The price was very good so we immediately agreed.

The ride was nice and we saw lots of whales. Whale parts, really. I found out that when the whales jump out of the water it means they're fighting. So usually you just see backs and tails when they dive.

After the trip, we drove back to town and checked into our next hotel. Holua at Mauna Loa Resort, which is right next door to the Sheraton. It was FABULOUS. I highly recommend Holua. The place was bigger than our apartment at home, and was impeccably clean. It even had a washer and dryer inside, and you didn't have to put quarters in, either. Lovely patio, free parking, and it was cheaper than the Sheraton! If I ever go back to Kona I will only stay at Holua Resort from now on.

We changed into aloha wear and headed out to the Kona Village Resort to attend a luau. Our guidebook said that the Kona Village Resort had the best of the best luau in all the islands. The Kona Village Resort is the Big Island's only all-inclusive resort. $400 a night minimum, but all meals are included, and plenty of planned activities, including the luau if you're staying on Friday. On paper, that sounds really luxurious and tempting. But when we got the resort it is in the middle of NOWHERE, really. A resort on a big giant lava bed that goes on for miles. No wonder it's all-inclusive! I realized that staying at KVR would be akin to being on a cruise ship. You're stuck there, and so you have participate in the activities and eat meals with all the same people and it's very isolated. I'm glad we didn't actually stay there.

The luau was very lovely and they gave me a flower lei to wear on my head. When I booked our reservation at KVR, I thought I had attended that luau before. But now I think I must have gone to Royal Kona Resort's luau before. There was virtually no difference between the luau at KVR and the one at RKR. Both were wonderful and the food was fantastic. It was just so romantic and lovely.

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