From the volcano park we drove a few hours north and west to the sunny side of the Big Island for the final stop of our summer adventure in Polynesia. Kailua is the island’s second largest town. And it’s in a region called Kona. And apparently nobody can make up their mind about what to call the place, so it’s most frequently referred to as Kailua-Kona, as weird as that seems.
This is the stretch of the Big Island that is lined with beautiful beach resorts. And because it’s the Big Island, there’s a lot of volcano action, so the beautiful beach resorts are surrounded by lava fields. It’s an interesting and beautiful juxtaposition.
So we spent our last six days in Polynesia doing what we are very good at — enjoying a gorgeous beach and bunches of books and not much more. We had a rental car here, but it sat in the parking lot for six days because we weren’t motivated to leave the resort.
While we love nice beach resorts, we do tire a bit of fussy (and annoyingly expensive) resort restaurants. So we took a disproportionate share of our meals, sitting at the bar, at the restaurant that was more casual than the rest. And it turned out to be surprisingly homey, especially for Jim.
One great bartender turned out to be from Bemidji, Minnesota. Not only is she a member of the same Ojibwe tribe as Jim, but she is also the niece of Clyde Bellcourt, famed founder of the American Indian Movement. The other great bartender hailed from New Jersey, but his mother grew up in Billings Park, the same neighborhood in Superior, Wisconsin where Jim’s mom grew up. Weird connections at a fancy Hawaii resort!
And thus our adventure in Polynesia comes to a conclusion. As we await a long flight back to New York, I’ll just share the last pretty pics.