Everyone has that special place they call paradise. A friend of mine who loves to dive considers Cozumel that special place. Others love to ski down the slopes of the Rocky Mountains and call it paradise. We just spent two months on the Big Island in the Hawaiian Islands and that was truly paradise.
Our responsibilities were simple, taking care of some cats and a lovely condominium in the beautiful resort of Mauna Lani. Rising early every day to feed the cats gave us a good start on the day. We would then decide where we wanted to swim; the ocean, the community pool or the lap pool at the fitness center in the resort? Such a tough decision. We took daily walks through the lava tube fields, around the resort and sometimes to the Shops at Mauna Lani to window shop and drink an occasional afternoon coffee before we continued the early evening feeding schedule of the beach cat, and the outside cats by the condo.
There is a farmer’s market some place almost every day of the week on Kona. There are fruit and veggies here that you will not see at farmer’s markets stateside. We sampled two colors of dragon fruit, white and red, daily ate mango and papaya and starfruit. We enjoyed taking Wednesday to drive to Kailua-Kona to the farmer/flea market down near the center of the town. We would shop for what we needed and then decide where to stop for lunch; Thai food at Orchid Thai or Indian cuisine at Kamana, right by the bay. The big farmer’s market is every Saturday in Waimea about a half hour drive from the resort. Waimea actually has four different farmer’s markets spread out around its community. Waimea is also much cooler as it is up on the mountain side of the island. During our stay, severe weather and dark storm clouds could be seen from the Kona side of the island, and when the clouds cleared the mountaintop was covered with snow, while we were down sunning on the beach!
We had a visitor from Colorado for a week as our friend and former personal trainer came to see us. It was fun as we dodged rain drops most days, but still went sightseeing, took time for some personal care and each had a massage, and then out to dinner most evenings. We are all sushi fans, so we experienced sushi at three different restaurants: Sensei in Waikoloa, Monsorto at the Shops at Mauna Lani and Sushi Rock in Hawi. For us, the best was Sushi Rock as they offer unusual pairings of fish with fruit and vegetables in their rolls. A special dessert of this amazing restaurant is sweet potato cheesecake. It is unlike any cheesecake you have ever sampled anywhere else. It was really a wonderful time and we made a very special memory together.
We had a great time meeting another couple who also house and pet sits. These people are from Canada and also took care of the cats we were responsible for, but earlier in 2016. It was interesting and informative to compare notes, so to speak, on house sitting and to share stories of our adventures with each other. As I have said before, we always feel very fortunate to meet such wonderful people wherever we go.
December brought many people to the resort to celebrate Christmas and bring in the New Year. The beach was so crowded they ran out of sun chairs. By then, we were very close to the end of our time there, but still enjoyed seeing all of the Christmas trees decorated by different organizations, schools and foundations in the lobby of the resort hotel. We celebrated New Year’s Eve with our homeowner as he returned that day and just three days later we said goodbye to Sunset, Scout and Boy and Girl cat as we left to start our next adventure. Yes, house sitting is paradise too.