Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hawaiian Adventures Day 4

Big Island day 4

Today was scheduled to be a laid back day. We had no set plans. We planned to sleep in... you get the picture.
But apparently our family likes jet lag and we are going to keep on getting up before 6 am.. yes BEFORE... until we darn well feel like it :(  Grrr.
So the sleeping in thing failed.

Yesterday I stumbled across a brochure for a farm tour that looked really fun.. reservations were made.. so then we had plans for today.... lazy day? Not as much.

We found out the Big Island has the only Vanilla farm in the US, and the tour for today still had room - and we like a nice vanilla. The kids were game, so after a mellow morning with time to play in the pool, we headed out.

This is the official sign that its time for the pool... it happens by magic :)
Really nice pool... small, but we had it all to ourselves.
And I am taking this opportunity to chill out a bit :)
Our GyPSy wasn't useful on the way over as we drove against the grain... and the full island tour is "anti-clockwise" (anti.... really? [Editor's note: It would make more sense if the guide had a British accent, but he does not...]). But we passed the hour like the road trip veterans that we are. The last 2.5 miles were crazy - a one lane, winding country road up, and up and up and up... with the occasional bridge. If you are veterans of Disney's Animal Kingdom safari ride.. the bridges were reminiscent of a bridge on that ride. Eeks!
But we arrived with time to spare.

The farm is owned and run by a single family. They offer a number of options for learning more about vanilla, including a lunch, a tea, and the tour. The lunch people stay on after they eat and join the tour. The group size was nice. The owner gave the tour. We were allowed to walk or drive to the location which was appreciated.
Over all it was great! OH! it starts with a beverage... your choice of vanilla lemonade, vanilla iced tea or a mix, what he called a Jimmy Boy (I grew up calling this an Arnold Palmer, but this drink was sooo much better than any other mix of tea and lemonade that I have ever had, that I will call it whatever he wants).

Drinking our wonderful lemonade drinks. 
So the drinks were AMAZING! Best beverage of the trip. The vanilla added sooo much to a already good drink. Hubby and I were impressed. The kids both enjoyed the lemonade... our little lady drank slowly to make it last... very cute.
We got to hear how this family came to be vanilla farmers and why here. And a little about what it takes. Then we got to see some plants.. and some beans.
It was all wrapped up back at the start with some crazy good vanilla ice cream. And of course the opportunity to buy some stuff.
We did.
Cause again, we like a good vanilla. And this stuff was good. And well priced. It was definitely comparable to similar quality we have purchased elsewhere. So, if you find yourself on the big island with a half day to kill, you like vanilla and can drive up a one lane road... check out Hawaiian Vanilla Company.

This was given to the owner in Mexico when he went to do a talk. Its made from vanilla. 
The vanilla plant 
This one has some pods! 
After the tour we headed back to the condo. We were able to pick up some GyPSy commentary on the way back. Our condo time today was lazy.. reading, playing on tablets etc. We decided to dine out for dinner and save our last dinner in the condo for tomorrow night.

One kid is thrilled we are almost done with this island.. the other is sad. But we have two more islands to go, so I am not to worried about either of them.

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