New Year’s Day 2013 started with C picking up our rental car. At long last, we’d have a way of getting off the resort. While it was wonderful to settle in and relax for several days at the start of our trip, getting off-resort is something we very much look forward to, especially when it comes to beaches.
Also, a family tradition of ours every New Year’s Day is to go to the beach. If we were home that’s where we’d have been headed… walking or biking at the beach and digging in the sand. It’s just become something we’ve done annually since T was just less than three-months old and we took a walk down at our local beach New Year’s Day 2008. I don’t think it’s something we ever consciously planned, but it’s definitely become an annual family tradition.
Luckily we could continue the tradition on this vacation since it’s Hawaii; after all, the Big Island is surrounded with wonderful, beautiful beaches of all kinds. From black sand to sugary fine, white grains, life’s definitely all beach for Hawaiians no matter what mood strikes.
For our New Year’s outing, we chose a spot we’d discovered on our last visit. Unofficially known as “Mile Marker 69 Beach,” this cove is part of the Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area. It is nestled into some rocks just about a mile south of the more heavily trafficked and renowned stretch of Hapuna Beach (capped with Mauna Kea Beach area to the immediate north of that).
I had no idea that the name of this spot was known as Mile Marker 69 until this recent trip. I’ve since corrected my previous blog post about Hapuna State Beach Park to reflect this. My bad, and thanks locals! If you go to my previous post, you can see that the waters were much calmer in the spring given we were able to swim out about 1/2-mile and snorkel in the calm waters.
Well, it appears they don’t call it winter swell for nothing. The waves on this visit to Mile Marker 69 were frequent and at times, monstrous. Swell sets averaged about 4 ft. with occasional 7-footers. No kidding. And it was on this visit that T dove under his first ocean wave, and then within seconds of that his second. After that, C brought him back to shore. Thank god, because seriously, while these were some fantastic waves, they definitely were not for us haole (especially haole keiki).
After our totally tubular outing at the beach, we headed down to a nearby shopping area for some ice cream. We stumbled upon Juice 101 at The Shops at Mauna Lani, which happened to also serve ice cream. Tropical Dreams ice cream. RMT’ers, if you’ve tried had Tropical Dreams, find it. It’s rare to come by on the Mainland, but after a few google searches I see that there might be a parlor in Salt Lake City (UT) and in Granite Bay, CA. Trust me when I tell you that if I am ever in or remotely near either of those areas anytime in the future I’m going Aloha with my ice cream no matter how out-of-the-way the trek might be.
I’d say we got 2013 to a pretty tasty start… both in the form of waves and ice cream.