From the south part of the Big Island, we headed to Kailua-Kona. Our first stop was at Snorkel Bob’s to pick up snorkel gear for all of us, including the super cool moflo snorkels, which are amazing! As the kids hadn’t ever snorkeled, eliminating the unpleasant experience of water getting into their snorkels was definitely a plus!
The gal there recommended Foster’s Kitchen for lunch, so we walked down the street a block or so and had a great lunch upstairs on their lanai overlooking the bay — beautiful! Mike and L split rack of BBQ ribs and G and I split a chicken pesto avocado sandwich. Super tasty!
We didn’t tell the kids that we were staying at a hotel right on the beach, so they were super excited and then we told them we were going to the luau, too! 😉 FUN!
(Mike’s Note: Marriott Reward points are THE BEST!! Very worth it to spend the points on a place like this. One of the greatest customer service experiences at a hotel I’ve had.)
After getting checked in, the kids put on their snorkel gear and headed for the pool to try it out! They both got the hang of them right away and had fun using them in the pool.
That evening was the luau out on the lawn. We each got a shell lei as we followed the line outside. It was a really interactive evening, which was fun — not just dinner and a show. It felt like a party with Hawaiian games to play, tatoos, fire baton twirling (without the fire), hula dancing lessons, and Mai Tais and other drinks on the lawn.
Before dinner was served, we got to watch the imu ceremony, which is the uncovering of the imu (underground oven), where the kalua pig was cooked. (An imu uses hot coals, stones and layers of leaves and cloth or mats to steam food.)
Following that, the Royal Court (performers dressed as King Kamehameha and his court) arrived via an outrigger canoe and a rainbow!
The dinner was a fabulous buffet that the MC described, so we knew what we were going to find at the buffet before we were excused by table to the buffet line.
As we were eating the actual luau show began. It was called He Ohana Kakou and was focused on family and sharing cultural traditions and practices of both Hawaii and its “cousins,” the other Polynesian islands of Samoa, Tahiti, New Zealand, Easter Island, and Fiji. It was a really fun evening!
Afterward, G and I got a picture with some of the performers, and L got a fire baton to take with him! As we were walking, a little voice started talking to L. “Hey, hey guy. I got one of those, too.” He was a super cute little 3 ½ year old who thought L was a pretty cool big kid. 🙂
The next day at the pool, the little boy from the luau (Daniel) spotted G and L, so he was super excited to play with the kids and decided quickly that G was his best friend! 🙂
We spent the next two days snorkeling in the ocean, swimming in the pool, and hanging out with Daniel and his parents (Bernadette and Tomasch), who were from Hungary but live in Dubai.
On the last day, G was playing with a loose tooth when it suddenly fell out. Daniel kept asking, “But, G, why did your tooth fall out?” It was a little confusing for someone who hasn’t experienced losing a tooth! 🙂
One more picture and then time to say goodbye…Daniel wasn’t too happy about it, though.
On our way out, we stopped by the front desk to say goodbye to Nastia (who was the primary reason for the aforementioned customer service experiences). She is a French woman we met when we checked into the hotel. She’s from Paris and used to teach French. She was so sweet and had several conversations with G and L in French, which was fun. 🙂
Next stop, an AirBnB place in Kalaoa, just up the hill from the beach.