Sunday, February 28, 2010

Place of Refuge

On Tuesday, 2/10, we visited Pu'uhonua o Honaunau
(Place of Refuge).
Hawai'ian history tells us if you broke the law, the punishment was death.
If you could reach a place of refuge, you would be forgiven. Hawai'ian man tells the history of his people
Have you ever felt like this? (Monk seal)
Honu (green sea turtle)
for the green fat they have due to eating seaweed.
I loved capturing crashing waves with my camera.sacred Polynesian wooden statuesARGHHHH! (not a very sacred addition)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Doing Hawai'i on the cheap.

Our style is to travel cheap. We were determined to travel cheap even when traveling to Hawai'i. Our flights from Indiana were $626. and $650. We flew out of Indianapolis on Monday, February 8. I flew from Indy to Detroit, Dug flew from Indy to Chicago. We planned to rendezvous in Seattle and fly from Seattle to Kona together. In Detroit, there was a security-breach and the entire airport was shut down. Finally, we boarded. I would arrive in Seattle just in time to make my flight - if all went well. When I got off the plane, Dug was there waiting. He said "are you ready to run the amazing race?" We had to take three trains to make our gate. We ran as fast as we could (along with others who were detained in Detroit). When we arrived at our gate, we learned that due to weather somewhere else, our flight was delayed. For two hours. We went to the bar and ate dinner.
By the time we arrived in Kona, it was dark. The airport in Kona is made up of an assemblage of buildings somewhat akin to shelters in a park. Luggage pick-up is outdoors with only a roof overhead.
We picked up our luggage, picked up our rental car and headed to Captain Cook to stay at the Manago Hotel. The hotel is historic, simple, bordering on rustic. Just our style. We had a private bath and I believe our room was $68. or $78. If you are willing to share a bathroom, you can get a room for $38./night. The room had windows in the the bathroom which were open, and there was a window over the door which was also open. Across the room, the windows were open leading to the lanai. The sheets were clean, the bed comfortable and a warm breeze blew over us. I slept without a sheet over me. It was heavenly.
Lacking t.v., telephone, a/c, but a great bed for weary travelers.
view from the lanai
We went to breakfast where we ate from original tables and chairs from the 50's. I grew up such a table, formica top with aluminum legs. (Grandma's table, passed down.) It was at the Manago that we first had Papaya.
I initially ordered "Papaya juice."
"Papaya or juice." she gently corrected.
"Oh. Papaya."
French toast, papaya, four cups of delicious coffee. From that day on, we ate papaya nearly every day. Strawberry papaya.

We love to tent camp and do so in part to save money and because we love nature and want to get as close as possible to it. We camped for two nights and paid $12./night. At the Ho'okena Beach Park, we got a little closer to nature than we intended.

This is how close we were to the Pacific.
Protective cliff behind us.

Mongoose and feral cats were prolific. I was relieved to learn the mongoose are diurnal. They seemed sneaky to me, skirting in and out of the rocks. It seemed to be a case of "they are more afraid of you than you are of them."
On our second day we went to lunch at Senor Billy's (thumbs up), and when we returned, the water seemed to be higher than it had been the previous afternoon. It just kept creeping closer. A county employee came in to assess the situation. He walked about asking people if it seemed the water was subsiding. In some cases, the beach park is evacuated. On this day, there may have been thirty tents and if they evacuated, there would have been a lot of disappointed people. We all assured the county employee that we did indeed believe the water was subsiding. At any rate, before Dug and I retired, we pulled our tent back a few feet from the approaching water.
At 2:30 a.m., high tide, Dug said he woke and felt wet. "WATER!" he yelled. We both jumped from the tent, pulled it back a few more feet and climbed back into the tent to go back to sleep. That is the kind of campers that we are. A wave had washed up the side of my tent (leaving a water mark) and pooled up under half of the tent. All part of the adventure.
The next morning, we shared breakfast with one of our fellow campers, Paul from California.
Despite rinsing ourselves under the outdoor shower, I had ocean-hair and sand everywhere. We returned to the Manago where I asked if I might pay to shower. She said it wasn't possible because they were so busy. I could not find a public shower anywhere. We went to Dug's friend's (Eric and Amy) house in Hilo and before collapsing into bed, I finally had a shower. Once again, I collapsed into bed and slept hard.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Flowers of Hawai'i

In Hawai'i, so many flowers were foreign to me. And, oh, so beautiful.

I got lei'd in Hawai'i.
It isn't like in the movies. The moment you get off the plane, there is not someone there to decorate you with a lei. But we saw these at the farmer's market and Doug bought one for me. Made from Plumeria blooms, they were so fragrant. I wore it the day he bought it for me and then we left it hanging on the rear view mirror for as long as we could.

So beautiful and perfect, they look artificial. I assure you, they were not. Pots and pots of gorgeous flowers at farmer's market- I walked about in awe, smelling them, photographing them. These were bushes, near the Kona brewery. Everywhere, blooms.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Snow Place Like Home

I'm baaaaccckkk!
This is what we left. Our last evening in Kona, we sat on the seawall and watched the sun set. With great reluctance, I changed from shorts, tank top and sandals and pulled on jeans, tennis shoes and socks and a t-top.
We left Kona and headed for Los Angeles. I felt nauseous. I have such a difficult time sleeping on a plane. I wonder what it is? Is it because I'm sitting upright? My legs flinch. It makes me think about the Seinfeld episode when Kramer had "restless legs syndrome." If I do fall asleep, I jerk suddenly and awaken. It is not only annoying, it is embarrassing. We left at 10:30 p.m. and I got in to Indianapolis at 2:30 the next afternoon. I had left my car at a local hotel while we were gone. I wondered if I would have to dig my car out.
First thing I noticed is that there were no foot prints around my car. I was relieved to see that. I had worried that my car might have been vandalized. The snow behind my car was deeper than I wanted to step into wearing tennis shoes, so I pulled forward, threw my luggage in and departed.
I got home, started a load of laundry and attempted to nap for two hours. Before my alarm could sound, I woke, freezing. I cranked the heat and took a shower. I could not get warm. My solution was to get ready and go out to eat. My son is a waiter at O'Charley's, so I went there so that I might visit with him. I waited out his shift and went back to his place with him.
On Saturday before we left, I was burning cd's to my itunes to put onto my nano. Finally, my laptop crashed. I left it with my son so that he could take care of it for me. He was on the phone with Dell for three hours and the final solution was to wipe my hardrive clean. I wanted to pickup my laptop. While I was at my son's, Dug's shuttle bus got in and I went to pick him up.
Hawaii is five hours behind Indiana. When it is ten p.m. in Hawaii, it is 2 a.m. in Indiana. We stayed up until two a.m. on Friday night, until 1:30 a.m. on Saturday night and we've struggled this week to get to bed before midnight.
It is snowing and very cold here. After being in Hawaii for two weeks, the only thing that keeps me warm is a fire. We have had one every night since Saturday.
I took over five hundred photos in Hawaii. I don't think you'll get to see them all, but I'll do what I can to help you see what we saw and experience what we experienced.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

KOWABUNGA dudes..dudettes.

So, we leave for Hawaii on Monday morning. Flight is at 6:30 a.m.
If you wonder what the weather is like for us right now...look at
Bad. Slippy. Slidey.
We will play it by ear on Sunday and see if we need to drive over on Sunday in order to be there early Monday.
Please remember that two years ago, I was stuck on State Road 37N for SIX hours while trying to get to the airport to pick up my daughter.
It wasn't pleasant.

I have done all of the errands. Numerous visits to Kohl's. I've picked up my meds.
Picked up dog food, cat litter, snacks for the trip.

The guest room is a Wreck. I have basically been opening the door and tossing things in. For real.
I also need to clean the house because one of my friends will be house-sitter, pet-aunt. So, gotta scrub the bathtub, and mop floors.

It is 1:47, local time. I am staying up in an effort to an effort to get switched. Hawaii is five hours behind us. No matter what, by the time we get there, I count on being dead tired. I don't sleep well on planes. Even when I take a Tylenol P.M. My legs flinch and I can't quite get to sleep. I have, however, been known to catch a few z's while laying on the airport floor.
We shall see.
It seems to me, I have an incredible amount to do tomorrow. But, I have all day. Right?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Groundhog Day

I love the old movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and Andie McDowell. First of all, what is not to love about that movie? A lot of people have told me through the years that I look like Andie McDowell, which is a HUGE compliment. Maybe back in the day before I was all drawn and wrinkled. And back in the day my hair was long and sort of fuzzy hers used to be.
And Bill Murray...that guy is just so lovable!

One of my favorite scenes is when the groundhog is driving and Bill says "Don't drive mad!"
History tells us that people have been gathering on Gobbler's Knob in PA for over a century to await Punxsutawney Phil's prediction of whether or not we will have another six weeks of winter. This situation is hilarious. First of all, it is February, people! It is dark and gloomy and of course he is going to see his shadow.
But, I was one of those people this morning, anxiously awaiting his prediction, tuned in with our local weather forecast to learn the outcome. I told Doug we need to put this on our bucket list. I think it would be a blast to be there in person.
Six more weeks of winter? We will be in Hawaii for two of those weeks, so I think I can handle it.

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