The Big Island

One of the best ways to spend a Thanksgiving weekend...

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For Thanksgiving weekend 2007 Chris and I took off for Kona.  We arrived Thanksgiving day, after peanuts tried to derail our flight.  Apparently, someone on our flight had a severe allergy to peanuts, so after three announcements at the gate, and four on the plane, it was decided that our flight contained no rogue peanut smugglers and we were allowed to fly our twenty minutes to the Big Island.  That's the best thing about flying inter-island: 20 minute flights.  Living in Hawaii, you deal with a minimun of six hour flights to get anywhere, so when you get to go to a whole new place and it only takes twenty minutes, it's like a little gift. 

So we arrived to Kona, grabbed our rental car, and headed into town.  It was quiet due to the holiday... it was so quiet that there was no one working the front desk of our hotel and we had to wait several hours to get checked in.  But it ended up working out, so no need to get into that mess now.  That evening, we had a traditional Thanksgiving meal of overpriced sushi and seafood at Fujimama in Kona.  It was good, but Chris and I quickly realized this trip was going to put us way off budget.

Kona itself is very 1970's.  It's like the parts of Waikiki that haven't been fixed up yet.  Everyday there is a constant influx of tourists waddling off their cruise ships.  They descend into town, loud, pastey, sunburnt, cranky, fanny pack adorned, and ready to buy some plastic leis at the ABC store.  Retired midwestern women wearing their new matching fuschia short and t-shirt sets with a hibiscus tucked behind the ear, their freshly permed bangs sticking out of their visors.  They tow along their husbands, who have apparently never heard of anyone being ridiculed for wearing black socks with sandals, because they embrace this look with much zest and vigor.  Sometimes they might have some sullen grandchildren with them, sometimesand maybe there's a baby.  Whatever.  These people make me mean and then I make fun of them.  I know they're not bad, and I'm just as much of a tourist as them, but come on, at least I act and look better doing it. 

So after half a day in brokedown Kona with my new BFFs from Iowa, I didn't love the Big Island.  I was seriously questioning Chris' taste in life in general (the Big Island is his favorite place), and our hotel room was dirty and smelled like mold.  Buuuuut the next day, things got a lot better.

I am a sucker for things that are the oldest, the biggest, the smallest, the whatever-est that makes it unique.  I am proud that I've seen The World's Biggest Thermometer in Baker, California.  I relish my trips to Wall Drug, South Dakota (obviously, you already know that it's The World's Largest Drug Store... duh).  World's Oldest Operating Whiskey Distillery?  Been there...  it's Bushmill's in Northern Ireland, just an FYI.  World's Largest Palace Made of Corn?  Hell yeah.  So when Chris told me we could go to The Southernmost Point in the United States I was hooked.  Actually, first I blurted out, "What are you talking about?  That's in Key West and I've already been there."  I guess Key West gets points for the Southernmost Point in the contiguous US, the Big Island has the honors for the whole US... suck it Florida. 

So we drove down to the Southernmost Point of the US and we missed it.  We were there pretty much, but we didn't make it to the actual spot.  Instead, we blindly followed a group of people on a path and after walking for a bit, I decided to ask where it is we were going.  A British guy said we were going to Green Sand beach.  I'd read about it in my guide book and it was a bout a 2 mile hike out and we figured what the hell.  So we hiked.  And hiked.  And hiked.  I cursed nature in general.  Chris cursed the people with 4 wheel drive whizzing by us and kicking up dust.  But we made it, and after climbing down a rather steep hill, we were rewarded with Green Sand Beach.  More like Moss Green or Baby Poop Green Sand Beach, but it was pretty.  I was hoping for Emerald Sand Beach, but I can't get too picky.  Here are some shots...

It was a really nice beach and I think even more rewarding because of the walk to get there.  The walk back is just mean.  All we had to look forward to was our Pontiac rental car and being dusty and salty and kinda stinky.  Below is a shot of me at Almost The Most Southern Point in the Whole USA...

So I was happy we got to go to the beach (even though a sea turtle popped up close me and those things are out to get me) but a little sad I didn't go to the Southnmost Point.  But driving through the next town, I was greeted with something better; The Southernmost Bar in the United States.  Yesssssssss.