Friday, January 22, 2010

Ali'i Street, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

When we were planning our vacation, all of our plans were to go to Kona and rent an oceanview condo . We arrived at the Kona International Airport (KOA). Little to our surprise the locals don't call this place Kona, but rather Kailua-Kona. I can only surmise that it is an amalgamation of two places to make it sound larger. Even when I went on Accuweather there was no Kona, but they listed Kailua (without the Kona).

As much as I prefer driving/riding on unfamiliar roads and taking pictures, near the end of our trip we had to allow for a souvenir day. This is a day to walk about as tourists to survey the trinket stores with the idea of bringing back some little momentos to give away when we get home. There is one main road which threads its way through town known as Ali'i . (pronounced: Alee-eee)

There are lots of places where you can sit and enjoy a meal while people watching


Or you could enjoy an icy snack and sit on the lava rock wall


There is definitely a lack of visitors due to the economic situation and you can have the stores to yourselves


you could even have the streets to yourselves as you will notice by the empty roads


With so few customers all the storekeepers were very friendly and helpful. As January is in-between seasons as far as merchandise is concerned you weren't always able to obtain the correct size in your desired pattern, but if you were lucky to find your size then you could take advantage of the discounted/clearance pricing. Large discounts or two for one


I also noticed this Beemer rider with the requisite Hawaiian riding gear, with matching passenger


This reminded me of Key West Florida, even though I have never been there, this is the type of building that I imagine is there


I looked up and noticed this palm tree which makes me feel that I am in a tropical place


most of the side streets are narrow and one way


If you were young with no money and had no where else to hang out then you would find yourself sitting in this lane next to a hot dog stand, which is just behind the Hostel


there are lots of moped (49cc) scooters in Kona as they are cheap to operate, require no insurance or even a driver's license


halfway down the strip (Alii) there is a Farmer's Market which is open Wednesday to Sundays. They have all sorts of stuff, especially jewellry and other art crafts, trinkets, aloha shirts, mu'u mu'u's . Most people say MOO MOO but that is wrong, it should be pronounced MOOO-OOO M000-OOO, that's why I put in the apostrophe to emphasize the second OO.

(John is on the right, who sells orchid Lei's, which he makes himself)

This photo means nothing, I just included it for Jack "r" as his attention span is short and he keeps nodding off.


Earlier in the week I was ambling around the area with my tripod and too a few night shots


there weren't many folks mucking about and the streets were quiet. A few stores were still open hoping for the odd sale


I noticed this welcoming sign: "Welcome Bring Money Beautiful Price"


Another view of Ali'i street looking south


it was a pleasure to be able to walk about in the evening in a warm place with not so much as a sweater. I must be in paradise


  1. Kind of you to look after Jack "R" -:) I'm certain he appreciates your concern!

    So, did you bring money and find good friends?

  2. Old Jack sure is lucky to have you as a friend Bob!!

    Nice write up Bob, so wheres the next vacation too, may as well get them in fast before the downturn ends and prices rise once more.



  3. No crowds? January seems to be a good time for traveling to Hawaii, I will certainly keep that in mind. Thanks for sharing those wonderful memories and pics, and for being our virtual tour guide.

  4. My kids used to get confused anytime it's dark and warm at the same time as those things never occur together up here in the frozen north. Thank you for another great virtual tour. Maybe I need to add the big island in January to my "places to go list" again. The last time I was there was 30 years ago...

  5. Nice write up Bob. I really like your title photo too!

  6. Calling it an "economic situation" is a nice bit of canadian understatement. With 22% unemployment and no job creation I doubt the downturn is ending soon.
    The keys landbridge helps keep people coming- like people who don't want to fly to hawaii or further afield will still come to the keys for a palm tree and some sunshine even though prices here have dropped to be more enticing. Hawaii's state budget is a mess too. At least they have almost universal health insurance.

  7. Sounds like a wonderful, enviable trip. My daughter has a Hawaaian name; I really should go there.

  8. Sorry I'm late but a summer riding accident had actually put me out of commission longer than I would have liked.
    I wish you and your family a Happy New Year
    All the best for 2010

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  10. My wife and I went to Kona for our 25th Anniversary last year. Some of my photos are very similar to your. We also went to Kona.

    I did spend much of one morning just "scooter watching" the way others might bird or whale watch. That was fun.

  11. Dear Bob:

    I have been away from my keyboard for a bit and just got to looking at this post today. Thank you for your generosity and consideration in providing me with an inspiring photograph. Do you mind if it post it on Twisted Roads and attribute it to you?

    I think you did very well to hit Hawaii in January, and to find yourself far from the madding crowd. However, Hawaii is taking an incredible tourist beating even in season, with the lowest ocupancy ratee experienced by their hotels in years. The drop-off in tourism has been so significant there that their island-based airline went int bankruptcy.

    I envy your recent experience.

    Two things:
    a) There was a picture of a red and white scooter in this blog episode. Did you get a chance to look at it up close. I believe this is a Chinese model that was recently photographed in "A Scooter In Turkey."

    I think this little scooter looks fabulously retro. Yet parked behind it in your shot, was a chopper-type bike. Did you get a look at this one too? Was it really a chopper or another kind of Chinese scooter?

    Your noting of the similarities between the architecture in Hawaii and Key West were quite appropriate.

    I liked this post immensely.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

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