Wednesday morning we arrived in Kona on the other side of the Big Island. The ship arrived in the early morning and because of the shallow waters, it anchored in the bay and we had to ride lifeboats to shore. This is called tendering for those of you who may not know because I certainly didn’t know until this trip.
We got up and got our showers and ate breakfast before getting our tender tickets and heading out to shore. Parasailing was on the agenda for the day and so after we arrived on land, we went and checked in for our noon parasailing trip. We had a little time to kill before we had to meet the boat to go parasailing, so Justin and Daddy went swimming in the ocean and I sat under a shade tree. Eventually I got up and wandered around town and bought a few gifts for people.
We all met back up around 11:00 a.m. and headed over to the parasailing boat. In addition to the three of us, there were three other people from the ship parasailing on our trip as well, a couple from Australia and a girl from Florida.
The Floridian was the first to go up in the air and next was Justin, then my dad and then me. We all went up on the 1200 foot line. The Australian couple went together and was the last ones up and went up on the 800 foot line. I think most everyone got dipped in the water at the end of their ride up. It was the first time any of the three of us had been parasailing and I think we all really enjoyed it.
After we made it back to shore, we parted ways again, Justin went off to find some food and walked into town and then did some more swimming, meeting loads of new friends along the way. My dad and I walked into town a little ways as well, stopping at one of the local jewelry stores.
I had seen that there was a local store where you could pick out an oyster, have it opened and have whatever pearl was inside turned into a piece of jewelry. I love pearls so this peaked my interest and I decided I wanted to give this a go. The lady at the counter let me pick a coupon out of a basket and my coupon was for 50% off my pearl. The pearls in the oyster were $14.95 and so my oyster/pearl was around $7.50.
I picked out an oyster and then the girl working the counter (Lorraine) and I tapped it three times and said “Aloha”. This was for good luck and the god of the pearls or something like that. She opened it up and there were two white pearls inside! I wanted to have the pearl from my oyster set in a ring, but since there were two inside, I decided on earrings and then decided to open another oyster. In the second oyster were two black pearls! The girl at the counter was super excited. Lorraine said the black ones were very rare and they almost never get them and she showed them to all the other girls working in the store and everyone was super excited. Since I had picked two oysters with two pearls inside, I asked if this often happened. She said no that usually there was just one inside.
So, I decided to have the black pearls set as stud earrings and then have one of the white pearls put into a ring. Lorraine then picked a third oyster for me so I could try and get a bigger white pearl for my ring. This third oyster only had one white pearl inside and it was whiter and shinier than the “twins” from my first oyster. However, I ended up using one of the “twins” for my ring. So, I came home with black pearl earrings, a nice pearl ring and two loose white pearls all for $185. The experience itself was a lot of fun and now I have great pieces to remind me of my trip to Hawaii.
My dad and I piddled around town a little more and stopped to get some sushi which I didn’t think was too good, but my dad loved – go figure. We perused a few more shops and then came back to the ship where we showered and dressed for dinner and did a whole lot of nothing else.
We leave Kona and the Big Island tonight (Wednesday) and will arrive in Kauai tomorrow morning. Tomorrow we will split up as I am taking a helicopter ride and Justin and my dad are visiting the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Until then, aloha!