Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trip around the island and snorkeling

Another great day in Hawaii!!  We awoke and shortly after breakfast saw a beautiful blonde horse in our yard!  It was running at full speed and ran right up to Dwight, who was able to pet it.  It whinnied and ran back trying to get with the other horses.  He’s a sweet, 11-month old gelding who belongs to Bob and Suzie.
Costco run … on the other side of the island!  Dwight, Burnell, Orin, and I set out for Costco over in Kona.  We like going into Hilo, then up the Eastern shore and over to Waimea.  We ate lunch there and then drove South along the Western shore (in Kohala) looking for a place to snorkel.  Not too much luck here.  Finally made it to Costco, fueled up, and spent a crazy amount of money buying groceries, filling the car to the brim.  You don’t even want to know.  Burnell and Orin had 2 boxes of diapers between them and stuff all around.  We made one more snorkeling attempt south of Kona at Kahalu’u beach. There’s a reef that blocks much of the surf, but it still comes in rough until you get about 100’ feet out.  Dwight and Burnell went out together.  They came back about 15 minutes later, Burnell boasting that he got to pet 2 turtles!!  The waves were a bit rough for Orin, the water kept filling his mask and snorkel, so he didn’t get out this time.  He and Mama played in the waves.  It was fun to see the snorkelers all over this area. J  So far, the favorite snorkel spot is in South Puna at the Kapaho tide pools.

Orin posing while Burnell gets washed up from a crash.

Burnell getting ready to go pet some turtles.

Daddy and Orin braving the surf
Driving home via the Southern route, we decided to stop at the Volcano National Park.  The park has free entrance after 4pm AND you can see the lava best at night.  This volcano is from Kilauea and is the same volcano that flows into the ocean down a little further.  The more recent eruptions have been coming from Mauna Kea, which we haven’t seen yet.  Anyway, we popped in, saw a red glow about 200’ out, walked through a small museum, gazed at the brilliant stars, then left.  I’m sure there are trails you can walk that give you better viewing of the lava, but we were cold and it was dark.  So … another day.

Pointing at a helicopter flying in front of a huge lava explosion (at the museum)

Pointing to the volcano on the map of Hawaii

Funny and interesting notes: 
1.        I’ve made so many calls on rentals and vehicles.  I catch myself saying “we’re from the states” a ton!  Horrible.  Hawaii is a state, too.  I’m supposed to say “we’re from the mainland.”  Oops.
2.       After our car burned up, we got in touch with Dado who brought out the car we’re using now.  We had to drive him back to Hilo.  He wanted Dwight to drive and get comfortable with the car.  At the highway, Dwight went to take off on a hill and was in 3rd, accidentally.  It gave off this burning smell, in which Dado and I exchanged glances, like “a burning smell again!!”  Dwight covered up by lifting up his wallet (which totally reeks of the previously burnt car) and said, “it must be the wallet.”  I kept laughing about this all day!  It struck me sooo funny!
3.       Dado gave us a tour of Hilo before we dropped him off at his house.  He showed us where he goes kayaking and spear fishing with his buddies.  He showed us a beautiful park along Banyan Drive (a park full of huge Banyan trees, grass, along the water).  He also showed us the market where the fish come in!  YEAH!  Can’t wait to get some fresh, locally caught fish.  Dado is a great help to us and very easy to deal with.  We’re thankful for our connection with him.
4.       The Hawaiian language, we’re learning,  is very simple.  It has the 5 vowels, but only 7 other consonants!  H, K, L, N, M, P, and W.  No wonder every road and town seems similar. J
5.       One of the places we had looked into renting was behind the Lyman Train Museum in Lauapahoehoe.  Lyman – great name! J  My first thought was … trains???  Why do they need trains on an island?  Well, back in the days when the sugar plantations covered the island, they used trains to transport the sugar.  So, now the plantations are gone and the trains are “historical.”  But, they existed!!
6.       The Hawaiians do this “hang loose” wave to one another.  While reading the travel/guide book, I learned that its actually called a Shaka.  It came from a security guard who was guarding the sugar on the plantation trains.  He was missing his middle fingers.  He would wave at the kids that were trying to steal the sugar … to scare them off.  The kids began to “warn” each other that he was around by waving as the guard did.  Over time, it became a common wave.
7.       Aloha means both hello and goodbye.   Sort of a universal greeting and parting.  Mahalo means “thank you.”
8.       Leaving the Costco gas station, Burnell says “It smells like gas, is the car going to light on fire??” Poor guy’s been traumatized and thinks every car might light. J


  1. Maybe you also already figured this out - they use the same vowels, but they don't use the same sound variations like we do. A = ahh, E = ay, I = eee, O = oh, U = oooo - that's it. Makes it much easier to pronounce the words when you realize how their vowels sound.

    So glad you are enjoying every moment! What memories you are making!

    Aloha. :)

  2. I love, love, love your list of interesting notes. I think the wave is my favorite; oh, and the "it must be the wallet." :D

    Thanks again for posting; Burnell Dwight and Orin look so healthy and happy! I love the photo of big Daddy and little Orin floating together!

    Big hugs,