Day 8 - Coming together
Well it must be about time to go because i've used the last of my coffee and creamer and have run pretty low on other provisions as well. I've only got two apple bananas left. By the way, have you heard of the apple banana? It's my new favorite fruit. It's only about 4 inches long, chubbier than a regular old banana, and tastes like the best banana you ever had infused with guava, peach and berries. It's 4 bites of paradise. Adam at that house the other day yanked them from the tree for me. How will I ever eat store bought cavendish again? Yesterday - Thursday. Not insanely busy, but important and good. Another slow start (your trusty Aqua Scout is slowing down a bit I'm afraid...) and I had an appointment to see a very chic house at 9. Designed by an Iranian architect who moved to Kona many years ago, built mostly with local hard woods harvested from within 50 miles. Perfect location - right on Ali'i drive close to good swims, accessible to town but private and quiet and removed from the hustle and bustle. From the pics on the web it looked amazing. I really wanted this to be the house - no, i needed this to be the house.
I met the owner / designer at his (smaller) house and we traveled to his rental. Just north of one of our great swim spots, check. Through the private gate = privacy, check. Walk onto a magnificent deck, look right through open living spaces to the infinity pool and beyond to bright blue Pacific, check. I'm in love.
And the owner is so nice. He's a swimmer, loves what we're about, wishes we'd met sooner so he could show me special swim spots right from the house. He shows me all around this exquisite property. I can't imagine anything better. We go back to his house (a few doors down) for a while, have a cappuccino and sit by the sea. He has a good friend who is a lifeguard and SUPer and will make excellent surface support. He has lots of other contacts we can use. Something inside me tells me - this is it.
From here I have a great phone conversation with the coach of one of the masters and kids swim teams here in Kona. A super nice guy with ridiculous credentials in the swimming world and connections to dozens of other things we might need. He is open and happy to hear we are coming to Kona. I tell him we'd love to include him in our network of friends for this experience. He's on board.
I feel like everything in the last week has pointed to right now. It's all gelling. It's all coming together.
Now don't get too too excited yet kids. Hopper and I have to lay it all out on the desk and put it all together and do lots of mathematics and figure out how to make it work - how the pieces fit exactly to create the perfect SwimVacation experience for you. But I think it's here. No, I know it's here.
I ran a few errands, shopped for my peeps back home, drove around and took some pics of beautiful Kona and her beautiful residents and visitors in their endless celebration of the sea. I have not yet tired of watching the local keiki - in Hawaii's wonderful mix of whites and tans and rich browns - playing with abandon at the edge of the Pacific.
Came home to little ohana, i don't even remember what i ate for lunch (crumbs of something - hitting bottom here) and sat down to process some notes. The realization that we've got a trip here began to set in, and as it did, i felt the fingers of relief beginning to close my eyes. I could barely stay awake. But I didn't want to sleep away my last full day here.
I puttered in the quiet of my little mountain home. Packed a few things, made a few lists. But everything I did was a little scattered and out of order. I knew I'd done what I'd come here to do, and wasn't sure what exactly to do next.
So I went for a swim. Down to my favorite - Kahalu'u. Wasn't it just a week ago I couldn't figure out where this place was? Couldn't make sense of the Ks and Hs enough to distinguish Kahalu'u from Keauhou? My God they couldn't be more different. Kona was patient with me and I figured it out. I got out of my own way and became part of this place.
When I got to the black sand beach I parked and grabbed swim stuff. Picked up the little waterproof point and shoot I've had tucked in my suit all week. Then I thought, nah. I think I just want to swim today. It's just me and you now, Pacific.
A lazy tour of this little cove. I found the turtle i swam with the other day here. He was sleeping under a ledge. I didn't rat him out to the snorkelers near by. The Picasso triggerfish tried to chase me when I got near their nest again - they always do. My little eel wasn't home, or maybe he'd already turned in, but I knew where to look. I flipped over on my back and floated a while. So full of gratitude.
Took myself to dinner at Huggo's on the Rocks again where the sunset can't be beat. Even had a fruity drink and dessert. Home to bed where sleep caught me before I could blog.
Now I'm finishing the last of my Kona coffee in this comfy bed on my last morning here. The morning bird chorus has nearly ended and I'm headed out soon for one last swim with the local masters group down at the pier. Come on dolphins, you're the only thing i've missed so far.
I don't leave for the airport till nearly 830 tonight. I'm going to try not to torture myself too badly with goodbyes today. At least I feel fairly confident that I'll be back next year...
More later this afternoon. Pacific awaits.