The Great North American Flounder, Sea Turtles and Luaus.

Day 7: Kailua-Kona
Kihikihi (Moorish Idol Fish)

humuhumunukunukuapuaa (reef triggerfish)
longest word in the Hawaiian Language
and the State fish. 
Thus far, the Big Island reminds KJ and I most of Southern California. I have to believe its due to the strong influx of haoles into the area. In a lot of ways, I feel this diminishes the "get-away" effect. It's still Hawai'i with lava rocks, geckos and plumeria trees but it's more white than brown, more cinderblock than grass shack and more mainland music than hula from what I remember in my youth.

Honu (Green Sea Turtle) 

Day 7 takes us to Kahalu'u Bay. This is the first beach we've approached that we could actually just park and walk up to without our Keens. We arrived at 9am and it was already at 50% capacity and filling fast. This location has a lava break wall, laid down by ancient natives, and expansive lava/coral steps that green sea turtles capitalize-on for sunny, shallow, warm pools and ample food. This makes for fantastic snorkeling and a very popular location for beginners. Opposite of the steps and pools are bitchin' waves that locals enjoy.

Ginormous Cruise Ship
from Lani
Shallow Pool
Kahalu'u Bay/Beach

Mokuaikaua Church
across from Huilihe'e Palace
This beach offers the short-on-time traveller a little bit of every beach-front pleasure. Roach coaches, sea-bars, handmade jewelry vendors  

and rows and rows of picnic tables. Tropical fish abound, but the turtles are not stupid enough to get in with "The Great North American Flounder." I had at least three expansive butt-cracks exposed into my mask periphery. My skinny kids were shivering and claustrophobic; honestly, I was a little concerned for their safety with so many inexperienced swimmers, so we bowed-out but not before Etrain spotted a little, yellow eel. (No camera, sorry. Fairly sure it was a baby Yellowheaded Moray Eel.) I don't want to sound pessimistic, all humans should be allowed to enjoy those things I want to enjoy, but thank goodness I have a physically - able body to take me to places others can't go.

Yes, "That Couple"
with matching outfits. HAHAHA
Next stop was classic "Wood-Family Circus," we drove 'round and 'round trying to find some hawaiian fabric for a sewing class Fevilita is taking back home. Our first attempt was obviously someone's internet business, as we pulled up in front of a private residence and then kept on driving. I mention this only because I want to give a shout-out the The Fabric Gift Shoppe. It's a sweet, little store struggling to find recognition. So, there you go...

Finally, we partake in the ultimate Hawaiian Tourist Ritual: The Luau. I decided to do the "cheap" version: The Royal Kona. After seeing a ginormous cruise ship dock in-bay, we prepare for hoards of Classic Americans (all that butt-crack). Much to our pleasure, it was not crowded, it was well done and had good food. Punch bowls of free Mai-Tais makes me a happy girl. Our only criticism is the line going in, we dutifully bought our tickets in advance, but this line was slower moving than the walk-ups - who then got better seats. Oh well, with a little bob'n'weave we could take-in the whole performance and most of the dancers were decent in talent. The fire-dance was a kid-pleaser for sure.