Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Around the Big Island (Hawaii, 1/20)

Let us time-travel back to Monday, January 20th, on my Hawaii trip.

We ate breakfast at a place on Ali'i Drive, overlooking the water. Great view:
This man was walking his dog not just along the sea wall, but on it.
And a hopeful bird joined us when we ate.
The food was very good; the service, unfortunately, was not (tip for servers: if your customers come to find you because they got their food ten minutes ago but don't have utensils so they could eat it, apologize to them). Well, you can't have everything.

From there, we drove north to Waimea, a town up in ranch country, and stopped for some shopping. Fun stuff!


A very modest name, eh?
This is where I got the gecko. They had all sorts of animals. Like a peacock.
And, oh, a few more.
This table would be a lot harder to bring home, but check out the detail.
The carved legs!
And this gorgeous stained glass piece.
Guess what else was there? Roosters!
We split a sandwich, since we'd had breakfast late, and it came with this:
No, not sorbet: purple potato salad. Wild!

We drove along east until we got to Hilo. It's not a boring drive.


First stop: Big Island Candies. They don't have tour per se, but you can look through the windows at the working area, nicely labeled. Panner:
Melters:
Enrober:
They make cookies that are half-dipped in chocolate, which makes this Hello Kitty design pretty funny.
(Back in the what-I-brought-home post, you can see the brownies and cookies I bought there. Both delicious! Although looking at that post makes me want to order more of the Hamakua Toffee, which vanished fast; wow, that was good.)

Next stop: Mauna Loa mac nuts!
My aunt was the one who had wanted to stop there, but after tasting the Kona Coffee Glaze flavor, I bought some. So good!

We drove on down to Volcanoes National Park, where we enjoyed watching the movie about the park and lava flows, but were disappointed to learn that there was currently no lava visible anywhere in the park. Ah well!

To get back to the west coast, we drove down and around the point, stopping a few times to look at the scenery.
I was very confused by this sign. A koala? In a headdress? I have no idea.
The sunset was quite nice that night.









Once we were back near Kona, we stopped for dinner at a place my aunt had been before, Jackie Rey's, which did not have the water view so many of our dinner choices did, but of course it was dark by then anyway, and both the food and the service were excellent. No complaints; a good way to end a long day.

Monday, February 17, 2020

More From Hawaii (Sat/Sun 1/18-19)

I am determined to write up more from the Hawaii trip, before I forget that I went! I last wrote about our coffee farm tour and sunset boat cruise, here, so let's go onward.

On Saturday (this is January 18th), we did some errands about town, including visiting a bookstore I had noticed another day, because the sign was hard to miss:
It was called Kona Bay Books.
And it was great! The best kind of used bookstore; I wish I lived close to it, and could go in for regular wanders.

Lots of interesting sections, but you know what my favorite was (at least, you do if you remember my visits in past years to the Used Book Superstores up in Massachusetts).
There's always something in these sections to cause a double-take.
I almost bought this based on the subtitle, as much as the title.
I ended up choosing a different one, though, based on the openings of each.

Back home again, we were making our plans for the evening. Which involved lots of layers!
The rooster was unimpressed.
But this is what you want when you're heading to the snow. Yes, in Hawaii.


We stopped at a park on Saddle Road to eat sandwiches and acclimate to the elevation somewhat. Because even if you're not going to the summit of Mauna Kea*, elevation at the visitor's center is 9,200 feet above sea level. And after all, we started at sea level!
*Which you only do if you have 4-wheel drive, or on a tour
An interesting warning sign.
It does get your attention!

As does the temperature, according to the car.
I guess 46 isn't terrible, but certainly with the wind, it was cooler than that. And when it's 80 every day, 46 feels pretty darned cold. We went to see the stars, of course, and they were stunning. Spectacular. I can understand why in the past, people felt the stars had meaning and even guided their fates.

On Sunday morning, thanks to the time difference, I got to watch the Bruins matinee, which was on NBC. Hockey games at 7:30 AM are just inherently funny.
In a break from the rooster, we had a cat outside the patio. It listened to us but declined to get closer.
We went to the beach* later, which was beautiful.
*Two beaches, actually: we started at the beach by the old airport, but apparently storms in recent years have removed a great deal of its sand, so we moved on to A-Bay.
There was a little cave to one side, and I could see a face to the right of the opening.
See? Craggy man's face? Just me?
After eating lunch, I of course got out the knitting.
If you were wondering about the name A-Bay?
That's why. 

Hey, cats!

And also of course, the traditional, "Look, my toes are in sand" photo.
Plus palm trees.
After beaching, we did a little shop-wandering too.






It's not often you can get palm trees and snowy mountain top in one photo, is it? Anywhere but Hawaii?
And the setting sun above the row of palm trees.
So that's Saturday and Sunday. I'll let Monday be a post of its own. Hope you're enjoying the virtual trip!