Saturday, January 9, 2010
Black Sand, Lava, Shaved Ice...Oh My!
We got to Hawaii, Honolulu, that is, by 12:30. It was only another 45 minute layover and a 45 minute flight before we finally landed in Hilo and began our vacation. Before we even hit a grocery store, we stopped and got some tuna poke at Poke To Your Taste. It was drenched in spice like soy sauce, scallions and garlic. We bought about a pound but between 2 of us (Grant does not eat any seafood), we managed to finish half of it. Then it was off to the KTF, a local grocery, where we must have spent at least an hour getting weekly supplies. There was a Sunday Farmer's Market near our house, so we excluded some purchases like our fruits and veggies. After we got into our beautiful Lava House in Puna, we dropped off our luggage and groceries and quickly went to Black Sand Beach for a sunset dip in the ocean.
My vacation mates, Mark and Grant, awoke early, with the sunrise on our first full day. We made our imported Verve Coffee that we smuggled in and hit the Farmer's Market by quarter till 9. I let the guys go after the meal necessities items as I toured the grounds bumping into the guy making pizzas, the cute guy selling soap and the chill surfer girl selling t-shirts. I re-joined the boys and shared a Shrimp Crepe before taking off back home. The ocean and lava is so exciting and enchanting. We drove around for a while, checking out all the scenic points and possible ocean entries. We stopped back in the town of Pahoa not too far from our house, for some espresso at Sirius Coffee. I had a medium Breve which is espresso with steamed half & half. And it was just the right kick I needed for our afternoon snorkel in the Kapoho Tide-Pools. I went down and toured the coral after walking out the lava rock. We saw great fish, all diverse in color and shape. We saw sea cucumbers and also some sea urchins. After seeing Avatar on New Year's Day, it was nice to be down, head down that is, and see a glowing environment and feel like just a mere visitor to a spectacular sight. So far, this island experience is mighty spectacular, I would say.
Monday, we went back to Pahoa in the morning and had a chance to enjoy the same barista from the day before at Sirius Coffee. I explained to Charlene how I liked my espresso and she rocked me a shot with steamed milk in a small coffee cup. It was as close to a Gibraltar as I could get and i was obliged. It was then onward to Hilo with a stop in Rock Island Gallery. I met Morgen a 61 year old Iron Woman. She pointed out the Aragonite which was an amazing stone that apparently crystallizes forming needle-shaped crystals which are elongated along the c-axis. This mineral provides for ease of centering oneself and is especially helpful during periods of stress and anger...It enhances ones patience...It also enhances reliability and practicality. This was exactly what I needed to hand out to Mark and Grant after a challenging morning. I also picked up a native Kona Island Brown Calcite for Paul. We were told to go to Richardson Beach Park for some good swimming. So we headed over and got in the water and swam out a bit before realizing all the tide pools that were surrounding us. We ventured back to the car, got the snorkel gear and walked across the lava into the pools for some exploring. Saw some great colored fish like some rainbow fish.
I asked the natives where the best shaved ice was and they mentioned Wilson's by the Bay. We got there and it was closed. We headed a couple blocks up and satisfied our overdue craving. I ordered a combo of the Lilikoi and Li-Hing Shaved Ice with some mango-n-Cream Ice Cream & condense cream...Da Works! It was just what the Island Doc ordered. Our final stop of the day was to watch the sunset at lava flow back down the road from our tree house in the town of Kalapana. Unfortunately the lava stopped a flowing the morning before and is not known when she will appear again. But we did see the smoke rise and the sun get red and fade away. There was some great light in the sky and on us.