Friday, October 16, 2009

Coffee break on Kona

Next up? A stop on the west side of the Big Island. Kona, Hawaii. Kona is famous for big game fishing, resorts, golf, the Ironman Triathlon World Championship, and of course—Kona coffee.

Kona was also the home of Hawaii's royal family. I don’t know about you, but I find it extremely cool that the Hawaiian Islands were once ruled by a King.

We had a pretty laid back day in Kona. Shopping, strolling the sidewalks, people watching. John bought an Hawaiian shirt with surfboards on it. Very nice. My mom collects turtles (any kind but live) and Kona is rife with sea turtle (honu) motif items, so we picked up a few. I guess the honu are prolific on this part of the Big Island.

And then we stopped for a nice cup of Kona coffee. Delicious. If you love coffee—this is heaven. It’s the Maserati. The HD version of regular coffee. The Neiman Marcus. The Taj Majal. You get the idea. Apparently dry days, misty afternoons, and volcanic soil are the keys to growing some of the best coffee beans in the world. Kona coffee is grown in two mountain areas—Mount Hualalai and Mauna Loa. Some of the coffee trees were planted as long ago as 1918! The very first coffee tree cuttings were brought to Kona in 1828 by Reverend Samuel Ruggles, an American missionary. Ruggles brought the cuttings from Oahu to plant in his front yard as an ornamental plant. Because it’s so exclusive and soooooo good it’s also really expensive. A pound of 100% Kona coffee can sell for upward of $40/pound. We bought a pound, but John says we can only drink one cup each on Saturday mornings. If you can make 32 cups of coffee out of one pound of coffee that means we're good through about mid February.

While we were drinking our coffee outside a little coffee shop owned by former Michiganians and watching the surfers across the way, a Gekko scampered across our table. He must be used to tourists, because he wasn't camera shy.

And then we made it back to our ship. For more relaxation.

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