Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Hawaii : Day Five

This was a wonderful day spent in and around Hilo. We dropped the teenagers off at an arcade in the mall.  Then we stopped by a famous woodcarvers shop.

David and his boat

David and the canoe that he is carving for someones home.

Davids Carvings

He is a very talented woodcarver.  Far Guy and Andy had a really good visit with him. Jen and I met his three year old daughter Olivia who entertained us drawing smiley faces.

After picking up the boys at the mall we headed north to Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens.  Far Guy and I toured the gardens while everyone else went for a long hike to a beach. The gardens are fantastic!  There are a mile of trails throughout the gardens.


The Orchids were stunning…I have many many photos of flowers.  Imagine that!

Botanical Gardens

Spider Lily at Onomea Bay

Banyan Tree in Hilo

Banyan Tree at Hilo…the Banyan trees are originally from India…they were brought here by missionaries.  Several homeless people make their homes by these trees…I believe that pile of “stuff” belongs to a homeless person. At some of the beaches there would be mattresses and belongings tucked away, people pushing shopping carts and people who lived in their cars or pickups loaded with stuff covered in rotting tarps flapping in the breeze.  I believe we met one such person…I will call her Shell Mary…she was born in Minnesota but has been in the islands for many years…first in Maui which was too expensive for her and now on the Big Island…she gifted us with some shells she had collected.

We enjoyed the farmers market at Hilo…the fruit market was awesome. We tried many new to us fruits.

It was getting late and we were all hungry, we dined in Hilo at a family restaurant.  We returned to the Military Camp for one last night…this time we had a three bedroom cottage with a kitchen.  Our last cottage was perfect…it didn’t smell and was very comfortable.

Far Guy was having a difficult time breathing, between the sulpher fumes and the altitude…so we decided to return to Kona and the west side of the Big Island the next day...


Far Guy survived the Infusion Port replacement, however the surgeon has concerns about how well this port flows.  Far Guy is tired and sore.  He is supposed to rest as much as possible and take it easy for the next 10 days.

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Hawaii : Day Four

We took a quick ride with Andy to Kilauea Iki…it was close to the Military Camp. I was feeling much better especially after a breakfast of eggs, bacon and pineapple.

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See the rainbow it is going into the pot of gold deep in Kilauea.

Kilauea Iki Crater

Kilauea Iki was a lake of lava in 1959, it is technically a pit crater located next to Kilauea which you can see in the distance…steam is rising.

The Government Shutdown closed much of Volcanoes National Park.

We headed out going through Hilo and North to a Vanilla Farm…the only Vanilla Farm in Hawaii.

Vanilla co

We had lunch and a farm tour.

Vanilla Pie Josie

A cute gal we know from Minnesota!

Lunch was vanilla lemonade (wonderful) a salad with a vinaigrette made with raspberry and vanilla, a chicken breast marinated in bourbon and vanilla then topped with an mango vanilla chutney on a vanilla bun and potatoes roasted with a southwest vanilla rub. 

Vanilla Greenhouses

The plants are grown in net like long hammocks in a soilless medium of bark in a shade greenhouse, when the plants bloom they are all hand pollinated…leaving nothing to chance.

Vanilla plant 

After the farm tour we headed back to enjoy Vanilla Ice Cream…hint for you serve your ice cream in a chilled bowl…it tastes heavenly on a warm day.  The afternoon was topped off with coffee and a trip through the gift shop.  Adam bought some vanilla beans in a jar and will make his own vanilla extract.

We drove further north…the end of the road or this road anyways.




Driving back south …Groves of Eucalyptus trees that were planted as the next cash crop when Sugar Cane production ceased on the island.  A Japanese paper company wanted to buy the Eucalyptus trees but the natives didn’t like their spraying practices to kill off the canes. So the Japanese paper company backed out of the agreement but not before many many groves of Eucalyptus were planted.  The trees were never used and are now old groves, soon they may be cut down and burned at energy producing plants…but it sounds like that is being met with some opposition also.


Next we found a beach with some crashing waves. Laupahoehoe Beach Park.


It was a lovely diversion… the power of the crashing waves was fun to watch…and it was cool there!  The teenagers did boy things there, climbing rocks etc…

Akaka Falls

Our next stop was …Akaka Falls State Park.  The kids all hiked down and up again.  Far Guy and I watched the day grow darker and the feral cats come out of hiding.

We had supper at Pineapples in Hilo.  An open air restaurant with wonderful food.  After that we headed back to the Military Camp this time to a two bedroom cottage without a kitchen.


I have almost caught up with the laundry and menu planning for the week.  Far Guy is scheduled for surgery to have his infusion port replaced early this morning.  The catheter that leads from the port to his vein has a crack or a hole…this was discovered on Friday and the surgeon wants it taken care of.  We plan to rest up and relax the rest of the week.  Far Guy is recovering from a bad cold…which he most likely got from me in Hawaii.

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Hawaii : Day Three

Happy New Year’s Day in Hawaii! After a great breakfast of eggs, bacon and pineapple, we checked out of the Condo…but no one grabbed the key so we were locked out.  Luckily Jen knew who to call.

Anaehoomalu Bay

We headed out to a beach.  Anaehoomalu Bay….a beautiful little beach where I enjoyed the waters of the Pacific. Yes, I got wet.


We watched a Sea Turtle.


I imagine he was saying Happy New Year!

We left from Waikoloa Beach area and headed east across the island.  I began to sneeze…I sneezed so much they stopped saying “Bless you”

Gene at a lava tube New Years Day 2019

Far Guy resting near a lava tube

on the way to Hilo

On the way to Hilo

The closer we got to our destination the worse I began to feel I had a super dooper head cold.  We checked in at Kilauea Military Camp…very near the crater…Far Guy says our first cottage was just 450 feet from the edge of the crater.  The cottage was horrid, it smelled of wood smoke from a recently used wood fireplace.  This WWII military facility has many cottages available for rent, they converted barracks into one, two and three bedroom cottages.

I was exhausted and went to sleep. I slept on and off for 16 hours, everyone else went to Hilo for supper.  They brought me back some ribs to eat.  One thing you can say for the mountain air is that it was much cooler however the air smelled like sulfer.  The next morning I felt like I would live and they wouldn’t have to toss me over the edge of the volcano. After a good breakfast we packed up and put all our stuff into storage for the day and began a new adventure…

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Big Island Day Two

Sunrise was beautiful.  There is a four hour time difference between home and Hawaii.  I loved the sunrise it was cool…both scenic and temperature wise.

Sunrise in WaikoloaVillage

Sunrise at Waikoloa Village

I amused myself with the sunrise, flowers, birds and the lawnmowing person on the golf course. 

Breakfast on the lanai

Breakfast on the lanai…yes I have Aleve with my breakfast some days.

We took off for downtown Kona where the kids rented snorkeling gear and I bought a cool dress….cool as in light fabric.  You could spend all day wandering through the shops…I met some interesting people even a fellow from Minnesota who had a shop there.

beautiful birds

These birds were just outside a shop…you can have your photo taken with the birds perched on you…on your arms, shoulders or even your head.

  Two Beautiful old churches

There was a Farmers Market near these churches. The big white church is St Michael The Archangel Church the church off to the side remains an unknown to me.

The Farmers Market had great fruit and water…and a chair in the shade.

Snorkling on a beach

The kids went snorkeling and Far Guy went out in the water…I doused myself in the public shower and sat in the shade.  I don’t snorkel…and I don’t walk and chew gum at the same time either.  The kids reported lots of colorful fish some eels and Jen saw a Sea Snake which did not impress her.

We stopped by a thrift shop and I bought more “cool” dresses.  The guys all bought shirts.

Our family

Adam, Andy, Jen and Logan our traveling companions.

We headed for a luau on New Year’s  Eve.  The food was excellent and the entertainment wonderful….I was just hot….I think my thermostat was stuck.

Royalty coming in for the luau Royalty coming in for the luau.  I thought about skinny dipping in the water but it was too rocky and there were too many people. They probably would have hauled me off to jail where there is no air conditioning.

Punch bowls with rum

Punch Bowls full of…punch.

We met up with some more Minnesota friends so we were a group of twelve now for a few days.  Fun to watch their three little girls…they had a blast with noise makers and party hats.

I had a very nice dance with my husband to some beautiful Hawaiian music.

We were back at the condo by 9PM and asleep shortly after…I woke up briefly to lots of noise makers and fireworks when it was midnight ( 4 AM back home)…I fell asleep again quickly.

My Advice: Give yourself about two days to get used to the heat and humidity.  Stay hydrated and rest often. I packed light colored capris and tops…but they were just too warm…I did the best in swim wear or colorful Hawaiian dresses…you know the kind if you were a little girl you could twirl around in the skirt until you were dizzy or flap the front of your dress to cool off.

The high temperature on New Years Eve was 84 F with little to no breeze.  We had below zero temperatures before we left so it was at least a 90 degree temperature change for us old folks.


I am busy unpacking and doing laundry.  Far Guy had his infusion and we got groceries and ran a few errands…and filled all our bird feeders. I think the birds are glad we are back….only one feeder still had food for them.

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Sunset in Phoenix and Hawaii

We are safe at home, not unpacked yet but I downloaded a few photos. It is chilly here in Minnesota! Here are a few photos from  the beginning of our vacation. I snapped a sunset photo from the airport window in Phoenix just to prove we were there.

Sunset from Phoenix

Then off to Los Angeles.

Hotel in LA

Fancy Hotel

Finally a sign that we may get to Kona.

Departing LA

Ready or not here we come!

I guess I told you yesterday it was hot.  Very hot.  When we left home it was below zero.  When we arrived on the Big Island of Hawaii it was in the 80’s.   I just wanted to sit in the shade and rest.  The humidity was oppressive.

Waikoloa Beach The first few days we stayed at a condo just off the golf course in Waikoloa Village.  We watched the golfers chase balls, the birds chase each other, a mongoose run around avoiding capture and the sprinklers go on from the lanai.

Sunsetr at Waikoloa Bay

Sunsets were beautiful there. 


Our grandson Adam was enjoying the sunset view too.

If I had a Hawaiian name it would be “Walks slow sweats alot” public showers meant to wash off salt water became a pit stop for me to wet down my hair…so it would drip down my body and cool me off.

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