Ah, okay. We've made it to the last day of sight-seeing.
We spent the first half of the day driving through Kona down to Captain Cook.
Plumeria trees were everywhere. It is winter in Hawai'i, so there were no leaves on the Plumeria trees, but many of them were still flowering.
Bouganvilla also grew all over the place! We mostly saw it used as a hedge row along property lines, but also saw a few that had grown into giant flowering bushes. It was really neat to see.
We stopped at a small research farm that had 47 different varieties of fruit, nut, and flowering trees. Although it wasn't well kept, it was still really neat to see all of the different trees.
A coffee tree! Kona coffee "ranks among the best in today's gourmet market..." (Kona Historical Society). There are many small, 5-10 acre, coffee farms in the area. They all came together to form the Kona Pacific Farmers Cooperative. This allowed them to combine all of their harvests and contribute to the multi-million dollar business that is the coffee market.
This is a poinsettia tree! I've never seen such a thing. I can just imagine how much of an impact one of these would have at Christmas!
We stopped on the road to get pictures of this Plumeria farm.
We also stopped at the Kona Coffee Living History Farm. We didn't tour the farm, but we did step into the gift shop to buy some beans! This is a picture of a coffee tree that had lots of pretty red beans.
The remainder of the day was spent lounging around our room and the beach. The water was beautiful! I wish we would have spent more time there. Of course, no pictures of the beach! Neither one of us remembered to bring our cameras.
The water was crystal clear...and cold! Many people on the beach were snorkeling a little further out. We decided not to snorkel. I was a tad bit afraid that I would accidentally inhale some ocean in my breathing tube and drown. Besides, I couldn't touch the "floor" out there!
What was really amazing was the fact that there were no big swell waves. Nothing to surf on! The breeze seemed to always be pushing the water back out toward the ocean, so just being out there was really calming. There weren't tons of people on the beach, so it would have been a great place to just hang out and relax. Next time, right? :)
Day 5, Travis spent on another island looking at Jatropha and Chinese Tallow plantings, so I spent the morning relaxing in the room and packing all of our stuff. I shopped and wandered around for the rest of the afternoon until it was time to pick Travis up from the airport. Then it was off to eat a quick bite and back to the airport to start our journey home.
We had a great trip, but after being gone for a week, it was really, really good to see Elizabeth again and get back home!