Big Island, Hawaii Day 6

Day 6 in Hawaii was another day with no set plans. So we got up and went back to the Daylight Mind Cafe for breakfast. This time opting for the Niu Cakes (buttermilk pancakes with coconut and haupia syrup) and the Puna Kine Benedict (spinach, tomatoes, avocado, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and rice).

While sharing our breakfast and enjoying our Kona coffee we decided it would be really cool to learn more about the coffee we have been drinking all week. A quick Google search helped us find Mountain Thunder, a coffee plantation.

We hoped in Blue and drove up a mountain to the plantation. It took about a 1/2 hour. We arrived a lot earlier than we expected so we had time to kill before our tour.

We sat and enjoyed the grounds for a little bit and then the store opened. Inside we sampled the different types of coffees they make. We even got to try tea they made from the leaves of a coffee plant. It was so refreshing and cool. I brought some home to make iced tea in the summer.

The tour began a little while later where they took us through the process of growing the coffee all the way down to roasting it.

The most interesting piece of information we learned was that to legally sell coffee as Kona coffee it only needs to have about 10% Kona coffee in it. So be on the lookout, you might not be buying the real thing!

After our tour, we made some purchases. We wanted to bring back this incredible coffee for our family and friends.

For lunch, we stopped at Lava Lava Beach Club (recommended by our friend Nicolette). It’s a cute little restaurant on the beach serving up burgers and seafood with cocktails. It gets very busy so we recommend getting here early.

We started out with cocktails. I ordered the Cucumber Cocito; cucumber vodka, coconut cream, mint, lime, and coconut water. Tom ordered the Green-tini; gin, jalapeno syrup, pineapple, and cilantro. I liked my cocktail fine, but vodka isn’t really my thing. I wanted to try something different. Tom really liked his drink. We both love spicy drinks so this was right up his alley.

For food I opted for the fish and chips; fried mahi-mahi with chili lime tartar sauce. This was really good! You can’t beat fried flakey and moist white fish.

Tom went for the Hapa Burger; 1/2 Big Island Beef, 1/2 Portuguese sausage, grilled pineapple, red onion, teriyaki sauce, and swiss cheese. Though very heavy it was a killer burger.

We finished up lunch and with a full day ahead of us we figured the best thing to do would be to sit by the amazing pool.

While at the pool we ordered some local brews, read a little, and just relaxed.

We were very lucky to have the reserved seating for our tower. We always got amazing seats and the area was pretty quiet. If you’re able we really recommend paying the extra money. This downtime allowed us to plan a fun evening for later on. We decided to go shopping at the King and Queens Markets on the resort property and then have dinner at Nui.

While shopping we stopped in a few local shops (at least we think they are local. They were new to us.) and picked out a few Christmas presents for family and friends. We found a cool t-shirt shop and a cute home store. There were also lots of stores with different art mediums. There were so many cute things we could have purchased but we didn’t want to go over the weight limit with our luggage.

Tom then wanted to check out the lava flows near the shops. Normally I would be totally down for an adventure, but it’s hard in a dress and sandals. We only went a little bit out on to the desert.

Back at the hotel, we discovered a coconut had fallen inside the open-air lobby. It was so heavy I bet it would have killed someone if it hit them.

It was finally time for dinner! We made the longish treck over to Nui on the other side of the resort. It was super easy for us to get a last minute reservation on open table, but they were turning away walk-ins so definitely get a reservation.

Nui opened only a couple of months before our trip and we were excited to try it because who doesn’t love pizza and pasta! We both started out with drinks and the bread service. I ordered a glass of red wine and Tom had their Beachside Negroni, Plymouth gin, Campari aperitivo, Cocchi Americano, grapefruit, Hawaiian sea salt.

Note about the bread service, you have to pay for it, but it’s totally worth it. It’s Roman-style Focaccia bread with oil and vinegar. I could have had that and a salad and been satisfied.

For dinner, Tom ordered Nonna’s Garganelli, meatballs, fresh tomato, basil, roasted garlic. It was just ok. It didn’t even look that good, to be honest. Literally, nothing to write home about here.

I had the Linguini Scampi, seared shrimp, white wine, garlic, heirloom cherry tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil. Mine was much better than Tom’s. The sauce was very garlicky and flavorful and the shrimp were cooked properly.

We definitely recommend getting the pizza here. Our takeout from our previous post was delicious. The crust was fluffy but still chewy. It was really good.

Then after dinner, we went to bed because everything shuts down at 10 making it a truly relaxing getaway.

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