We followed Lonely Planet’s advice and headed to Waialea Bay and Beach 69 in Puako in the Kohala district. This “salt and pepper” sand beach had calm waters which provided for great snorkeling. There was an abundance of colorful fish and sea urchins. The most exciting moment was when we stood up so I could adjust my mask and snorkel. Stuart spotted something pop up on the water’s surface. That something turned out to be a sea turtle coming up for air! We immediately stuck our faces under the water to try and catch a glimpse of creature but he was nowhere to be found.
In Waimea we had a fancy dinner at Merriman’s. Merriman’s was one of the flagship Hawaiian Regional restaurants, showcasing local ingredients. The prices are steep but the experience and taste were completely worth it. Stuart even tried ceviche (it was the special appetizer for the night and was made with coconut milk) for the first time. One of the things I thought too genius, and completely unique, was the option to do two half sized entrees on one plate. Stuart took this route with their famous Wok-Charred Ahi and Macadamia-Crusted Ono. I chose a half portion of the local beef with potatoes, corn, and asparagus. I have to admit, I chose this entrée because those are my three favorite side dishes (but the beef was perfectly cooked too)! Coffee and dessert were not to be missed either. Stuart had the Caramelized Coconut Crème Brulee (I think he picked this menu item because he knew he wouldn’t be able to share :P) while I had the Black Chocolate Espresso Cake. I had been dreaming about this cake the entire hour drive to the restaurant, so even though I was full I still ordered it. I took most of it back to the hotel with me and I ate bites of it during the week. Is it wrong to say that I enjoyed the cake cold better?
Things to do on our next trip (aka things we didn’t have time for but wanted to see)
- Dolphin Quest; 425 Waikoloa Beach Dr. If you want to kiss a dolphin this is the way to do it. Dolphin Encounters cost $210 for 30 minutes, per person.