Top 12: Hawaii Pt. 1/3

Spinner dolphins. Swimming with these fabulous guys was probably the best activity I did on the big island of Hawaii. I’ve meant to publish this last Hawaii post for a while, but here goes my top 12 activities I enjoyed the most:

12. Manta Rays
My grandmother (GiGi) and I spent an evening dining out at the Sheridan so we could view their gardens and eventually watch the manta rays feed after dark.

11. Luau
It wasn’t a traditional luau, but a Hawaii teacher who travels internationally to teach students to dance traditional Hawaiian steps. The sole guy (last picture in this section) was the instructor.

10. Coffee Plantation
You have to visit a coffee plantation while in Kona and we chose Holualoa Kona Coffee Company, which offers a self-guided tour. I was interesting and the chocolate covered coffee balls were yummy. It was interesting to learn that they roast 600-900 pounds of beans per day, up to 40 pounds of beans per roast. I also enjoyed the stop because of the chickens hanging around and because we got to try sweet bananas — so good!

9. Parker Ranch/Anna’s Ranch
It was interesting to see the ranching side of the island. My aunt and uncle raise cattle so I traveled with her to tour two ranches: Parker Ranch and Anna’s Ranch. Both are pretty cool  just for the history alone although the views are nice as well. The drive was split between pastures filled with cows and goats. Some parts allow open grazing. Parker Ranch is also the site of Camp Tarawa from 1943 to 1945 where the 2nd and 5th Marine Divisions actually trained. The 5th Marine Division trained for the 1945 Battle of Iwo Jima there since the terrain was similar.

A pearl of a day

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100 feet deep. I did my first – and probably last – trip in the submarine Atlantis Wednesday. We mostly stayed around 40-70 feet deep looking at various fish and coral before going to 100 feet.

Personally, it was my least favorite activity. It was $105 and I don’t think it was any where near being worthy of that cost. Maybe half. It was just too crowded and the fish we saw we’ve seen scuba diving.

The water was choppy, and at times, I thought we would capsize in the boat that took us to and from the submarine. I was glad to get back on dry land.

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Afterwards, Aunt Lynda and I picked an oyster for a jewelry store employee to open and check for pearls. I got a decent sized black pearl while she got twin black pearls.

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I ended up turning my pearl into a necklace while Aunt Lynda decided on earrings. The pearls were mounted and we were given instructions not to wear them for 24 hours – a hard thing to accomplish. I love my necklace.

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Finally, we had to end our shopping to head home. Aunt Jo’s conference for International Interpreters Association kicked off yesterday with a luau that night and we all got to attend. More on that later.