Thursday, November 17, 2011

At 5am, struggled into my travel clothes and dragged myself out to the van. We were on our way!

One of our major food sources on this trip is going to be an “AirplanePicnic” I’d packed which included snacks, whole fruit, nuts and more. I even got hommos through security. For breakfast, I’d brought croissants with butter and organic strawberry jam and a honeycrisp apple.

In the inflight magazine, I read an article about “3-PerfectDays in Mexico City” in which they had an image of corn on the cob with mayonnaise, chili powder, lime and salt. I actually would like to try it with cotija cheese crumbles and paprika.

I also was listening to the comedy channel and heard this Thanksgiving themed bit by comedian John Pinette about my favorite vegetable, the turnip. Apparently others do not like them quite as much as I:

On a 9 hour flight, you come up with some unique ways to pass the time. For instance, after doing some of the seated exercises recommended by United, we came up with some of our own:

For lunch we had
-         Sliced French bread w/
-         Hommos (I'm spelling it like they do on the pkg.)
-         Rolled Parma ham with mozzarella (thanks to this book, I wanted to try Parma ham. It's very live and fresh tasting.)
-         Pepper encrusted sliced turkey
-         Romaine Lettuce
-         Arena Cheese Curd
-         Baby Carrots
-         Container of olives
-         Honey roasted nuts

DMV had a Heineken and I had a cranberry juice.

Then came a little edited in-flight movie madness called "Rise of the Planet of the Apes": two hours of unfettered monkey fan service. Highlights all centered upon the final epic confrontation on the Golden Gate Bridge, wherein we see a chimpanzee riding a horse, and a gorilla attacking a helicopter in flight.

Later on we attacked our bag of Xstreme Cheddar Goldfish and Pretzel crackers. We transferred planes in Honolulu, which has a lovely smelling garden right in the center of the airport. On the plane from Oahu to the Big Island, we were treated to an orange and passion fruit drink which was nice, even though the flight was only about 20 minutes. I also read an article on kim chee.

We got the rental car and drove down Ali’i Drive to our hotel. We actually missed the turn (there are no signs stating that the Sheraton is down there, and the road says “no outlet.”) Ended up in a clowder of feral cats at a road closed booth – apparently the road is a one lane bypass only open from 6:30am-6:30pm.

We are staying at the Sheraton Keahou Bay Resort. This is the old Kona Surf Resort, photos from1972 can be found here: . We knew going in that we were in the old “mountain view” wing, also called the Hilo wing or wing 4. We had the opportunity to upgrade for $25 / day but chose to stay in the room, even though it was as musty and beat up as most of the online review said it was. The lampshade was rusty, perhaps from people draping wet swim trunks on it. The ceiling of the lanai (balcony) had ferns growing out of it. Still, we are in a tropical environment. And the lanai is about the same size as the bedroom, with high stucco walls and tall ceiling. 

After briefly flopping down onto the bed, we decided to tour the dark hotel (it was about 8pm local time / midnight back home) and find some dinner. We made our way to the Manta Ray Bar and even got to see some manta rays flipping out. Ah. Nice. Our “free” Manta Ray Punch (actually included with a $15 daily resort fee) is some sort of non-descript red alcoholic drink. I also had Kona Longboard Lager and the fish of the day sandwich, which was Ono (also called Wahoo and rated as “Good Alternative / Use Caution”  by the Monterey Bayseafood watch)  “served on a fresh Kainaliu Bakery bun with a Li hing mui Mango Salsa and local Avocado Aioli.” Li hing mui is a preserved plum, and it made for a sort of sweet, slippery salsa. The ono looked sort of like a chicken breast, flat and white with grill marks. The bun was fluffy and golden – I think I will see a lot of bread like this here.

I didn't have my camera with, so you'll just have to imagine what it looked like.

DMV got a draft Kona Big Wave Golden Ale, the Hawaiian Kine Seafood Chowder made with shrimp, scallops, fish, and apple wood smoked bacon clams in a rich base of coconut milk. It tasted like something I should have ordered - really super creamy. He also got the Big Island Field Greens salad, made with cucumbers, beets, Hilo tomatoes, and Molokai purple sweet potatoes. Served with a really sweet Papaya dressing.

Coolest thing so far was seeing wild cane toads as we walked back to the room.Again, no camera, but they look like this.

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