Waking up on our first full day it was 5am! Yup, that’s right after going to bed at 8:15 we woke at 5am and we were wide awake. We put the TV on for an hour before we couldn’t wait any longer for breakfast.
Tom got dressed and walked over to Waikoloa Coffee which was conveniently located in our tower. There he picked up 2 Kona coffees, a chocolate croissant, and pumpkin bread for $30. Yes, that’s correct…$30, but when on vacation you expect to spend money.
We ate our breakfast on the balcony, watched the sunrise and the dolphins wake up. It was a slow and peaceful morning and it was by far my favorite moment of the trip. There was so much promise in that morning with the whole trip ahead of us.
After breakfast, we put our bathing suits on and decided to explore a little bit of the resort. You can see a little tour in the video below. Once we made it to the lagoon we settled down for the rest of the morning.
We swam a little and within the first few minutes saw sea turtles and flying fish! Still a bit tired from our long journey we took an hour to rest in the sun before getting cleaned up for lunch.
Our plan for lunch was to check out the Kona Brewery. They apparently have incredible pizza(thanks Nicolette!) and we just had to try it. So we hopped in our Jeep that we named Blue (our boy blue) and drove 30 minutes. Driving 30 minutes is going to be a theme throughout our trip. Everything is a bit of a drive.
Like most breweries it was small and it had a bit of a wait for a table, but we got lucky when 2 seats opened up at the bar. We ordered 2 flights while we picked out our pizza.
When picking the beers for our flights we wanted to make sure we ordered the beers only available in Hawaii too start. Here are the beers we tried:
- Lemongrass Luau
- Black Sand Porter
- Kua Bay IPA
- Hanalei Island IPA
- Fire Rock Pale Ale
- Pipeline Porter
- Lavaman Red Ale
- Castaway IPA
All of these beers are very good. They’ve been around long enough to perfect the beers they are making. Our favorites were the Black Sand Porter, Lemongrass Luau, and the Kua Bay IPA. All of which you cannot get anywhere, but Hawaii.
We picked out a pizza topped with spinach, cheese, red pepper, and Portuguese sausage. THIS. PIZZA. WAS. AWESOME! We’re New Yorkers who hold pizza to a high standard and this was great. The crust was chewy and crisp and the sausage added so much flavor! I wish I could have enjoyed it more because shortly after it arrived the jetlag set it and I started to feel sick. We had 2 hours until our luau so we decided to head back to the hotel for a nap.
After our much-needed nap, we were back in Blue for a 30-minute ride to the Royal Kona Hotel for our luau! There is a luau available at our hotel, but our friend Robert recommended this place because you can watch them unearth the pig. This was also a better deal than the one at our hotel. We paid ahead of time and it was $70 a person for dinner, drinks, and the show.
When you first arrive you wait in line to be leied and for your picture to be taken. You are then pointed in the direction of the bar where we opted for mai tais. It’s all you can drink for 2 hours, but you are limited to 2 mai tais a person.
We sat down with our drinks and waited for the show to begin. The sun was setting and it wasn’t lost on us at that moment how truly lucky we are to be there. It is paradise.
The show began with Uncle and his band playing songs and telling us stories of their ancestors. They also cracked jokes and were so entertaining I almost forgot how hungry I was.
They directed our attention to the IMU so we could watch them remove the pig from the underground oven.
The show continued for a little after that while they prepared the pig for dinner.
Soon it was time for each table to take turns getting dinner. We were second to last and apparently, that’s not a good thing. People were coming back with mounds of food on their plates and when we got our turn there was barely anything left. No one was replenishing the food and we paid just as much as the greedy people before us.
However, the food we did manage to put on our plates was delicious! We had the kalua pig, rice, Lu`au, bread, Lomi Lomi Salmon, and coconut pudding that was kind of like Jell-O. That seems like a lot, but if you saw the number of empty platters at the buffet you would understand. There was also plenty of dessert leftover. The coconut cake was the clear winner!
The show continued as we ate and a little after eating. The stories of ancestors and traditions told through beautiful dance was captivating. At one point they had all the people on their honeymoon get up and slow dance together. Normally I would have been embarrassed, but it was truly magical. We highly recommend this experience as long as you make sure you get the food you paid for!
As we made it back to Blue just as the heavens opened above us and it poured like Disney World crazy rain. It was super dark so our ride back to the hotel was a little scarier than it was on the way there..ok way scarier. We made it back in one piece and went straight to bed excited to slowly get over this jetlag.