Spread happiness by smiling at strangers. Or flash them your boobs…strangers love boobs. Let’s body surf, he said. It’ll be fun, he said. I cautiously scanned the surf for signs of a sand enema. It was boogie board heaven. The moment I hopped aboard, I heard Ken cry out ‘rogue wave.’ When I finally surfaced, the crowd was greeted by my lovely set of coconuts smiling back at me.
I’m a Hawaiian shirt guy. I’ve made that life decision.
It’s been a long time since the two of us stole away to the tropics. Twenty years to be exact. As an anniversary present, we set sail to the Big Island. It’s a bitch to get to, but Hawaii is my kind of paradise. The Kohala Coast is landscaped in lava, and bejeweled with lush green oasis. For the next week we called Mauna Lani home.
Sunset is my favourite colour.
Hapuna Beach boasts killer sunsets, tasty waves, and a velvety beach. The silky-soft white sand gently pumices your hooves. Pick up cheap lawn chairs and beach ware from Target in Kona to keep in your trunk. Don’t forget the cooler and aquaholic punch. On an island not known for walkable beaches, this one is a must-see.
I need Vitamin Sea.
I have an unhealthy fear of fish that high-fin after a successful slaughter. Thanks Steven Spielberg. That’s why snorkeling in Mauna Lani is ideal. Both the Fairmont Orchid and Mauna Lani Bay Hotel have reef-protected coves that bustle with sea life. You don’t have to wade in very far to see tropical fish, coral, turtles, and eels (that’s right Buttercup, eels).
If you like pina coladas…
The Lava Lava Beach Club quickly established itself as one of our all time favourite restaurants. We loved the laid-back ‘toes in the sand’ ambiance, and live entertainment. Book a table on the beach for the full effect.
Happy hour at Tommy Bahama’s is a shark feed frenzy. Half price wine will do that to the ladies. Order multiple pina coladas, and send in a mai tai to check on them.
Brown’s Beach House in the Fairmont Orchid is one of the most romantic locations on the planet. The heady mixture of ocean waves, palm trees, tiki torches, and two bottles of wine was intoxicating. This is a $$$$ evening. Don’t pull a mussel at the seafood market prices.
You never have to shovel sunshine.
The Mauna Lani North and South golf courses are spectacular. The South course offers ocean views and a signature island green. The North course is more challenging, with herds of wild goats and turkeys periodically playing through. For the record, I landed this shot but my ball spent most of the time on the beach.
We enjoyed a day trip to the quaint town of Hawi, home to a handful of charming art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. Lunch at Sushi Rock made miso happy. Pololu Valley Lookout is a short, steep hike but is worth the climb. Just don’t do it in flip-flops. Take scenic coast highway 270 there, but drive back on mountain road 250 for a panoramic view of the island.
The Big Island was the perfect spot for a second honeymoon. Palm trees are nature’s foreplay and tiki torches ignite the imagination. The people who live and work there are among the friendliest we’ve ever seen. Even the guy beside my colossal boogie board wipeout gave me a thumbs up and a wink…
Tunes you should have on your iPod:
Pearl Jam ✹ Amongst The Waves
Jack Johnson ✤ You And Your Heart
The Drifters ✪ Under The Boardwalk
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