My Trip To Kona
My Trip to Kona by Valerie K.T.S. Read
I arrived in Kona,Hawaii at 3:00 pm. We had a delay in Honolulu because the door to the airplane with the airline wouldn't close. We left an hour late from the airport. I arrived in Kona,Hawaii and rented a car from Budget. Here is some advice for you all don't get the car insurance for the rental car. It will cost you an additional $50 per day and if you get hit it will not help you at all. You have to contact your insurance you already have on your car, and than the car rental company will work with your insurance company to agree on payment. Don't pay for prepaid gas because of the rising gas prices on the Island because half of tank of gas will get you around Kona. The insurance and the prepaid gas on the rental car is a way the rental companies can make additional money off you and why would you want to do that. When the money can go to something better like shopping or a tour of the island. This was the lesson I had to learn the hard way and to tell others to say no to any additional gimmick the car rental company wants to charge you. In this way money is saved for other important fun things to do on the Island of Hawaii.
I arrived at Uncle Billy's Kona Bay Motel at 4:00 pm. This is after wasting about an hour getting lost. I would suggest you ask them to write out the street instructions. If you are one of the few that can't read maps and I am afraid to admit I am one of those people. You need to go south on Highway 19, turn right at the light that has the sign that reads Kailua-Kona. Stay on the right lane and follow it down to the coast line. This lane will turn into Ali Drive, follow this road, and the motel will be on your left side of the road. At the next stop light make a left and than turn left into the first driveway that leads you to the back parking lot of the motel. You will find the entrance way that will take you to the office to check in. Check in time is anytime after 3:00 pm and check out is at noon. You will have to pay for the number of days of parking when you check in. I stayed at the motel for four days and my price was $20.00. If you have a voucher for your reservation make sure you hand that to them first. They will have you fill out a card with your name, address, and home phone number. You are given a key and if you loose it the motel will charge you $40.00. After you have been sitting on a plane for five hours and driving for about an hour lost trying to find your motel you will be happy to know that it has an elevator, and on the first floor to your left of the elevator are the ice machines, and pop machines. If you notice this first that is good, because anyone who can't find these two important things are in trouble, and who wants to spend the day walking around the motel looking for the ice machine and pop machine. I rather go to a bar and drink a Mai Tai.
When you open the door with your key, and enter the room for the first time you notice that it needs to be updated. The walls are lined with pink wall paper and the carpet is a cheap industrial green, which means no padding between the carpet and the floor. The lawn furniture outside is the cheap plastic chairs and tables you can buy at Wal-Mart. The bedding is clean and the towels are fresh. One thing to remember is that if you are expecting a mint on your pillow every night, than forget it. If I were you I would update my motel and stay at the Four Seasons or the Hilton. I will say that during my stay that every day my bed was made and I had fresh towels when I came back to my room. Oh, one more thing the room is air conditioned. This is the most important to have when staying on a tropical island.
On Wednesday I had dinner at the Kona Inn. I would like to tell any visitor who come to this island that if they want formal dinning at an affordable price this is the place. When you enter the lobby you will be directed to the left for formal dinning or to the right for casual dinning. I would suggest that either side depends on the mood of the traveler and the food is worth it.
On Thursday morning I went to Shell Vacations to reserve a Luau and an island tour. I reserved a 7:00 am flight for Friday morning with Island Hoppers and a Luau for Thursday night at the King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Motel. I asked the locals about the Luau at the motel and I was told it was the best on the island. King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Motel schedule their Luau every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. I went to the Luau which was on Thursday night. At 5:00 pm you are greeted with a shell lei being put around your neck by a young native girl in custom.Than you are photographed by one of the dancers and they charge $15.00 for you to keep the photo. I would suggest that this the one souvenir you will want to keep. At 5:30 pm you have your cocktail hour and have a choice of drinks at their open bar. This is all included in the package. You can sit at your table and visit with your neighbor or participate in any of the arts or crafts being offered before the performance. Later, dinner is served and each table takes their turn at the buffet tables. The show starts at 7:15 pm and runs till 8:30 pm. You can bring an instant camera or digital to take pictures of the show, but not a video camera. It's not allowed. You spend the next hour and a half watching a terrific show that is brought to you by the motel's own entertainment group called Island Breeze.
On Friday I arrived at the airport for my airplane tour of the island. Yes, I was nervous and very on edge. There was a small group of us. Me and three people from Australia. The pilot asked us to follow him to the plane. When I walked toward the small plane I started to feel like I should turn around and walk right back to my rental car. The pilot gave us each a life jacket that fit in a pack that we can attach around our waist with a belt. The two girls and the guy were seated in the back, and of course I was seated in front by the door. Lucky for me I had a handle to hold onto. The ride around the island was beautiful, but we flew through alot of turbulence. The pilot flew along the coast toward the volcano park and finally toward the waterfalls. I suggest to those who want to ride without turbelance for a cheaper price to go on a helicoper tour in Hilo. In this way you get much closer to the volcanoes and the waterfalls. This trip expense was $260.00 and it was okay, but I wouldn't suggest to anyone who gets airsick to go on this tour. If you sign up for this tour bring a camera with long photo lens.
On Saturday morning I visited the first church built on the island. Mokuaikaua Church was the first Christian Church to be built on the island in the year 1820. You will not be charged to go inside the church, but if you buy a book or postcards the price is listed and there is a box to put the money in. The second tour I took was to the Hulihe'e Palace that was the vacation home for the Royal Family. The price of the tour is $6.00 this fee goes to the fund for the Daughters of Hawaii who are an organization that takes care of the upkeep of historical sites on the island. When you first go in your are greeted and instructed on where to start your tour. I started upstairs and walked in each room where the orginal furniture of that time are present and in good shape. I walked back down the stairs where I stepped into the dinning room, living room, and than onto the deck where they were steps that you walked right down onto the beach. You aren't allowed to take pictures, but you are directed to the gift shop where you can buy a book or postcards of the tour.
Later that afternoon I visited "A Sense of Heaven" for a massage. I met Stephie who I spoke with briefly who told me that she spent three months out of the year away from her business to work at a motel in Japan giving massages to their guests. She was happy to be back on the island and had missed her clients, but the experience in Japan was worth the trip. Stephie charges $75.00 for an hour massage. First, you are directed to a room where your feet are placed in a tub filled with bathing salts and than she closes the door where you disrobe to get under the covers. Second, Stephie comes in and says a prayer over you for your health and serenity, and last, you spend an hour of peace and relaxation.
I had a wonderful vacation and look forward when I can go back. Aloha and Mohalo.
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