After lunch, it was time to check off a few things on D’s 1,000 Things To See Before You Die list. The first was Mokuaikaua Church, which was Hawaii’s first church.
They were preparing for their Christmas Eve service.
The building is impressive.
Next stop was Hulihee Palace, which was located right across the street. The palace closed early that day, so we were unable to take a look inside.
We sat on the sea wall on Alii Drive, close to where the Kona Ironman Triathlon starts.
We spotted more of those crabs. A wave crashed into the wall and splashed us shortly after I took this picture.
Huge tree—Banyan, I believe?.
Our next unlikely stop: King Kamehameha Hotel, aka Courtyard by Marriott
D was unsure exactly why this hotel was listed in the book so he asked someone at the registration desk. He asked her if she had ever heard of the book 1,000 Things To See Before You Die. When she said no, he told her the author and that it was on the New York Bestseller’s List and asked her why she thought the hotel would be included. She wasn’t sure, but mentioned that the hotel had a lot of artwork and that there was a historical structure near the back of the hotel.
Ahu’ena Heiau, a religious temple that is a Nathional Historic Landmark
I think we stopped in every single ABC store that we saw along the way, which was a lot. The kids enjoyed being in the air conditioning because it was muggy outside. We needed some refreshment, stat.
Scandinavian Shave Ice to the rescue! This guy may look like an unlikely shave ice expert, but he made one mean Mango-Orange-Passion Fruit shave ice with Mango ice cream. This was the medium size, by the way! I love the way the soft, delicate ice was packed into a perfect orb of ombre deliciousness.
Next we stopped by at Hilo Hattie’s. I had spotted a cute line called Island Yumi at some of the ABC stores, but the best selection was at Hilo Hattie’s.
Next we went Kahalu’u Bay. We didn’t have our snorkel gear, but we were still able to see some sea turtles up close and personal.
For dinner, we went to Kona Brewing Company. It was a little tricky to find, but it was worth it.
Half Puako/Half Honaunau Pizza :: Caesar Salad
It had been a long day, and n fell asleep at the table.
Our final stop was Legacy Church, to attend their Christmas Eve service. Up until now, the GPS included in our Ford Fusion rental car had served us well. It had a difficult time locating the church, which was by Costco, however. We ended up stopping at a Mac service repair shop, which was one of the few businesses open that Christmas Eve evening. Although they did not know exactly where the church was, they pointed D in the right direction and we eventually found it on the second story of a strip mall across from Home Depot.
They had a nice assortment of pupus (which was mainly desserts) brought by the congregation. The church was small, so everyone ate in their seats in the sanctuary before the service, which felt weird.
The service helped to remind us of the miraculous birth of Jesus and why we celebrate it. There was even a hula performance, which reminded us of our church back home.