Packed up the rental jeep today with my bike and drove the Mauna Kea which sits on one of the most beautiful beaches on earth -- a crescent bay and a stone's throw from Hapuna beach (start of the Honu Half Ironman).
I parked at the resort (valet parking is free), then I biked out to Hawi. Wind was moderate, and when I arrived in Hawi there was a band playing at the local restaurant, as I passed, they stopped their song, and I heard the band leader yell "Good luck in the race Bro!" as I passed, and the people on the balcony actually clapped.
When I got back to the resort, I took a quick swim and caught the sun set over the ocean before heading back to Kona. Miracle.
If you're on the island, you simply must go see the Mauna Kea Resort before you go back to your version of "Colderland," wherever that may be. The resort is also a great place to park if you want to test the Hawi winds. Note: that they have a fantastic Sunday brunch. For a panoramic view of the resort, click here.
You know that special layer in the sand? Not too deep and not on the surface -- but just under the surface - where after sunset, you can still feel the warmth of the sunshine in the sand? This is Hawaii.