by Bob Sparrow
“It is not a good time to travel to the islands. We know that the visitors who choose to come to the islands will not have the typical kind of holiday that they expect when they visit Hawaii.” Hawaii governor, David Ige Aug 24, ‘21
Given that there are a lot of places that I’m not welcome, Governor Ige’s admonishment meant little to me, and as I parsed his statement more closely, it was clear he was saying that we shouldn’t come, not that we couldn’t come. We had already cancelled one trip to Hawaii last year, not again – Aloha Big Island!
Getting There is Half the Fun
I’m here to tell you that, in today’s world of travel, getting there is not ‘half the fun’ – it’s not even a small percentage of the fun. We wore masks from the minute we stepped into the airport in Long Beach, until we reach the Big Island in Hawaii. We kept it on while we waited for our luggage, kept it on as we waited for the bus to take us to the car rental location, wore it on the bus, wore it while we waited in line for the rental car agent and the car. Finally, in the car . . . mask off – whew!! I felt like I was holding my breath that whole time! But . .
It was all worth it as we (the ‘we’ on this trip was Chuck & Linda Sager, Ed & Stacie Hunter, John & Judy VanBoxmeer and Linda & me) finally inhaled that heavenly tropical air, saw the palm trees swaying in a gentle breeze, and actually had the feeling that . . . we had escaped. There was one drawback, and that was that everyone in Hawaii had to wear a mask, inside and out – it’s was one of the only things that Governor Ige could still control. But . . .
No masks on the golf course!! Our first round was at the beautiful Mauna Lani Golf Course, with several holes right on the water – one of the most spectacular being #15 on the South Course, where it is said that more photos are taken there than any other golf hole in Hawaii. Not sure who’s counting, but in spite of us taking our photo there, you’ll find that it didn’t make the cut for this blog.
In Search of Malasadas
Chuck, who is like a local in Hawaii, had introduced us to Malasadas (which roughly translates to ‘Portuguese Fried Dough’ – basically, they’re fancy doughnuts, but better!) when we were last here and so the next morning the men got up and headed down the road for where the Malasada truck & trailer usually park. No truck. We drove a little further with the thought that perhaps the ‘Malasada lady’ parked somewhere else today. I’m not sure we were looking for her or whether we were just killing time as we visited the resorts of Mauna Kea and Hapuna, then returned to ‘the Malasada spot’, but no Malasada truck, no Malasada trailer, no Malasada lady! It was a holiday (Labor Day), so maybe she wasn’t laboring this day. Nonplussed, we drove to the local market and found packaged Malasadas – not bad, but definitely not the same.
What I had written here about our week on the Big Island, sounded too much like a very detailed, boring diary as I reread it. So, I’ll save you the agony of reading it. There was lots of golf, eating and drinking – not necessarily in that order
For golf . . .
- The hidden gem of a mountain golf course that I touted as one of my favorite golf courses of all time, Makani, lived up to all expectations
- The 15th hole at Mauna Lani is spectacular
- Another golf course gem, also introduced to us by Chuck Sager, was Kona Country Club, with several scenic oceanfront holes
For eating . . .
- We did eventually find the Malasada truck – which I’m blaming for the several extra pounds gained
- The ‘Cheeseburger Sliders’ at Tommy Bahama’s in Waikoloa were delicious!
- Lunch at The Fish Hopper on the water in Kailua-Kona, good food, great view!
- Dinner at Roy’s – it’s Roy’s!
For drinking . . .
- Not sure, but . . . Volcanos? Hawaiian Mai Tais? Pina Coladas? Bikini Blonde Beer? I vaguely remember a Fredrico, a new drink to me – I think it was delicious, but for some reason it all seems a bit fuzzy.
I was hoping to tell you about my adventures to the ‘Five Favorite Waterfalls’ on the Hilo side of the island that I had researched and planned a trip to, but alas that trip got scrapped for either golf, food, drinking or all of the above.
Maybe next time.
In spite of that, Governor Ige, we had the ‘typical kind of holiday we expected’!