During the check-in process in our new condo, Kanaloa at Kona, the guy asked me if I wanted air-conditioning for our room. I declined. We were were given a condo on the 2nd and 3rd level of the resort that was facing the ocean. When we opened up all the windows and the sliding doors from the three lanais…breeze, cool breeze. No need for A/C.
I slept quite early the night before, well, 10pm local time was early for me. I woke up at 6am, but it wasn’t my body clock that woke me up. Since I had the sliding doors open all-night, the chirping of the resident birds was my alarm clock. It wasn’t annoying, I actually enjoyed listening to them.
Take it slow Sunday
We decided to take it slow on our last two days on the island. We found ourselves staying in our condo, enjoyed the ocean views and the pool next to the ocean. We were on our tail end of our trip and have had our fair share of driving around the island. We opted to just relax, and that’s exactly what happened.
We spent a good part of the morning in the swimming pool. Evan, Ethan, and I also played a little tennis, just because Evan requested for us to play, so we did.
Sorry, In-N-Out, my burger affair in Hawaii
By noon, we headed to Ultimate Burger for lunch. First of all, I’ll be frank and say, burger? On vacation? In Hawaii? Yes. I ordered the Ultimate Cheeseburger with pickled jalapeños and gorgonzola cheese. Ethan had the Ultimate Double Cheeseburger, and righteous bowl of chili. And the fries, oh my, served with garlic aioli. We all agreed, this was indeed a great burger on the island, and we truly recommend the place.
Tip: Yelp check-in gets you free lemonade, and ask your front desk or concierge for a local discount card. Ultimate Burger was included in our card which also got us the fries for free.
After lunch, the kids reminded me, or shall I say asked me to make huli-huli chicken. Knowing that our plan was to just stay in the condo for the rest of the day, it made perfect sense to just make a home cooked meal. We went to Foodland, ugggghhhh, it was actually Sack N Save, but I guess, they were both related. I purchased chicken thighs (8 pieces were on sale for under $5). I also bought a can of crushed pineapples. That was enough for me to get my Huli going.
Since we’ve been eating our way around the island, we’ve collected quite a few sachets or packets of shoyu (soy sauce), chili sauce, and ketchup. So to get my marinade going, I mixed all those ingredients together, along with the crushed pineapples, and 3/4 of can of Passion Orange Guava Nectar drink….that became my marinade. I just prayed that it would work. Directly in front of our condo, and next to the pool was a gas grill. I got to work and within one hour, my huli-huli chicken was ready.
My recipe worked. The family approved of my improvised recipe. We ate hull along with different sorts of poke from Foodland – Tako Kimchee, Ahi Shoyu, and White Crab Kimchee Poke. That was a great dinner.
The rest of the evening was spent indoors. We watched Jesus Christ Superstar Live on TV. We also began packing for we have a long day ahead up next.
Last day on the island
I went to bed early the night before. My intention was to get up early and finish packing. I got up to the lovely tweeting of the local birds. I cooked breakfast for the family. I called this my “no leftover should go to waste” breakfast. I warmed up leftover huli huli chicken. I also set aside the huli marinade from yesterday.
We had leftover cooked spam, and white rice. So I decided to make a quick fried rice using the huli huli marinade. O. M. G. That was delicious!!! So yes, no leftover should go to waste!
I took care of a few business on the phone, while the rest of the family finished packing. While we only stayed in this condo for two nights, it really felt like home since we spent more time here than any of the other places we stayed at.
We left the condo before 10am. In our usual Francisco way of traveling to Hawaii, everything began with a visit to Costco, and rightfully so, that we ended our visit with another return to Costco.
The reasons were two-fold:
a. Fill up our gas tank before returning it to the rental agency
b. Buy some last minute Hawaiian goodies to bring back home
Just like clockwork, we were in and out of Costco within a half hour. It was already 11:30am, Our flight was at 3:45pm. We had just about enough time to eat one last hearty meal, and of course, it had to be a local fave. We went back to Pine Tree Cafe, it was close enough to the airport so it just made perfect sense. I wasn’t exactly raving about Pine Tree the other day. I wasn’t thrilled with the loco moco. We chose to order different things. I got the Fried Ahi Belly with tossed greens. The rest of the fam ordered KFC Bowl (Korean Fried Chicken), Chicken Katsu, and Garlic Chicken.
Not sure if we were just hungry, or that we were just counting down our last few moments on the island, but man, that was delish. The ahi belly especially…..wasn’t over cooked, it was so fresh and tasty. Nancy’s Garlic Chicken was just delicious. What a great way to end our visit to the island.
The one that got away
After a delightful lunch at Pine Tree Cafe, it was time to head to the airport. As always, I dropped of the family near the terminal, while I went back to Budget Car Rental to return the SUV. Once I dropped off the SUV,
I headed back to the terminal for all of us to begin our security check. The regular line was long, but we all have TSA Precheck, and of course, it was a breeze, no one in line. The kids were thrilled. We all got past security, and we started to bring our personal belonging through the scanner, and I realized and asked, “Who’s got my Black Eddie Bauer backpack?” No one had it. Not again. This was the same backpack that I left by the beach a week ago, and now, it got lost again. The TSA agent allowed me to leave the area, and in no time, I was back at Budget Car Rental. The Ford Explorer was still there, in line to be cleaned, and man, so was my backpack, and everything else in it. Whew!
That’s it. I headed back to terminal, went to the TSA Precheck again (no lines), and I rejoined everyone in no time. We had about one hour to kill before the flight, and I was able to blog preflight. We began the boarding process at 3pm, and the flight left on time.
We brought our own snacks instead of buying snacks in-flight. I bought this Kimchi Ramen from Walmart, which was about $1.12, and I politely asked the flight attendant for hot water. He complimented my choice of ramen. “That’s the good stuff.” I didn’t realize that Hawaiian Airlines also sold Cup o’ Noodles, and he said, “Good for you for bringing your own!” High-fives!
I got to blog some more during the flight. Didn’t really get to sleep. The flight which lasted over 5 hours flew by so quickly. We landed at LAX just before midnight. We were wide eyed, clearly we had a great time, and we were ready to return to work and school. Next entry, my favorite….the takeaways.