Are we there yet?

Kailua-Kona Travel Blog

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Trying to get some shut eye...
Our traveling day began on the cold winter morning of March 1st at 3 am, Chicago time.  I had stayed overnight with my sister Cilvia and her boyfriend Daniel since they live close to a stop for the CTA blue line train.  Plus, we were all listed in the airplane reservations and we had to check-in at the same time to receive our boarding passes.

Our flight was at 6 am and since it is recommended to be at the airport 2 hours beforehand we had an hour to get to the airport.  We tried to dress quickly and eat some breakfast before we left the house to ride the CTA blue line train to O’Hare airport, but in the end we didn’t get to the airport until about 4:45 am.  The train ride had taken about a half hour from where we started.
First glimpse of the Big Island


There were a number of people in line to check-in but several kiosks had been set-up to check-in electronically.  This was the first time I had ever used the machines to check-in and neither my sister nor I had ever used these machines in our previous travels.  Luckily, it was simple once we figured out which number in our reservations was the reference number.

The security lines to go into the waiting areas on the other hand were a bit longer even this early in the morning.  It is at this point that we spot the other 2 persons who were part of this Hawaiian trip - my sister Patricia and her husband Jim.  They were just getting to the front of the security lines. 

We arrived to our assigned gate / waiting area by 5:15 am.
Interesting view of the coast near the island
  This just gave us enough time for some quick snacks and plenty of time to contemplate how early it is, to complain that it’s going to be a long trip and to get excited that in 8hrs or so we were going to be in HAWAII!!!!

We had a 45-minute layover in L.A. that was annoying and turned worrisome when we realized just because there was a small difference in gate numbers doesn’t necessarily mean the gates are close to each other.  We had 10 minutes to spare before they began boarding procedures for the next leg of our trip.  Again there was no time to eat a decent meal for the next 4 hours.

We finally arrived to the warmth of Hawaii around 1 pm Kailua-Kona time (5 pm Chicago time). We were pleasantly surprised with the open-air airport but as expected the flight was exhausting.
The terrain varied as we flew around in preparation for the eventual landing
  We were hungry and trying to get some sleep at any time during our flights had been difficult.  Many of our fellow travelers had been coughing, sneezing, etc.  So once we checked into the Royal Sea Cliff Resort we took the rest of the day at an easy pace.

On our way to the resort we had seen several restaurants along the way to choose for dinner.  We decided for some Thai food and ate at the Thai RIN restaurant located on All’i Drive.  From our outdoor table we had a good view of the western coastline of Kailua-Kona. The meals were delicious but considering that this was the first decent meal we had all day our views may be slightly skewed.

Afterwards we walked along All’i Drive, which runs along the western coast of Kailua-Kona for several miles and seems to be the main thoroughfare for the tourists and locals alike.
After hours of being stuck in a plane we finally made it to the Big Island
  A number of shops, restaurants and lodgings, including our resort, are located along this road.  There was also one restaurant/bar whose owner seems to be a Chicago Cubs fan. 

They also have an open-air market that is open from Tuesday through Saturday.  There we saw stands of colorful flowers along with some strange fruit that is local to the area.

There are several areas along All’i Drive where you can gain access to the rocky coastline in the area.  The rocks were dark and looked like they can cause injury if you take a misstep.  We walked along the coast for the while and watched as the sun slowly went down.

 Overall, we got a sense that the island was going to be very relaxing and peaceful.  

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Trying to get some shut eye...
Trying to get some shut eye...
First glimpse of the Big Island
First glimpse of the Big Island
Interesting view of the coast near…
Interesting view of the coast nea…
The terrain varied as we flew arou…
The terrain varied as we flew aro…
After hours of being stuck in a pl…
After hours of being stuck in a p…
We are amazed in the open air airp…
We are amazed in the open air air…
Jim - my brother-in-law
Jim - my brother-in-law
Royal Sea Cliff Resort
Royal Sea Cliff Resort
Main tourist road - Alli Drive - l…
Main tourist road - Alli Drive - …
Alli Drive - looking north
Alli Drive - looking north
Open air market - flower shop
Open air market - flower shop
Me, Cilvia and Daniel
Me, Cilvia and Daniel
Rocky coast west of Alli Drive
Rocky coast west of Alli Drive
One of my sisters - Cilvia
One of my sisters - Cilvia
Me
Me
My sister Patricia and her hubby
My sister Patricia and her hubby
Walking along the coast
Walking along the coast
End of day 1
End of day 1
Kailua-Kona
photo by: sylviandavid