Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kona, HI 2012

We just can't get enough of this place!
We decided to take an early summer vacation to visit my sister and her husband who were staying in Kona for a month for my brother in law's medical school internship.They were staying the same house that my family vacationed in last August, so it was the perfect set up for us to tag along with them. Originally we didn't think Nick would be able to go because of finals, but he finished all his exams a day early and we both miraculously made it on the connecting flights to the island!
It was so fun to see my sister and little nieces again - they had grown up so much since we last saw them! 
We spent our first day there at at Kukio beach. It's a private resort/community, but they allow public beach access -- we're so glad we found this gem! The golf course and grounds were some of the most amazing property we had ever seen. We found out later that golf course is so immaculate because they charge a cool 250K a year (!) just for a membership to the course. I only took a few pictures, but their website is definitely a feast for the eyes!
We were lucky to have my brother Scott fly in for a couple days before he started finals the next week. It was so fun to have him there with us! We loved having an amazing view of the sunset during dinner out on the patio.
We spent the day on Saturday at Kua Bay, just north of the Kona airport. The water was so amazing! It's pretty rare to see water that bright blue in Hawaii.
The Eskaran's came to visit! Our friends Jo and Aaron moved to Honolulu last summer and we've certainly missed having them around Provo. Jo works for Hawaiian Airlines so they were able to catch a flight over to the Big Island for the day. It was so much fun to hang out with them again.  Hopefully we'll get to visit them on their home turf in Honolulu soon!
Thanks to Aaron for these pictures! (Visit his site to see more of his awesome photography)
And he was nice enough to take a family picture for us.. even though we were still a little raggedy from the beach :)

Had to get a picture with the girls in their pretty Sunday dresses.

  My brother-in-law, Dan, makes the most amazing ribs I've ever had. It's starting to be a tradition for him to make them every time we're together. Charlotte was a big helper with prepping the broccoli :)

Scott was flying back to Utah the same day my dad was flying in to visit, but we had a few hours together to eat dinner. Scotty just submitted his mission papers, so we were extra glad that he could come see all of us together because it will be a couple years before we get to do this again!
These little girls sure love their grandpa!

Thanks to our trusty Hawaii guide book, we found out that there is a small black sand beach just north of the Kona airport. Originally we thought we'd have to drive to the other side of the island, so we were thrilled that is one was only a short walk from a major beach through a lava field.
Black sand is so unique -- I love it! We were also glad that it was overcast weather, otherwise the sand would have been so hot we wouldn't have been able to enjoy it! Walking through the lava field was also really fascinating. It's still amazing to me that the entire island is made of this stuff!
On our last day on the island, we spent some time in downtown Kona at the local market. They had such an amazing selection of leis and flowers that I had never even seen before. I wish I could have taken them all home with me!
We found an awesome local sushi joint that lets you make your own roll. You basically tell them what you want in it and they'll make it for you. The best part was each roll was only around $5. Even though my dad flies to Japan a lot, he's never really liked sushi. But we convinced him to try this with us and he loved it! And thank heavens for the iPhone -- it kept the girls entertained the whole time.
After sushi we stopped to get shaved ice - always a must when in Hawaii.
One last sunset picture. I don't think this view from the house will ever get old. Nothing beats a Hawaiian sunset!