Thursday, December 30, 2010


— Ongoing in evenings in January, a series of free programs, starting at 7:00 p.m., will feature information about geology, Hawaiian culture, history and more at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. For more information, call Sandy Vacations, LLC at 866.Sandy4U [866.726.3948] to book your vacation plans now!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lava Pours into the Sea

After you book your Hawaii Vacation Rental with Sandy Vacations, LLC consider this excursion! 

Lava Pours into the Sea. At press time, molten lava continues to cascade into the ocean in Coastal Puna. Lava Ocean Adventures invites guests to see, hear and feel the heat from its custom catamaran, the 34-foot Lava Kai, with a sizzlin' hot special. The Lava Lovers Dream: two people can book one voyage to the lava for one price $350, or a solo passenger can book a two-trip adventure with sunrise and sunset departures for $350 total. Private fishing tours to the lava also available. Visit or call (808) 966-4200 for info.

Visit to secure your vacation plans immediately or call (866) 726.3948 for personal assistance.

We look forward to "Making Meaningful Memories" for your family!

Monday, November 1, 2010

9 of 20 Places to Eat Under $20 on the Big Island Hawaii


Prices: $8.95-$15.95

Tee up for an inexpensive breakfast or lunch overlooking the 18th hole of the Kings' Course at Waikoloa. The Scottish-themed Kings' Grille offers a great view of the landscaped course, with volcanic mountains rising in the distance. The menu isn't terribly varied, but breakfast and lunch staples are available: omelets, sandwiches and salads. We tried a ham, spinach and mushroom omelet ($11.25) and a loco moco, an island favorite that has white rice topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg and brown gravy ($10.95). The prices were a far cry from the $30 brunches at nearby Waikoloa resort hotels.

We loved: watching golfers struggle to make par.
We didn't love: some of the overly salty dishes.

Kings' Grille, 800 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa; (808)886-7600.

Book your Big Island Hawaii Vacation Home with Sandy Vacations, LLC
Call 866.Sandy4U [866.726.3948] or online at

8 of 20 Places to Eat Under $20 on the Big Island Hawaii


Prices: $10.95-$28.95

Peter Merriman, one of the best-known restaurateurs on the Big Island, opened Merriman's in Waimea a couple of decades ago, and it's been winning awards ever since — including being honored 12 years in a row by Honolulu Magazine as the best Big Island restaurant. It's out of our price range, but who needs it, when we can do the next best thing and eat at Merriman's Market Cafe, a casual sister restaurant in the Kings' Shops at Waikoloa. It specializes in Mediterranean dishes. Dine on tapas (we liked the garlic-truffle fries for $5.95), salads (our favorite is strawberry, tomatoes and smoked bacon for $11.95), pastas, pizzas and meat dishes. The restaurant also has a busy bar and a nice indoor-outdoor ambiance.

They loved: the convenient location.
They didn't love: the mai tais, which were so strong we had to send them back, believe it or not.

Merriman's Market Cafe, Kings' Shops, Waikoloa; (808) 886-1760.

Book your Big Island Hawaii Vacation Home with Sandy Vacations, LLC at 866.Sandy4U [866.726.3948] or online at

Thursday, August 12, 2010

7 of 20 Places to Eat Under $20 on the Big Island Hawaii


Prices: $1.75-$15.95

Heading for the airport? Get one last fix of teriyaki chicken or kalbi (marinated) short ribs at the Pine Tree Café, a Hawaiian-style fast-food joint near Kona International Airport. The 3-year-old, plain-Jane restaurant is devoid of character, but portions are hearty, ingredients fresh and tasty, and it offers dozens of reasonably priced choices. It's in a strip mall with a walk-up order counter, and service is fast. You can pick up souvenirs on the run at the Kona Mountain Coffee shop in the mall.

We loved: fresh, sizable portions.

We didn't love: the lack of ambiance.

Pine Tree Café, 73-4354 Mamalahoa Highway, Kailua-Kona; (808) 327-1234

Ready to plan a vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii? 
Call us toll free at 866.Sandy4U [866.726.3948] or visit us on the web at

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

6 of 20 Places to Eat for Under $20 on the Big Island Hawaii


Prices: $8.95-$12.95

Big Island native Windy Moore left home for culinary school in San Francisco. Now she's back from the Big City with a plan to offer the best burger on the Big Island. Her upscale fast-food restaurant, Ultimate Burger, may have it. To Moore, "best" means healthful and eco-friendly, so she serves grass-fed beef and locally produced ingredients whenever possible. She also offers lots of choices with her burgers: caramelized onions, Cheddar and Gorgonzola cheese, apple-smoked bacon, jalapeños and avocado. The result is the tasty three-quarter-pound Ultimate Burger ($5.95) that fits her restaurant's motto: "Juicy fun on a bun."

We loved: being able to personalize our burgers.

We didn't love: slow preparation time.

Ultimate Burger, 74-5450 Makala Blvd., Suite E112, Kailua-Kona; (808) 329-2326

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

5 of 20 Places to Eat Under $20 on the Big Island Hawaii


Prices: $8-$15

We love this place. If it were easier to find, we'd be ecstatic. When you step into the outdoor patio at Kona Brewing Co., you feel as though you've stepped into a tropical park. Surprise: The restaurant is actually in an industrial park. The management has done a good job camouflaging it, however, and it has a fun atmosphere and good vibe — also, as befits any brewing company, some great beer. But back to food: We tried the daily special, a slice of pizza and a salad ($8) and were suitably impressed with the veggie slice and the strawberry spinach salad, which offered great flavors and hearty portions. Another fave at our table: imu pork sandwich ($10).

We loved: good beer, sizable portions and fun ambiance.

We didn't love: driving in circles trying to find it. Call first and ask for directions.

Kona Brewing Co., 75-5629 Kuakini Highway, Kailua-Kona; (808) 334-2739,

Monday, August 9, 2010

4 of 20 Places to Eat under $20 on the Big Island!


Prices: $8.75-$23.95

Under the spreading banyan tree sits Quinn's Almost by the Sea. A local favorite, Quinn's bar and fish house has a nondescript façade, a '70s-era bar and a garden patio shaded by a lush banyan with a 40-foot circumference. Quinn's is a family business; three siblings on staff make sure things run right. The crispy fried fish-and-chips plate ($11.75) draws regulars; it's so popular that the restaurant goes through about 1,000 pounds of fish a week, purchased fresh from local fishermen's boats. Many of the dinner entrees are too pricey for this list ($18.95-$24.25), but sandwiches and salads are good buys, if fish isn't your dish. Night owls note: Quinn's is open until 11 p.m.; you can order a full meal from the restaurant until 10:30 p.m.

We loved: tropical landscaping on the outdoor lanai.

We didn't love: the ambiance inside; the restaurant needs a coat of paint and updating.

Quinn's Almost by the Sea, 75-5655A Palani Road, Kailua-Kona; (808) 329-3822.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

3 of 20 Places to Eat under $20 on the Big Island! As posted by LA Times


Prices: $8.95-$28.95

A postcard-perfect sunset, waves crashing against the rocks, live music and drinks with parasols and lots of rum. That's the vibe at Huggo's on the Rocks, an easygoing café and bar in the main tourist area of Kailua-Kona. The name tells it all: The place balances on the black volcanic rocks that jut out over Kailua Bay. On the Rocks is the little sister of Huggo's, the kind of pricey beachfront restaurant that pummels our budget. But you need not dine at the flagship restaurant when you can wiggle your toes in the sand at On the Rocks and pay half as much. The menu includes tasty pupus — the Hawaiian version of appetizers — salads, pizzas, sandwiches and desserts. Our favorites were the chopped salad ($12.95) and seafood tacos ($11.95).

We loved: the $3 well drinks, wines and domestic beers during happy hour.

We didn't love: the disinterested server we had to chase down for our check.

Huggo's On the Rocks, 75-5828 Kahakai Road, Kailua-Kona; (808) 329-1493,

Consider our Buzz Free Zone Personal Spray if you plan to eat here!

Monday, April 19, 2010

2 of 20 Places to Eat under $20 on the Big Island! As posted LA Times


Prices: $6.95-$21.95

Location, location, location — combine that with a good vibe and you have a sure winner. Perched across the street from Kailua Bay, Island Lava Java offers water views, inexpensive healthful food and lots of interesting menu choices. The restaurant began as an espresso shop, then added lunch. Now, owners Jeff and Leslie Fischer open for dinner too, with table service and entrees such as macadamia nut-crusted fresh catch ($21.95). We tried the café for lunch, when it's a casual, order-at-the-counter coffee shop; big sellers are veggie wraps ($11.50) and fish tacos ($13.90).

We loved: the ahi fish tacos, wrapped in delicate, homemade shells.
We didn't love: the noise from the street traffic.

Island Lava Java, 75-5799 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona; (808) 327-2161,

Sunday, April 18, 2010

1 of 20 Places to Eat under $20 on the Big Island! As posted LA Times


Prices: $5.50-$14.50

Walk into the dining room at the Manago Hotel and you'll swear you've stumbled into a pre-Pearl Harbor time warp. This quaint, third-generation hotel on the slopes of Mauna Loa volcano has been entertaining guests since 1917. Little seems to have changed: The dining room menu is on a pegboard sign, entrees include such diner classics as pork chops and liver and onions, and most dinners cost less than $10. Manago is a dozen miles south of the high-profile Kailua-Kona resort area and decades removed from the hype.

We loved: stepping into Old Hawaii.
We didn't love: the canned veggies.
Hotel Manago, 826151 Highway 11, Captain Cook; (808) 323-2642,

Friday, April 2, 2010

Don't let a cold spoil your upcoming travel plans.

Stay Healthy for your trip with this
Powerful Antioxidant Superfood

Ever have to cancel a much needed vacation because someone got sick? Berry Radical is the perfect antioxidant superfood for the whole family! Berry Radical has a yummy chocolate berry flavor your kids will love and it's sugar free too!

That's why we're offering this 10% discount on Berry Radical, so that you can experience the pure, feel good, health building properties of this potent, energizing drink. Simply enter Promotion Code [berry10] during checkout.

  • Dissolve Berry Radical in hot water,
  • sweeten to taste,
  • add your own non-dairy milk of choice,
  • and sip as a tea,
  • or add to your favourite smoothie recipe!
  • (No pills to swallow!)

Berry Radical is a revolutionary, certified organic, superfood designed to assist the body in attaining vibrant health, longevity and wellbeing. A potent combination of 9 of the world's most effective antioxidant superfoods, Berry Radical contains certified organic antioxidant-rich raw cacao (chocolate), olive juice extract, coffee fruit extract, fruits and berries to support healthy immune function and protect cells. Berry Radical also helps reduce the damaging impact of free radicals in the body, and may slow processes associated with aging.
Our bottom line is to keep you
and your family healthy
so you can enjoy
"Making Meaningful Memories" together!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Volcano Awareness Month

It's Volcano Awareness Month! Hawaii Big Island has a monthlong schedule of guided hikes, evening lectures, teacher workshops, movies and Hawaiian cultural activities. Our Lake View Luxury available for Jan 17 arrival!
Visit for schedule of events.