Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day #7 - The last day.. Sunday

We packed a lunch then headed to Kona Baptist Church Then for another picnic and more whale waching at the Place of Refuge Park.

It may seem like it would be boring to spend so much time at the beach just sitting and waiting for the whales to show. But the truth is, I found it very relaxing. The air is crisp, yet warm. No humidity and a cool breeze. The palm trees give you shade, but, not too much. Paradise.

After a few hours it was back to the Honokohau Harbor and the
"Bite Me Restaurant" for another round of fish before I leave. The fish of the day was "Monchong". It's a white fish full of flavor, but not a strong "fishy" one. It was perhaps the best fish I had ever eaten.

Then we headed back to the apartment to get my bag packed. It will be a sad goodbye, but a vacation to remember for a life time.

Day #6 - Whale watching

Erin, Tad and I started the day early. We headed north to find a good whale watching beach. Once I learned to watch for the spouting, I could easily spot where the whales were playing in the ocean. At one time, there were four of them, it looked like "sychronized spouting". When you saw the spout sprays, if you used binoculars you could watch the whales rolling around in the water. It was quite fascinating.

The way to Waimea

Ranch in the valley

In Waimea, there is a place called "Church Row". There was a memorial there that told about all the churches and a little something about their history. One particular church said that in the 1840's they had over 1200 members of their church. Now that's a pretty big membership for a small community on an island it the middle of the pacific ocean!

It was a very clear day, which was a good thing for photo taking!

After lunch at Solimene's Restaurant in Waimea, we started back towards Kona. We stopped at a resort to take a short hike to see the Petroglyph Park. This is a lava field that the natives carved petroglyphs into the lava. When the Resort was built, they preserved the field and made a trail. I added the link to show a little about what the petroglyphs were, I'm not sure if it's the exact same park or not.

Here's a beehive on the beginning of the hike to the petroglyphs

Erin and I with the lava field in the background.

Honu (Turtle) carved in the lava

Tad and Erin

Sign explaining about the carvings

End of the World

The last stop for the day, a place called "The end of the World". I don' tknow how it got that name, but, it's a pretty cool place. We stayed here for about an hour. With the sun reflecting off the black lava rock, I got a sunburn.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hawaiian Monk Seal

While at the Place of Refuge we saw a group of people watching something swim toward the cove. We figured it would be a sea turtle as we've seen them there many times. But this time it was a little different as it came closer to shore. This time it was a Hawaiaan Monk Seal Since these are on the "Extremely Endangered" list, it was all very exciting.

Place of Refuge

After our tour of the Painted Church, we headed up the coast to a beautiful National Park called Place of Refuge

This park is a great place to experience some native Hawaiian culture, take a hike and have a picnic.

Picnic area.

This is on the hike, it is believed to have been a goat pen.

The end of the hike.

Day #6 - Friday First Stop, the Painted Church

I can't believe it's Friday already! Today we have a small hike planned and lunch agt the Place of Refuge. It's a warm day, and we are hoping to see some whales at the beach. But, our first stop is a little church called "The Painted Church".

I found the following information at this website: Painted Church
"In December of 1983 restoration work began on the deteriorating church, in collaboration with the Bishop museum in Honolulu. In February of 1985 the restoration was complete and the parish celebrated. On the hundredth anniversary of the dedication of the church in its present location, in 2002, more renovation was completed. A large plywood altar had been constructed after the changes initiated by the Second Vatican Council in the 1960's, this enabled the priest to celebrate mass facing the congregation. This was replaced by a koa wood altar crafted by a parishioner, that was smaller and more in proportion to the size of the sanctuary. A matching pulpit was also crafted of this precious Hawaiian wood. The statues were refurbished and the carpet replaced. St. Benedicts sparkled once again. There are two mission churches in St. Benedict's parish, St. John the Baptist in Kelliakekua and St. Peter's Church in Milolii, 25 miles south of Honaunau. St. Peter's was built to replace a church of the same name, destroyed by a lava flow at Hoopuloa in 1926"

This tree as outside, I thought it was unusual.

Outside the church was a little souvenier stand that sold handmade christmas ornaments. I bought a wreath ornament made from the koa wood, with a nativity in the center.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day #5 Continued

After horseback riding, Erin and did some 'beach hopping'. Meaning we just stopped at several places on the way back into Kona. Here are a few photos of the day.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day #5 -Thursday

HORSEBACK riding day! Erin and I got up early and drove to the Waipio Valley to take the scheduled Horseback riding tour. I have been looking forward to this day for a very long time! To take a horse thru the valley and see some places that you just don't get to see unless you are willing to hike several miles up and down the rocks and hills! By the time we got there it was raining. Not to be deterred, we climbed into the 4 wheel drive van with 12 other people we didn't know to be cowboys for a day.

We got to the stables, though, I wondered a time or two if that van would just plummet over the cliffs, and began our orientation lecture. The lecture included how to get on and off the horse, when to lean forward, how to hold the reins, and what to do in the event that the horse lays their ears flat on their neck. We were also instructed that horses, much like people, do not like their "space" intruded upon by other horses getting too close. Great... :)

One by one we mounted our rides, the guides carefully pairing up horses with riders. Erin got a horse that wanted to lead the pack. I got the horse that none of the other horses liked. Figures. She is in front, me in the rear. Yeah.. our first day together and there are 12 people riding in between us.

About 20 minutes into the ride, one of the other rideres decided she wanted to take some photos, so she fell back behind me. Next thing I knew, Shady, the socially inept horse I was on, laid her ears back and began to make a fuss. I thought she wanted to climb the mountain beside the trail, or dump me on the ground. Luckily, I had ridden before, though, let's just say it's been a very, very long time. I pulled back the reigns and told her that she didn't need to get in a tizzy. Somehow she must have thought that I knew what I was doing because she calmed right down. You should have seen the look on the guide's face. Poor guy, thought he had lost a tourist! I assured him we would be fine, and the tour continued.

We rode for about an hour and half, thru streams of water, viewing waterfalls, wild mustangs, and baby colts. All the while it rained. It was a beautiful ride and believe it or not, not one person complained about the weather.

Hawaii - Day#4

It's Wednesday now, and again I head to the beach after I dropped Erin off at work. She had shown me another beach earlier in the week called the "Energy Lab" beach. Nearby there are salt water desalination plants, where they take the water and remove the salt. The salt gets sold as Kona Sea Salt, and they bottle the water for drinking. The surf was high today, so I thought it would be fun to watch the waves crash up on the rocks. I had the zoom on, so I'm not sitting quite as close at it might look.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hawaii - Day #3

Wednesday, Day #3
Today I thought I should get some of my souvenier shopping done. So, up to Alii Drive I wandered. I found a little quilt/sewing store that I had to browse. The fabrics were very nice, but, much like at home, pricey. I wanted to stop at the farmer's market, but, not finding a place to park, I headed south of Kona to a small town that I can never remember the name. There's a big fabric store there, Kimura's, with a small Japanese woman that runs it. I love going there because they have plenty of Hawaiian fabrics to look at and the owner is so pleasant and helpful. I will visit her store every time I go to Kona as long as she remains open! I made my purchases and decided to head on over to the Kona International Marketplace. Much to my dissappointment, many of the stores had gone out of business. The floral shop was gone. I loved walking thru that and admiring the orchids. With my souvenier shopping complete, I went to the beach to wait for it to be time to pick Erin up for lunch. While waiting at the pavillion, a man approached me, and asked if I had come to attend a meeting. I politely explained that, no, I was only waiting to pick up Erin for lunch. When I asked what kind of meeting he was hosting, he told me it as an AA meeting. I told him I didn't want to seem rude, but I certainly wasn't in need of his services! We talked for awhile, he was from Minnesota. It seems like everyone I meet that lives in Hawaii is from somewhere else. Interesting.

Hawaii - Day #2

Tuesday, Day #2. Tuesday. I have a cousin that lives in Hawaii, her name is Ruth. She grew up in California and although I had never met her, I know her mother. Ruth and I had been planning to get together while I was visiting, so today would be the day! She picked me up at Erin and Tad's apartment and we went down to the Harbor to meet Erin for lunch. We ate at a cute little restaurant where they serve fish sometimes caught on the local Deep Sea Fishing tours.

Erin and Ruth talked me into having a Fish Taco. They put fish in a taco shell, shredded cabbage, tomato, some white sauce, and salsa on the side. I have to say I really enjoyed it.

Ruth and I then went back to her home, where I met Clouseau, her dog. She has a lovely home with an ocean view. We talked for several hours, like we had known each other our whole lives. Here is a view of the entryway, Ruth handpainted these Birds of Paradise. Lovely

Hawaii Day #1

I have returned from my trip, it's true. But, I'm trying to get this all written out before I forget what I did every day!

** On Day #1 - 3 Erin had to work. It's tough flying so far and seeing her go, but, I knew that I wanted to spend some time just laying on the beach reading books and hoping that I can get a tan. So, we decided that I would drive her to work, then I could have her jeep to get to the beach. I would then pick her up for lunch, then back to the beach.

Day #1 was the first day we did that. On the way to her office (West Hawaii Today), she helped me remember where some tourist friendly beaches and a few other places. Today was the day I would also get my hair done. She has a fantastic hair dresser named Shayla at the Icicles Salon in Kona. I highly recommend her!

After I got my hair done, Erin, Carolyn (a co-worker of Erin's) and I went to Subway for lunch. I dropped the girls off at the office after, and headed to the "Old Airport Beach" where I found a lovely spot near a tree. I could rest under the tree with the sun shining on my face.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hawaii Trip.. the arrival

I arrived at the Kona Airport 20 minutes early, which meant that Erin and Tad weren't quite there yet. They only live about 10-15 minutes from there, and were watching my flight on a computer flight tracker. Before they realized it, the plane had landed and they needed to get down to meet me.

The sun was shining, the temp was about 85. By the time I got off the plane, found my luggage, they were pulling up at the curb. This is my greeting "lei"


On February 7th, I boarded a plane for a trip to visit Erin. If you don't know, Erin is my oldest daughter, she and her husband, Tad, live in Kona Hawaii. This would be my 5th trip to the Islands, but my first on my own. I have to admit, flying alone, navigating the airports with no support seemed a bit intimidating When I entered the airport in Fort Wayne, the temperature in Indiana was 12 degrees. How I looked forward to some warm weather and sunshine!

This is what I found when I landed in Maui, the last stop before I was to arrive in Kona.