Wailima Beach House


While in Kona we will be staying at Wailima Beach House to rest and rejuvenate our spirits!  Here are photos I took when we stayed in 2019.  I know the owner has been painting and renovating since then, so I will post new images when we get there.  If you want to rent this amazing place in Kona – walking distance to Magic Sands Beach – follow THIS LINK.

Wailima Beach House

Living Room


Dining Room

Master Bath includes jacuzzi tub.

Half Bath Downstairs

Second Bathroom

Master Bedroom includes King Bed and Ocean-view Lanai

Queen Bedroom

Twin Bedroom

Wailima House boasts an amazing art collection.

Watch your toes on the tiny lip between the dining room and kitchen!

Puna Bear ~ More than a Mascot

Back in 2013 when Jeremy and I were planning our first trip to Hawaii, we could barely stand the thought of leaving Boscoe the wonder dog at home.  One of us came up with the idea of bringing one of my old beanie bears along as a proxy.  I chose my Peace Bear, and shoved him into one of the pockets if my backpack.  By the time we left Pahoa, we had named him Puna for the south east coast of the big island of Hawaii.

Since then, Puna is our loyal travel companion, and has become a legendary traveler among bears having been spotted in distant locations across the globe enjoying adventure and exotic foods wherever he roams!

Kalalau Lookout, Kauai

Bread and Honey in Croatia

Overlooking Lokrum Island, Croatia


Antipasto in Italy

Clowning around with author and friend, Jon Steele at Lausanne Cathedral.

Meeting world-famous, war-correspondent bears.

Enjoying a peaceful moment with Jeremy on Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

Puna enjoys easy hikes, ancient cities, tropical forests and stunning coastlines.  When Jeremy and I need to dash into a shop for something, he waits on the car dash so we remember which rental car we’re driving. 

There was that ONE time he got drunk at the wedding, but overall he has been an ideal room mate and travel buddy!

Tuscany, Italy

Puna is as comfortable with fine dining as he is with diners and dives, but his favorite treats are raw fish and honey.

Poke at the Hilo Bay Café

Hawaii is still Puna’s favorite place to chill and he is greatly looking forward to our week in Kona coming up next month, but lately he’s been feeling like…

Like…maybe he’d like a travel companion his own size to keep him company in the backpack for the long flights to distant lands.

Now – EVERY time I post a photo of Puna enjoying one of our trips, my favorite aunt Verla complains that I am taking ‘that damn bear’ somewhere again, and begs me to put HER in my backpack instead of Puna.  I have repeatedly told her that her legs are too long, but she insists she will fold them.  So when Puna requested a travel friend, I decided to find a travel proxy for Verla, the way that Puna stands in for Boscoe!

Finding JUST the right bear took some time.  None of the ones I already owned seemed right, so I took to Amazon, as I so frequently do! 

We just ordered this pretty new bear to stand in for Verla!

She is very colorful, and just a little worn out, and has stitches at the top of her right thigh, and on her left ankle, JUST like my aunt Verla since she broke first her right thigh and then her left ankle earlier this year.  Perfect!

Puna is excited and anxiously awaiting his new friend! 

I tried to explain that she’s NOT a Prime item, so it may be several days before she arrives, but he says he’ll wait.

Stay tuned for more adventures with Jeremy, Cyndi, Puna and Verla Bear! 

Edited to add photos of Verla Bear’s arrival:

Royal Kona Luau

I learned that I LOVE lomi lomi salmon.  (Lomi lomi means massage in Hawaii.  The salmon is massaged with seasonings and scallions.)  Poi is edible with a bite of lomi lomi salmon, but it doesn’t add much but carbs.  The pig was really dry and I did not like it at all.  Luau chicken and teriyaki chicken were divine.  Coconut cake was delish.  The show was worth the price!

They cook the pig in an Imu or earth oven.  They started it at 6am.  Tasted like they could have waited till noon.


Hula dancers entertained us while we waited.



Then they unearth the pig while we watch.


They take the leaves and rocks off with their bare hands!



She could really shake that thing.


Captured some of my favorite dance on a video here.


Video for this one here.





Enjoyed the dancing very much.  Nice evening at the luau.

Of Kona Coffee, Shave Ice and Kahalu’u Beach Snorkeling


Poipu Condo – View from our lanai.

I sit typing to you in Poipu on my lanai, enjoying three things: 1) our ocean view, 2) screaming speed on the internet (woo-hoo!), and 3) my FIRST decent cup of coffee since we arrived in the islands.  “What?  NO Kona coffee in Kona?” you ask.  Well NOT for lack of trying, let me tell you.  In Pahoa we bought great Kona coffee beans.  Our little cottage had a bean grinder (Yay!) but only a French press – no drip (nuts!).  The Royal Kona had a drip maker and provided us with the WORST “Hawaiian” coffee either of us had ever experienced along with one packet each of powdered cream.  Ewww.  We both tossed it down the drain and went to a coffee shop.  So we bought some ground Kona coffee and some half and half and made that in the hotel drip maker.  Strike three.  Bad coffee maker?  Dunno, but the HOURS we have been keeping demand better coffee!  Jer had an ice coffee and Island Lava Java and it was AMAZING, so we bought 2 pounds of beans to bring home.  Here in Poipu our condo has bean grinder and drip maker and we used the last of the ground Kona we bought.  Deep sigh of relief!  Currently on cup number two.

So Monday was our last day in Kona and the only plan was the luau (post to follow…) so after internetting at a coffee shop, we ate fresh fruit bowls from Basik Acai -Delicious! -then spent the day shopping for souvenirs, discovering shave ice and snorkeling.  I have a t-shirt, a tank top, a Hawaiian print dress, a coffee cup, Kona coffee, a beach towel and some hair clips.  🙂  Jer got a new Hawaiian shirt but not till we got to the Costco on Kauai.


Puna Bowl from Basik Acai. Yum!

Jeremy and I decided that Kona is a lot like staying in San Francisco with a far superior coastline.  We found “Pier 39” where they have Bubba Gumps and a Wyland Gallery.  Crazy Shirt is everywhere, and the ABC stores command the souvenir market.  We had fun wandering around shooting up the place.

THEN we experienced our first shave ice at Scandinavian Shave Ice!  Shave ice is NOT a snow cone.  It is finely, finely shaved ice (like powder) and covered in sweet syrup.  We ordered ours with vanilla macadamia nut ice cream in the middle.  Yum.

Then we went snorkeling at Kahalu’u beach.  No fins, so we tired quickly swimming in our water shoes, but I have some awesome photos to show for our short excursion!


Picasso Triggerfish


Yellow Tangs and Convict Tangs


Blue Parrot Fish and a grouper


Moorish Idol


Orange Band Surgeon Fish


Raccoon Butterfly


Slate Pencil Sea Urchin


Blue Parrot Fish (one of my favorites!), Yellow and Convict Tangs and the vibrantly colored Yellow-tail Wrasse. Awesome!