Leaving Kona

This starts just after the end of our Circle Island Tour mentioned here part 1part 2

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On the way back to our room we checked out the pool area – though I never got to swim in it this area would be a great place to spend some time and the pool was quite warm for Hawaii. I usually find them way too cold.

We took some night shots from the pool area of the Celebrity Millenium leaving, and then some night shots of Kona and the other half showed me his “magic lantern” software which is a hack for Canon cameras. You don’t have to touch the camera to take a night shot – you just wave your hand near the screen and it uses the face proximity sensor to take the shot once you have waved a certain amount. It also can switch the text on the screen to red for astronomy photography.

We headed to Quinns Almost by the Sea for dinner. I chose the deep fried Ono with pineapple slaw, and the other half chose.. a burger, I think. He loves a burger. The photos of this are among the who knows where they vanished to.. 😦

Some more wandering about after dinner, dropping into a shop or few.. then back to the hotel to pack and then for a well earned sleep. Packing was difficult because we had packed very light to begin with but we had purchased some items and we had to make room for them. Plus, we had worn our boots, jeans, and heavy stuff for the flight over from Australia which meant there was not room for them in the luggage. So we left our outfits for tomorrow out which was going to be some quite warm wears for the very warm Kona.

That next morning we were to leave and for some reason I woke up around 4:45 and couldn’t get back to sleep so I took the laptop out onto the balcony for some typing time and wow it was gorgeous out there. The moon was up, then the sun rose, and the whole time the waves were crashing, it was just a lovely spot to be.

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We wandered down to our favourite coffee place to use the free wifi while caffeinating, then to Splashers grill again for another wonderful breakfast. The water glasses were a gorgeous shade of blue. The location is perfect for people watching and on the days a cruise ship is in, watching tenders arrive and offload the cruise people.

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If you are looking for good coffee, Splashers is not the place to find it if you want espresso – they do not offer this. If you are ok with filter coffee (we call it filtered sock coffee, not huge fans of it!) they do supply that for free.

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We found the coffee downstairs at Kona Farm Direct to be the coffee we were looking for and had our coffee downstairs before breakfast soaking up the sun and enjoying the free wifi KFD offers. We ordered juices and water at Splashers instead, plus the KFD wifi does work upstairs in Splashers.

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Both times I chose the Kona omelette with bacon cheese and topped with avocado but the second time I added mushroom, this may have been a step too far.

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On this last visit the other half chose the Ham and Cheese omelette with hash browns.

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On the previous visit he had the Pancake breakfast.

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The bill was extremely reasonable for us who are used to Aussie prices, and as the service was excellent we tipped appropriately.

I would recommend this place for breakfast and seeing some of the other reviews, I wish we had tried it for dinner as well.

Walking down to Splashers there was cloud cover but by the time we sat down the sun had come out and I knew it was going to be a warm walk back to the hotel. We SMS’d my parents and told them to go watch the Konaweb webcam so they could see us. A bit of lack of skill on their part with page loading caused some confusion at first but they did manage to spot us on the webcam and we waved hi.

On the way back we stopped in at a rock and mineral shop I had spotted because I was hoping they might have a piece of that lava rock encased in resin or something. No such luck but I did find some bluestone and an opalite dolphin which spoke to me.

More wandering, an ABC store browse then back to the hotel to check out. The wonderful Diane helped us once again and she remembered us and asked how our tour went. That is so lovely. 🙂 Great work Diane!

We had booked the Roberts shuttle to pick us up and take us to the airport – the shuttle bus was early and we were the only ones on it. So basically we enjoyed a private ride to the airport on a 15 or so seater minibus. And this my friends is where the enjoyment abruptly ended.

First of all we could not use the check in kiosks – possibly because our booking was online from Australia, I was missing a code or barcode on the paperwork. So we had to check in manually, which we waited 20 minutes to do.

There were only two staff checking in, one was for general cattle class and one was for first class and once she was done with her check in we were not invited to be checked in by her, and by this time the other staff member checking in had discovered some sort of issue with something which required all three check in staff to go and gaze at her computer and totally ignore us for at least 10 minutes, until a different staff member came out and checked us in. Pretty poor service right there.

Then, having stood in an open air airport queue for over 20 minutes – having brought no water because you are not allowed to take it through security, we then waited over 40 minutes to proceed through said security. No water, nobody offering anyone any water considering there was a long wait, and no place I could see to get any water – I did not venture out of the queue because we did not want to lose our place.

This was pretty frustrating, I’ll be honest. And all the way along this queue, there were conflicting signs giving different information about what was allowed in and what was not, and what had to be removed and what did not have to be. A poor effort. The security people were nice enough once we got to them, and once past the first checkpoint the process was fairly quick. I have no idea why they needed to see our passports which I had put away as well as our drivers licenses for interisland travel but whatevs. Who knows the whys, it just is.

Once through security we could get some water at last which we demolished pretty quickly. Again Hawaiian showed their talent and skill and the organisation level for their whole operation is mind bogglingly amazing. We were there super early so sat around and no free wifi sadly, we got an SMS from Bigaln2 who was flying into HNL that day letting us know there had been a shooting at LAX and he was now in Salt Lake City and would be delayed, which he was, eventually arriving into HNL around 10pm rather than 5pm. This was probably the only real “mishap” of our trip – all our flights and tours were otherwise on time.

We tried to be the very last people on the plane, a difficult task I will admit when everyone is on Hawaiian time. Sadly we failed and a group of kids heading to camp got on behind us, and that was it. On board, take off, fly for I believe 15-20 minutes and get served some POG – the rest of the time is taxi-ing. Back to the Inter Island terminal, we arranged the Speedi Shuttle while waiting for the luggage to appear, then off to the Ilikai with a full bus load of people. We chatted to the people next to us who were fascinating (as I find most people travelling to or in HNL to be) and were the first drop off.

Next time – Our condo in detail, a surgical shopping strike.

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