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Mauna Kea from the plane
Mai Tais on arrival
Orchid Mai Tai
Ahi Trio

A couple of nights ago we were on the internet searching for 1) SCUBA conditions for Monterey and 2.) airfares for Christmas trips to see family and coordinate our crazy travel schedules.

We didn't find the dive conditions for Monterey and we didn't figure out or book our holiday flights yet, but we did find a screamin' good deal on a quickie trip to Hawaii. So...being rather impulsive, we just pulled out the credit card and booked it: a direct flight from SFO to Kona and two nights at the Waikoloha Resort and Spa! It was just too cheap to pass up. This is the second time I've used Expedia's "Last Minute Deals" and booked a great vacation for a lot less than you'd imagine.

Plus, as things often work for us, we found a quirky little dive company that would take us out on short notice and seemed particular suited to our personalities and skills. The owner even has a blog.  So we booked one of our three days here as a diving day and packed our bags for the Big Island of Hawaii.

After a three hour delay for some mechanical problems, a few too many glasses of red wine on the plane (we upgraded to First Class for a few thousand miles), and a too short nap, we finally arrived in Hawaii yesterday afternoon. 

I used to live here on the Big Island ages ago when I was too young to appreciate it. Things have changed, but not as dramatically as I feared. It's funny to think that it was almost 25 years ago that I drove on this island road. Tomorrow we're driving up to closer to where I used to live in Waimea. It should be fun.

Friday we hung out at the hotel, swam in the warm ocean and had dinner outside with tiki torches glowing and our feet in the sand at the Fairmont Orchid. Our room is very nice and the bed is heavenly. I slept like a rock last night.

Today was the dive day and we went SCUBA diving for the first time as each other's dive buddies. The first dive of the day was sort of a bust for me because of the strong current and my guzzling of air like I was a Hummer drinking gasoline. But the second dive was great! I'll post more on that later, when I can download more pictures (I forgot the media card reader at home). In the meantime, I was able to pull a couple of shots off the Blackberry camera for a teaser illustration to this post.  


Sadly, we fly back home tomorrow night at 10 PM local time, arriving at SFO at 6:15 AM Monday morning. Just in time to get back to work.  



Originally posted on patty.vox.com