my last day in Kailua Kona

Airport Beach is fairly deserted late Saturday morning.

As you read this, I am probably still asleep, trying to adjust after my last day in Kailua-Kona. The time difference during the daylight saving is three hours earlier than Sacramento. I usually get up when the sun rises in Kailua-Kona. In Sacramento, that would be about 9 AM, but I cannot start my business day in Sacramento at that time. Now that Labor Day is over, it’s time to get back to work, and people expect me to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Going forward in time is really hard for me.

I started out my last day thinking I would get a manicure, so I went to see Elaine at Hot Nails. The plumbing is out at the salon, so technically they were closed but Elaine made an exception for me. She asked if I have been to the Big Island Fair. No, I haven’t. Didn’t even know it was happening. She said if I drove down Kuakini to the end and then turned left, I would find the Big Island Fair.

The turnoff was easy to spot because the road that continued north was filled with potholes. It leads to the Old Kona Airport State Park, which the locals call Airport Beach. So I kept going.

Waves roll in at Airport Beach as a boat passes by


my last day in Kailua-Kona

Elizabeth Weintraub at Airport Beach in Kailua-Kona.

I hung out at the beach for about an hour, watching people, mesmerized by the rolling surf. I recorded the sound so I can play it back whenever I feel homesick for the ocean. It was fairly empty and deserted. The people who were there mostly sat on the sand to stare at the water or read a book. A few others enjoyed picnics. There are small huts scattered about to provide shelter from the sun, featuring picnic benches and separate BBQ grills.

my last day in Kailua Kona

Big Island Fair did not open on Saturday until noon.

I arrived at the Big Island Fair around 11:30 AM. The gates were open, so I walked inside. There was nobody collecting tickets but it did cost to get into the fair. I walked all around and nobody told me to get out. See, this is how life in Kailua-Kona is. It’s very kickback. Elaine told me the food wasn’t very good but the rides were fun. I did not feel like waiting a half hour, so instead, I decided to go to the gas station and fill up my rental Jeep Renegade.

my last day in Kailua Kona

Kona Nissan at noon on a Saturday.

As I stood at the pump, filling my car, I started reflecting on the online searches I had been doing about buying a car for our house in Hawaii. I initially thought a Jeep Renegade would be a good vehicle. I used to own a CJ5 in 1974. I like Jeeps. Even though I rolled it down a hill and lived after flipping it. But my husband talked me out of a Jeep Renegade. He read Consumer Reports, which basically said the only good Jeep is a Grand Cherokee. He then sent me a list of recommended SUVs. On that list was a Nissan Rogue.

Hey Siri, take me to a Nissan dealer. I hopped back into the Jeep. Now, I know everybody says don’t buy a car in Kona. They say buy it in California and ship it. Shipping is cheap. On the surface that makes sense but I like to keep my money in local communities where I spend time. And surely the dealers in Hawaii know this and would be willing to offer a deal, especially since the 2018s are coming next month.

After negotiation, I put down a refundable deposit on a Monarch orange Nissan Rogue Sport. Plus, I know the Nissan dealer in Reno has a good price for this exact vehicle. I drove a Nissan Rogue SL but Kona Nissan didn’t have a Sport. The closest Rogue Sport is in Hilo. I like the orange because it’s such a 1960’s color. Plus, I can find it easily in any parking lot. It’s a rebellious color. We will need to test drive a Nissan Rogue Sport in Sacramento.

If we decide to buy it, the salesperson promised to meet me at the airport when I come out this winter and hand me the keys. They would never do this in Sacramento. What do you think?

last day in Kailua-kona

Monarch orange Nissan Rogue Sport is surprisingly affordable in Kailua-Kona.

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