Saturday, November 9, 2013

back home like I was never gone, waaah

A day of travel! Whoo!

Got up 7ish and showered and stuffed the chocolate on top of my packed things. I tucked it in with my towel, and hoped it wouldn't melt. Had some tea and a bit of a pastry, then we were off! We checked out and south we went. We stopped by a National Park so Mom could get her stamp for her book. Rental car was dropped off, we checked in at the airport, and since we were melting in the humidity and warmth, we went into the airport restaurant and got some food and enjoyed the A/C for a while.

Once it got crowded and we didn't have any more food to occupy ourselves with, we went back outside (Kona has a mostly open air airport, which is nice but also horrible when you are dressed to head to colder climates). I was seated behind Ma and Pa. The flight from Kona to Honolulu is a short one, and we were touching down in no time. My plane departed way away from Ma and Pa's so we hugged and I went through the agriculture line. There was the LeSportsac bag shop, and I liked their duffles, but when I store doesn't openly list prices I know it's probably too pricey for me. Just looked up the brand. Yeah, those are three figure bags. No thank you!

I sat at my gate and watched cartoons on my laptop till it was time to board. The plane had a big salmon graphic on the side of it, so that was cool. The plane was far from full, and I had all three seats to myself. No free meal and I was hungry so I bought one. It was good though. I watched more stuff on my computer till the battery ran low, then I listened to podcasts and worked on my crossword puzzles. Pretty effortless flight. We even arrived 20 minutes early, so I texted Nathan and he was on his way.

My luggage came out just fine and all the chocolate was there and in tact. Whoo! Nate picked me up, we grabbed some drive through, and he took me home to Santa Cruz. We talked about the trip, art, movies, all sorts of things. I gave him all the goodies, and he was pretty enthused to get the stuff. He liked the shirt and the munchies. Nice for him to drive me back so late!

I unpacked about 90% of my stuff. Don't have the energy to do it all tonight. Plus it is late. Well late here. I'm on Hawaii time so it's just 10:30 now. Hmmm.

Friday, November 8, 2013

fish poop

Whoo! Snorkel tour day! I was up bright and early. We all were. Grabbed some snacks, packed our bags, grabbed towels and we were out the door bright and early 7:15am!

The meet up place was about an hour south, and from there we would get on a boat and go further south. Before boarding we were set up with masks. I traded in my new and better snorkel. There was plenty of room on board, but still a good crowd of people. Not too many kids. Mostly adults. They served up breakfast of tea, coffee, muffins, egg thingies, fruit, and other stuff. We munched as the boat took us to Captain Cook's Bay of Bay Things.

The sun wasn't all the way out, but that was nice. Nice to not be under its full wrath. It was still warm and the water was nice. We anchored, got a quick run down of dos and don'ts, and then fins and goggles were on and it was snorkel time!

Despite whatever shape I'm in, I can still swim pretty good with fins. My legs are probably in good shape. My arms and belly? Not so much. But being on my feet all day gives some perks. I was diving and going low and up and down and up. Holding my breath. Saw so many lovely colorful awesome fish. I saw a parrot fish. A nice big one. I could hear it munching on the coral. I followed it around for a while, which is a nice way of snorkeling, and I was just starting to think about how nice the scene was when it let loose a big fishy poop. Ruined the moment!

I took a little on boat break and tried out the slide and diving platform. Lunch was served and I ate a hot dog and burger. I let that digest a bit and I was back in the water! This time I stuck with Ma and Pa a bit better. We took the rest of the underwater camera exposures. Hopefully those turn out! Ma pointed out a little fish cleaning station, where tiny fish cleaned bigger fish.

Finally all aboard was called, and we clambered aboard. There was a little video about the fish and it had a clip of a scuba diver getting his teeth cleaned.

I took a nap on the drive home, and a longer nap once we got back to the hotel. All that exercise and early morning stuff really took it out of me!

We caught the Hula show at the hotel plaza, which was awesome. This guy lit his tongue on fire and then lit his fire thingies on fire with his tongue. We all had drinks and then returned to the room and chilled and packed. Then did the necessary chocolate shopping. We had dinner at Lava Lava and my pineapple jasmine fried rice arrived in half a hollowed out pineapple! That was sorta amazing.

Now it is packing time. Oh woe. Back to the mainland I go.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

up north again

Today was the designated rest between lots of sun exposure day. It's nice to do a sun day then a shade day. Mom booked a snorkel tour for Thursday, so yay! Hopefully I won't get sunburned. It's a full morning thing.

We checked out the petroglyph field by Kings' Land. It had so many carvings, though some looked a bit modern. Still, nice that it was preserved. Preserved riiiight next to the golf course.

Merriman's Restaurant was our lunch destination. I had pork saimin, mom had beet salad, dad had salad nicoise. Then mom took the initiative and ordered two desserts! A flan thing with jam and cookies, and a chocolate thing with ice cream. Both were amazing.

Further up North (today was a Northern Hawaii trip) Tex provided some malasadas. Mmmmm. So warm and fluffy and tasty.

Akaka Falls was nice. Very lush and jungle-esque. Had some nice waterfalls and the hike wasn't so much a hike as a stroll on the path.

We headed south and stopped in this little six building town where I procured some lovely button up shirts. Awesome! They were second hand and totally my style.

Laupahoehoe Harbor had some nice rough waves. A tidal wave was responsible for many deaths there several decades ago. There is a lot of consistent disasters on Hawaii.

Instead of hitting more beaches, we went back to the hotel early. There was a bit of shopping. I got one final shirt. I should be all shopped out now...except for chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Gotta get fat stacks of those.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I like turtles

I am very much pink on my arms and down my back. Got mucho sun, but not a sun burn! So that is good.

Dad and I had the full protein extravaganza buffet then we packed up for our day out. We went to the Hilton lagoon. It was a bit constructed, but in the end it offered up plenty of nice fish to see, and turtles! There was a Moorish Idol, Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, Unicorn Surgeonfish, Spiny Pufferfish, I saw a Hawaiian Spotted Pufferfish and tried to signal mom to see it but she didn't, Threadfin Butterflyfish, Bluestripe Butterflyfish, and others. There wasn't any current, but there were kids. But the kids kept away from me.

We swam around and I tried out my new and very marvelous snorkel. We ate ice cream and looked at the dolphins. I don't really support "swim with dolphins" type places. There was a shark in the water, but not the swimming water. Hmmm.

After another dip in the water, we changed into dry clothes and headed out. We got snacks from ABC Store and then headed south for a coffee plantation. We arrived at Greenwell Coffee. Really lovely. Our tour guide had a Tardis shirt and was very informative when it came to telling us about the plantation. Four generations of owners! I bought some coffee for Janet as a gift. I don't think Janet reads this, so it's all good! Surprise!

We swung by two National Parks: Pu'uhonua o Honaunau and Kaloko-Honokohau. The latter had a nice view of the lava rocks and the former featured Royal housing and sacred grounds. Both were very nice and there was a sign calling people out on cultural appropriation. Namely the removal of white coral to make signs on the side of the road.

Teshimi provided an awesome Japanese dinner. I had the udon and rice, which were so good. Some of the best udon I've had. And I bought a shirt. Good to support a cool little place like that. The owner lived to 106!

I'm pretty pink from the sun, but not full on burned. Now I'm just relaxing with soothing creme on my skin and Ma and Pa are watching BBC America.

Only two more full days left in Hawaii. Boo. :(

Monday, November 4, 2013

up a volcano and to the end of an island

Sunday at the National Park:

National Park visiting day! We were out of the hotel just before 9. Had a long drive ahead of us, but to get to the other side of a whole island in 2 hours? Not that much of a huge drive compared to anywhere on the main 48. Anyhoo. I took a nap for half the trip, so that was easy. At the visitors center I changed into pants and shoes. In the bathroom. Obviously not IN the center. I bought some postcards and a patch and magnet, then we watched the video about the eruptions in 1969 and 1970.

Volcano House, across from the visitors center, provided lunch. We had a view of the still venting crater in the middle of the main lava flow. The weather on this side of the island is colder and windier, but not awful. I found a crushed penny album in one of the Volcano House gift shops, so that was awesome. I crushed some pennies in one of the machines in Volcano House. Then it was hiking time! We drove to the Kilauea Iki Trail starting place. It was a medium length trail that went half way along the edge of a lava flow crater and then down into it, and then back up. It wasn't venting like the other one. Totally safe. We switched from sleeves to jacketless and back to sleeves several times on the journey. For some parts it was warm and moist, and others the wind cut right through. It was lovely though. Nice to go along the edge and look down and see the worn path of people hiking the same path for years. Nice to descend down and get a gander at all the different kinds of rocks. There were other people hiking, but it wasn't crowded. When we got up out of the crater, we were pretty sweaty. This park seriously lacked benches. The trail head opened up at the Lava Tube, so we walked through that.

The end of the road featured lava that flowed into the ocean as recently as 2003, and there was a store with a cool shirt design, which I got. We grabbed some photos and then headed up to the Jagger Museum for sunset. The lava in the steaming crater was still glowing.

We stopped for gas on the way back and I bought us all ice cream. We picked up dinner fixings and called it a night.

Monday Around Kailua Kona:

I slept in and took it easy. Ma and Pa went to the time share meeting thingy and I cruised around the Internet and had some bread and tea. Nice to have a casual start after all that uber hiking of yesterday.

Later in the day we went to the Kona Brewing Company, in Kaileua Kona proper. Huzzah! We got a sampler of beer to accompany our lunch. It was quite tasty and warm. My bratwurst had to cool down a bit before it was consumed. We drove further south and swung by Snorkel Bob's and picked up a snorkel because my current one is broken.

We tried to visit a coffee plantation, but they were closed. Alas. I dropped some postcards in the post. GPS took us to Lava Lava, where we enjoyed Mai Tais as the sun set and live music played. Nice.

Not the most packed of days, but hey not every vacation day has to be.

feral cats

I'll sum up today...tomorrow.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Day two! First full day in Hawaii! We spent it checking out a few beaches. A nice casual start.

Woke up at 7, which my body thinks is 10, so technically a sleep in! Went to the buffet at 8, and bought myself some food. Piled high the protein with sausage and bacon and eggs, and threw down some potatoes. Green tea and guava juice as well. Mmm. Ma and Pa arrived at 8:15 and Pa got a plate and Ma ate the fruit.

We swung by the ABC Store and got some provisions and then it was off to the beaches!

The first stop was Black Sand Beach, which had some nice snorkeling. It was open to the public though we had to sign in at the gate. My snorkle was brken but Ma was nice and let me use hers. So many pretty fish.

It was windy and that was blowing the sand in our face, so we moved on to Hapuna State Park Beach. Lovely! No coral or fish but plenty of soft sand, no wind, and nice surf. We floated for a good long while and caught a few waves and body boarded a bit. I ended up a bit pink from today's endeavors, but far from burned. I changed back into my clothes and we drove up to Hawi for lunch.

Hawi was windy but quaint and cute. We ate at Bamboo Restaurant. I ordered the stir fry with shrimp but it came with fish, but I'm fine with fish. Mmmm! It was really good and the portions were nice, so no left overs and no over stuffed feeling. Very good restaurant. We wandered up and down the street through town. Well town is a bit over selling it, but it really was nice. I bought this awesome handmade in Kona turtle mug. It's very cute. Lookit how cute it is:

We traveled up North to check out this hike, but the weather came in and rained on us, and it was cold and windy. Well cold for Hawaii. So we went South again. I napped.

Back at the hotel, we rinsed the sand off in the hot tub. I showered the rest of it off and had left overs for dinner. Ma and Pa made a food run and I loafed around on the internet. It took a while to get the DVD player running, but we did it. We watched the first half of Pacific Rim before Ma and Pa called it nighty night.

Tomorrow we are going to the volcano! Hurray!