Visitor from Bournemouth, United Kingdom – October 2010
Well we were lucky to have a week here at The Islands and it was truly amazing. I had to pinch myself to believe I was experiencing such a beautiful place. The condominiums were stunning. We had our own balcony to sit on overlooking the golf course, water fountains, our own gated pool area with bbq facilities and on the complex our own private beach with great snorkeling. The shops as they were called were great with clothing, art work, jewelry, restaurants and a food court which was handy and had all you needed. We were spoilt to bits and would go back hands down. All the staff were great and nothing was too much. A beautiful spiritual island where I wish I could live.
Feel like getting out and exploring? The Big Island of Hawaii is home to some of the most serene and majestic hikes in Hawaii and just a short 20 minute drive north of Hilo you will find Akaka Falls State Park which is the home of two impressive Hawaiian waterfalls.
Take a self-guided, 0.4 mile hike through lush tropical vegetation to get to two towering waterfalls. The shady-paved trail takes you over cascading miniature waterfalls through dense, damp forest and takes approximately a half-hour. You will see huge ferns and bamboo towering over you as streams flow beneath the foot bridges. First visit Kahuna Falls, the lesser of the two waterfalls at 400ft. Then go on to the majestic Akaka Falls, which drops 442 ft into a pool of water below. Don’t forget your camera on this one as there are many photo opportunities during this nature hike.
To get to Akaka Falls take Route 19 north out of Hilo. Turn right on Route 220 (after mile marker 13) towards Honomu and drive through the town. Follow signs for Akaka Falls. The road ends at the parking lot for Akaka Falls State Park. Here you will find a paved parking lot and bathrooms. Most likely you will see a native Hawaiian lady at the head of the trail displaying hand-made Hawaiian art prints.
We found this Hawaiian Sweet Bread Holiday Stuffing on Foodnetwork.com and it had our mouths watering. We thought we would share it with you so you too can bring Island flavors to your table this holiday season. Bon Appetit!
2 Loaves sweet Hawaiian bread or egg bread
1 Cup pineapple chunks, fresh, canned or dried
1 Cup cranberries, fresh, canned or dried
1 Cup chestnuts, toasted, cleaned and chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 Pound link turkey, chicken or pork sausage
1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 Medium onions, diced
5 Stalks celery, diced
5 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Cup whole milk
1 Cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 Pineapples, centers hollowed out
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Tear the bread by hand into large, bite size pieces and spread out in a single layer on a sheet pan. Place the bread in the oven until it is dry and toasted, about 15 minutes. Remove the bread and place into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the pineapple chunks, cranberries, chestnuts, sage and thyme. Set aside. Cut the sausage into 1/4 inch rounds. In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add the oil and brown the sausage. Once the sausage is browned, drain any excess fat from the pan and add the onions and celery to the sausage, allowing them to sweat, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the sausage mixture to the bread. Pour the milk and stock over the bread and sausage mixture, stirring to incorporate. Fill each half of a pineapple with the stuffing mixture and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top of the stuffing has nicely browned. Serve immediately.
We stayed at 106E with only the 14th green of the south course between us and the turquoise ocean. The condos are very private and quiet. Even sitting on the patio, we couldn’t see or hear another guest. The landscaping is immaculate and the staff enthusiastically welcoming and accommodating. We have stayed at luxury resorts on three of the islands but can’t see any reason to return anywhere but Mauna Lani Point.
Held every Sunday between October 3, 2010 and October 31, 2010, this farmers market advocates Hawaii Island sustainability by featuring locally grown fruit, produce and other foods, as well as handcrafted items.
With live music and educational lectures (master gardeners are available to offer free advise), this is more than just a farmers’ market. Held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Amy B.H. Greenwell EthnoBotanical Gardens in Captain Cook. For more information visit skgm.org.
AirCanada and WestJet will restart weekly nonstop service between Vancouver and Kona on the Big Island in December in time for the winter travel season.
Weekly flights will depart every Saturday from Vancouver at 3:50 p.m. and arrive in Kona at 8:00 p.m. Return flights will depart Kona at 9:20 p.m. on Saturdays and arrive in Vancouver at 5:00 a.m. the next day. Air Canada will fly the route from Dec. 11, 2010 to April 30, 2011.
WestJet will fly every Thursday and Sunday, departing Vancouver at 6:10 p.m. and arriving in Kona at 10:35 p.m. on the same day. Return flights will depart Kona at 11:35 p.m. and arrive in Vancouver at 7:15 a.m. the next day. WestJet will fly the route from Dec. 2, 2010 through April 28, 2010.