Winery Wanderings expanded its horizons last week by traveling to the farthest reaches of the United States. The Big Island of Hawaii was last week’s adventure. It was our very first visit to the 50th state. It was an amazing trip filled with lots of “legacy firsts,” our first volcano lava sighting, first trip to a coffee plantation, first time setting our feet in the clear blue waters of the Big Island, first baby dolphin viewing, sea turtles, canaries, and, best of all, the first of many times we will return to this beautiful paradise.
Our trip wouldn’t be complete without experiencing wine, exotic drinks and food pairings, Hawaii style.We spent our first night at the Royal Kona Resort in Kailua Kona. The view was breathtaking as were the Mai Tais and Pina Coladas. Dinner at Huggo’s Bar and Grill gave us our first chance to wiggle our toes in the sand and our first Mahi Mahi fish tacos of the trip. It was a relaxing way to start our Hawaii adventure. Aloha!
Our next day began with an amazing breakfast at Island Lava Java on the waterfront in Kona. Breakfast of banana pancakes topped with coconut syrup and crushed macadamia nuts was a great way to start this first full day of fun. We toured the west side of the island from the airport to the southern tip, with stops for more wiggling our toes in the sand and sea along the way. The day ended at the Waikoloa Beach Village resort with a bottle of Oregon’s A to Z Pinot Noir.
Our first big island dinner was at the Lava Lava Beach Club. Ah, another beautiful sunset. Wine courtesy of Vitiano Rosso 2013. A beautifully balanced red blend with hints of cherry and pomegranate. It paired very well with the teriyaki infused flank steak and chicken rice bowl served in a half pineapple.
On our third full day on the Big Island, it was volcano time. We traveled across the island and prayed to the island gods for an opportunity to glimpse the molten hot lava. But first we ate… This stop was the Hilo Bay Cafe. What a treat. Our meals included a great burger, onion rings, fish tacos and pork belly sushi. That’s right, pork belly sushi. It was paired with a French sparkling rose, Lestel, that was a perfect match for this amazing combination of specialties.
Following this unforgettable lunch, we headed to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and used our companion’s senior pass…being old has its benefits 🙂 At the park, we learned that there were several ways to view the lava. You could either see it in the crater from the park’s museum or hike nine miles into the lava fields. We opted for the viewing site and it was well worth the drive. Following the oohs and ahs of molten lava, we headed home via the road that cut through the middle of the island. By the time we got back to our condo, it was dark and rainy.
Breakfast at Daylight Mind Cafe in Queen’s MarketPlace was a mix of tasty breakfast treats, creative brunch items and pastries, baked fresh each day. Add a sparkling rose and you’re set for a great day!
We spent a few days just enjoying the beach and our time on the beautiful island and preparing great meals at home, paired with a variety of wines, from French Cabs to happy memories from Lodi.
All that was left was to say aloha to this beautiful experience, from the scenery to the food to the amazing experiences, this trip will long be remembered for its beauty, its ability to revitalize us and its sheer joy. Thanks to our friends Lynne and Jen for sharing their space and their vacation with us Mahalo.