Continuing on with our Big Island adventure, David and I had a day and a half to spend as tourists in Kona. You can see earlier posts here:
- A Big Island Welcome
- Volcano Fireworks & NYE
- Lava Tubes & Kilauea Iki Crater Hike
- Pu’u Huluhulu Hike
- Kalapana Guided Lava Hike
- Hilo Botanical Gardens
After all the crazy hiking and early mornings, we were ready for some much needed rest! We slept in then walked across the street to the Alii Buzz. I had a big bowl of steel cut oatmeal & berries to start the morning off right. If you know me, you know I love my oats!
The Kona Ironman swim start is right outside the hotel we stayed at, so I couldn’t help a quick picture at the official sign. Maybe someday… in my dreams 😉
I had to dip my toes in the water.
Our first stop of the day was the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm, a mom & pop that farm raises seahorses for pets. They use strict practices to ensure the seahorses will survive as domestic pets. For example, they breed them to eat frozen shrimp instead of live food, and they send them only as pairs so the seahorses do not get “stressed out” and die without their mate. Is it not the sweetest thing that seahorses will get stressed out if they lose their mate?! They also mate for life.
The farm does three tours daily, which are a little pricey, but I felt like I was contributing to a good cause by helping an endangered species. And they are SO cute – it’s worth it. I enjoyed learning facts about seahorses; for example, the males give birth and are pregnant for 30 days, then the female impregnates them again after only TWO minutes of rest. The males spend their whole life barefoot and pregnant. Karma guys??
We couldn’t take pictures on all of the tour, but they walked us through their shrimp farming process (seahorses eat shrimp), the world’s only Paternity Ward, and then let us feed and hold a seahorse.
The most adorable thing is that they love hooking to each other. I loved watching them hook on to each other with their tails and pull each other around. They hook on anywhere – nose, tail, body.
They let us hold one by making our fingers into a coral reef then they slide one on. Mine was so content hanging out on my fingers.
I know, cute overload, but it’s like watching puppies, it just makes you happy! Plus now anytime I’m sad David can just hook onto me like a seahorse and I’ll smile 🙂
Continuing on our touristy day, we made our way up to Hapuna Beach, dubbed one of the top five beaches in the US. This is a really nice beach, but I found it to be a bit crowded by the time we visited it. The waves were great though, so we had fun body surfing for a bit.
We ended the day with another gorgeous dinner during sunset. Life is good!