So I have a friend whose family is quite spontaneous on their vacations. They make sure to book the first and last hotel, but don’t really have a specific plan in mind for the time in between. In my mind, that is definitely an adventure. Well, in our family, “winging it” could mean potential disaster, so we tend to stick to a specific itinerary. And I’m not joking. My dad does an excellent job at researching and reserving certain tours, hotels, and restaurants, and even goes to the extent of putting it all in an excel spreadsheet, which he prints off for each member of the family to refer to. While I may joke and tease him about this, I have taken after him and even implemented his strategies in my Barcelona and abroad adventures.
Well, this trip was no different. Today’s schedule consisted snorkeling and dolphin watching, picking out rental golf clubs, scheduled time by the pool and beach, and potentially dinner on site. Why “consisted”? Well, Mother Nature had a different idea of how we should spend our time.
Meghan and I woke up around 5:45 to work out. We were supposed to run and then be able to return and leave by 7:15 for our snorkeling trip, but due to the increased wind, it was postponed until tomorrow. It was actually quite a relief because in usual Kaitlin fashion, I had cut the timing too close and was risking getting left behind if I didn’t get back from my run in time. Who knew the Mauna Kea was actually that far away?
No fear. It turns out we do have the ability to rebound from such a calamity. Really, the problems some people face on a daily basis and we have the audacity to complain about such a small issue. Anyways, we were able to switch our golf-tee time and after a quick breakfast, headed over to the Hapuna golf course. Meghan and I rented clubs, which were probably much nicer than our sets at home, so that was enjoyable.
We had been fortunate enough to play the course previously, and had a general idea of what to expect. What we didn’t expect was the great force of the wind against our clubs. It sure made for an interesting round. We made it all the way through 13 holes and then it got to be too much. So, we headed back to the room, picked up my mom, and drove out to explore aplace for lunch.
Somehow, I always seemed to catch Dad in the bushes. It turns out he wasn’t always looking for his lost shots, but rather searching for forgotten golf balls to use. Smart guy.
I have to give my family props because at this point, we really are “winging it” as much as is possible for a Fuelling. Lunch was at a spot my dad had heard about (so not completely spontaneous, but close) that apparently served delicious fresh fish tacos. It was a small joint called “Kohala Burger & Tacos” with only about four tables, but had a pretty extensive menu.
I split the “fish platter” with mom (4 fish w/ chips, cole slaw, and my mom’s favorite – tartar sauce), my dad had a cheeseburger (“not very big, but tasty” as he said), and Meghan had pork taquitos with an avocado paste, lettuce, and pico de gallo.
Once finished, we explored another area of the west coast, walked around the shops at Mani Lani as well as the Mani Lani hotel. We listened to my dad give his analysis of the different hotels on the island as we trekked over the sand dunes and fought the wind barreling against us. Somehow the trade winds didn’t seem to slow down, but rather speed up and gain force as the day went on.
Back at the hotel, we went our separate ways. My mom and dad were braved the wind as they sat by the pool and Meghan and I went to explore the gym. It sure had enough equipment and machines for an army, but Santa Clara had spoiled me with its fans, so I was not such a fan of the stuffy and overheated atmosphere. Not meant to be a complaint people, just an observation. We did end up following my parent’s lead and hung out by the pool for awhile, where the wind progressively died down. By the time we went to dinner at the hotel’s Coast Grille, it was relatively nonexistent.
Dinner was by-far the best meal we have had in weeks. I sampled the 3 Fish Trio with mahi mahi, ahi, and ono, which came with coconut white rice. Meghan ordered the appetizer’s chicken wings but split the pork chop and Hawaiian sweet potato mash with my mom, and my dad selected the macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi, which he absolutely adored.
Savor the Hawaiian flavors of Mai Tais and a “Blue Hawaiian.” Because, why not?
Recall from yesterday’s post, I mentioned how my family could be pretty predictable? Well, my did ask if we wanted to split a … yep, Caesar salad, but we all declined the offer. I couldn’t help but laugh.
So, while we didn’t exactly follow today’s schedule, I was glad for some R&R by the pool. It was also good to know we could stray away from the set itinerary without hell breaking loose or without anyone having regrets. A successful day all in all. Let’s keep our fingers crossed the trade winds decide to stay away for awhile or we will have to be a little spontaneous once again.
Fun Fact: Hawai‘i’s Big Island is known as the Golf Capital of Hawai‘i with 20 golf courses and several more scheduled for completion.