Travel Date: Saturday, Nov 28 2015
Our final day on the islands of Hawaii. 
We arrived in Kailua-Kona late last night, and checked into the Marriott Courtyard Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. Since there were a few minutes before last call, we headed to the local bar, got a few drinks, and then just crashed. 
 
In the morning, I told Justin we could choose to just take it easy, or we could go drive around and finish items on the bucket list. He decided to take it easy, and enjoy being around the beach. I think the view outside our room window did the convincing. 

And I was perfectly content with his choice. I needed some beach time.

The Hawaiian State Flag.

We leave the hotel, walk around, and grab some breakfast.

Breakfast and Mai Tai’s. 

After breakfast, it is time to head out to the beach. The beaches of Hawaii are considered accessible to all. So hotels do not really have private beach front property.

We walk towards the Kamakahonu Kailua Pier.

I grab some snorkeling gear from the Kono Boys shack. I have not snorkeled in any of the Hawaii islands, so this was something I really need to do and scratch of the list of experiences.

I get in the water and snorkel for a bit.
And then go back in and snorkel some more.

After a wonderful snorkeling experience, I decide to check out the temple at the edge of the Kamakahonu Kailua Pier.

On the pier is a religious temple: The Ahu’ena Heiau . It served the King Kamehameha. The temple is  a 2/3 scale model replica. It is a considered a significant cultural site and must be treated with great respect.

And now it is time to relax, soak up whatever sun is there, and enjoy some beverages.

Justin decides to get a tan. And in doing so he falls asleep.

Happy hour rolls on, and we grab some half-priced poke for dinner.

Time to watch the sunset from the other side of the pier.

I thought this was amusing.

Flashback.

We walk back to the hotel, and read up on some history of the King Kamehameha. Earlier, during the sunset we talked to a native islander about King Kamehameha.

His opinion about the King enlightens us. To some he is a hero, and to others he is a villain.

I give some ‘bear hugs’ around the Christmas tree.

And we head out to the other side of the island to the Hilo International Airport.

On the drive there, the most amazing thing happened. We drove up the mountain through the middle of the island. It was dark. Very dark. Pitch black. And the clouds cleared up, and opened up the night sky. We pulled over along the road. Got out of the car and looked above at the sky for a few moments. The constellation of stars of the Milky Way was staring back at us. I wish I could take a picture with my iPhone. We both wanted to stay for longer, but also we didn’t want to miss our flight home.

We drop off our car at the airport, leave the key under the car matt, and leave the front door unlocked. Those were the directions from our ‘ugly car’ rental company. After checking in, and clearing security, we relax in the lobby, and await our boarding call.

We board on the plane.

Woot woot, we have an empty seat in the middle.

And then FINALLY arrive back on the US mainland. What a trip!

Reflections:

Today was an awesome day of doing nothing. Snorkeling in the Hawaiian waters, and appreciating the Marine wildlife was fantastic. It was so good, that I had to do it twice, until I was literally exhausted from swimming.

Laying on the hotel chaise lounges, drinking cocktails, talking to Justin and some of the other hotel guests was relaxing. I was really grateful to just ‘veg out’ for the first time in a long time.

We planned on leaving right after the sunset. The sunset was epic with the backdrop of the trees. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to our Hawaiian trip. But the icing on the cake, was the unexpected and clear view of the constellation of stars of the Milky Way galaxy.

Thank you Justin for being a great traveling companion. Sure, we had our moments, but that was just tiny in contrast to the amazing memories, people, and journeys we shared.

I’m looking forward to a visit the next and last state (#50) on my list: Alaska.

Expenses: $277.82
Nov 28th 2015: $111.62
Gas: $8.31 (Minit Stop Leilani)
Breakfast: $19.82 (Paradise Brewing Co)
Scuba Gear Rental: $24.00 (Kona Boys)
Beverages: $35.13 (Courtyard by Marriott KKB Kailua-Kona, Big Island)
Dinner: $9.93 (Courtyard by Marriott KKB Kailua-Kona, Big Island)
Parking: $15.62 (Courtyard by Marriott KKB Kailua-Kona, Big Island)
Gas: $22.81 (Tesoro)

Nov 29th 2015: $166.20
Breakfast: $13.89 (Klatch Coffee)
Parking: $90.00 (IAD Dulles)
Dinner: $62.31(The Savory Grain)