Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

The Big Island, Part 1

The time for my Hawai`i vacation finally arrived a week ago, Saturday. When one makes the arrangements six months in advance, it seems like forever before you actually take off. Additionally my flight reservation was changed by United — originally scheduled to fly to San Francisco with a change of plane to Kona — changed to a flight to Denver then non-stop to Kona. Not only did I have to fly initially in the reserve direction but I had to get up at 3:00 AM to get ready in time for the departure.

Despite the hassles, complements of United Airlines, I arrived at Hale Maluhia, the Bed & Breakfast establishment where I had a reservation. I have stayed here twice before on previous trips — and obviously I like it here, otherwise I would not be returning.

The breakfast menu offers eggs (including omelets), Belgian waffles, fresh baked bread, pastries, cereal and lots of fresh tropical fruit. Oh and did I mention Kona coffee. I do not drink coffee but most folks do — and Kona coffee is generally considered one of the best varieties available.

Most of the guests eat their breakfast on the lanai which offers an opportunity to meet the other guests and learn tips on what to see and do — plus what to avoid. Such a pleasant way to start the day.

And not all the guests are human. This gecko was a regular who seemed to have quite a sweet tooth — here helping himself to some leftover maple syrup from my plate. Politely, he waited until I finished my Belgian waffle before approaching. One of the other guests mentioned that on a previous day, they had placed a small amount of jelly on the edge of the plate and the gecko ate that too. This was a surprise to me since I thought that geckos ate bugs not sweets.

I was also surprised at how colorful he was — most geckos I have known are mostly brown. Not only is this one very green, but if you look closely, he has blue eyeliner and red spots on his back.

We all had this beautiful view to enjoy along with breakfast.

Birds knew the routine — breakfast served at 8:00 each morning. Some mornings, it looked like Grand Central Station at the feeder. Dozens of birds of many varieties feasted here.

There were also chickens and wild turkeys who took advantage of seeds that fell from the feeder.

Along the wall was a papaya tree — mm, love them papayas. The biggest ones will be ready in a few days.

This view shows the main part of the house — with small bridges to other parts of the complex.

The building shown here contained my room — named the Pikake (pronounced pee-KAH-kay) Room. The pikake plant is also called Arabian Jasmine and produces very fragrant flowers which are often used in Hawai`i for leis. Note: if someone gives you a pikake lei, they REALLY like you.

BTW, I have an Arabian Jasmine plant in my yard at home in Phoenix. It was only recently that I discovered that it is the same plant that I already knew as pikake.

This is the view of the lanai outside my room, as seen from the back of the property.

The grounds are absolutely stunning — if you like tropical vegetation, as I do.

A small stream winds its way through the grounds.

Across the street is one of my favorites — a beautiful Royal Poinciana tree. It is noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers. Love them flamboyant flowers!

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com