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Thursday, December 15, 2016

MY GOD Day 5: Kona

The Pride of America was yesterday in Kona:


That mountain?  Hualalai, an active volcano which last erupted in 1800.  It is 8271 feet above sea level and 300,000 years old.  The Big Island just celebrated its 800,000-year birthday.  The island of Kauai is 6 million years old.  That's next. 

See those orange boats?  They are called tenders and they ferry cruisers from the ship, which is moored offshore, to port.  My breakfast view:


Kona was the first royal capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii.  King Kamehameha the First (left) lived here at his end (1819), and the King Kamehameha Hotel, now run by Marriott, sits where he lived.  The population is around 12,000 and crime is low.  The vog from Kilauea is a real problem.  Kona is the home of the Iron Man World Championship Triathlon (October 14, 2017--click on that link to learn how to qualify) and the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (September 9-17, 2017).  Kona Coffee is said to be the best.

I took the tender into town.  Here is a shot of where King Kamemahema I lived:


Well, not exactly that hut, but in this environ.  I walked over to Umeke's and ordered my bento of grilled ono (wahoo, which was ono, or good in Hawaiian), with a Kanaka Poke and Lomi-Lomi Salmon, plus a can beer from ABC, and went to the shoreline:


The total sum of the above, around $20.  I shared my lunch with some Java sparrows and Yellow-billed cardinals:


This cardinal sort of looks like the red-crested version found at the Ala Wai Golf Course, but the Kona cardinal has no crest, and red is darker.  I actually sat facing away from my ship, and had a view of Hualalai:


Back in my cabin, again a view of Hualalai:


I took a 1.5 hour nap and woke up just in time for the departure.  There was something particularly relaxing about this portion of the cruise.  Maybe the scotch on rocks, perhaps the rhythmic wash of waves:


I think that was Haleakala just above.

Dinner was to Jefferson's Bistro:


That lady to the right?  She took a close look at what I was wearing, cringed a bit, but let me in anyway. The pants just cover the slippers sufficiently that they look passable.  Thank you.

I first ordered two soups, mushroom and French onion:


The onion soup was terrific, mostly because it was piping hot.  The mushroom was lukewarm, but okay.  I asked for my fourth bottle, a Francis Coppola Claret, which was excellent.  That tiny bottle of Perrier, it turned out, cost half my meal.  The calculation were complexed.  The white wine is from my Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio bottle.  Rather than an entre, I had an escargot with Caesar's Salad:


The combination was perfect, with a cold salad and dangerously hot escargot.  I ate so much bread.

Note that expensive aloha shirt I got with my pink sweater on day one:


How expensive?  Not as much as the four-wine package.  This could well have been my best dinner on this trip, or, at least most enjoyable in terms of service, cuisine and ambiance.

The show tonight was Oh What a Night, a tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons:


They were good.  In fact, very good.

Courtesy of the Kona Coconut Wireless Weekly, 12-18 December 2016:
  • When a person sees the Milky Way at night, he sees only 0.0000025% of this galaxy, and nothing outside of it.
  • There is enough gold in the Earth's core to cover the entire surface of the planet in 1.5 feet of pure gold.
  • The average person has four dreams per night.
  • Coca-Cola and Pepsi are sold in every country except for North Korea.  (Well, not true, for Coke from Italy is sold in Pyongyang.)
Tomorrow, Kauai, a luau and a lot more.

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