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Old 10-30-2008, 07:54 PM   #31
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Day 2, October 18 – The Gecko Whisperer

Once again, the day dawned and the sun rose majestically over the Pacific (on the other side of the island, but still....). I, again, was up about 2 hours prior to sunrise!!! Still on Vegas time, I got up at 4:42. No one else was up yet, and Mom and Dad had left the other bedroom door open, so I couldn’t do anything in the living room. As I was fumbling around looking for the switch to turn on the porch light, I saw the light in our bedroom come on, telling me that DH was up and I could go back in there to watch TV (and write in my journal for this TR).

Everyone was still asleep, so I decided to shower around 6. The family got up while I was cleaning up. DS’ fever was negligible – not gone, but lower than 100. He had very little cough, but there was a little, so we gave him cough syrup and his other meds. We ate yogurt and fruit for breakfast. The kids tried papaya and apple-bananas. The papaya was normal and kids weren’t thrilled. Apple-banana taste like a just barely yellow regular banana, so we weren’t really all that thrilled so far about the tropical fruit. Everyone else got ready and all of us minus my dad walked down to a blow hole at the end of the 15th (cheating, since we’re not supposed to go on the golf course). I took a neat picture of weed growing in the middle of dark lava rock. On the way, we saw what Mom called banana spider (black and yellow), but we’ve since heard it is a Cane spider. I have a picture of it, but I have to edit it before I can add it to the album.

When we returned from our walk, it was about 8:30 and we got ready to go hit some unexciting stuff, but some was fun. We went to a farmer’s market and ended up buying a cool hair thing for Sam that has beaded elastic joined to combs. It can hold the hair up in many ways and I already like the different ways we’ve done her hair. We also bought: guava, starfruit, dragon fruit, mango, passion fruit/lilikoi, rambutan, Maui gold pineapple, oranges (Mom said I would be blown away when we finally taste the oranges, but even she was disappointed in them), and a custard fruit whose name we cannot remember. While we looked around and Mom purchased tropical flowers for an arrangement (she’s a florist), I noticed a gecko on a nearby table, climbing the side of a small box fan. I reached slowly over to him and put my finger under his chin. He climbed up my arm from there before jumping back on the table. And thus was born The Gecko Whisperer. I must admit that I was unable to repeat this amazing feat on the numerous other occasions I happened upon geckos. But, let me tell you, their feet are the weirdest feeling! They have to padded balls for toes and they were so soft and, well, padded as he clambored up my arm. I now geckos, but I was unable to find any cute gecko stuff to bring home.

After the farmer’s market, we stopped at King Kamehameha Hotel to get tickets to the lu’au Friday night (Island Breeze Lu’au) and ran across the street to Del Sol, so that Mom could get her free tote bag ( that she ended up giving me!). Since she’s never been there, she thought it was neat, but we didn’t spend a lot of time there. We had planned to go back on Friday before the lu’au, but Mom wasn’t feeling well and we ended up skipping it. It was fun, though, to point out that Sam was wearing Del Sol nail polish. I think Mom liked the claw clips for her hair (she wears a lot of them) but she wondered how you could figure out what color they were when you get ready inside?

We got on our way again, planning to stop (again!) at Wal-Mart and Safeway. We needed golf stuff for Dad and DH (Wednesday – Day 4) and floaties and goggles for the kids. At the grocery store, we stocked up on provisions for the week, including 2 dinners that we will make (vs. going out to eat).

We had subs for lunch and ate on the lanai. Mom started feeding the birds with bread crumbs and lured some different types over, so I got some good pictures of them. There are lots of large mushrooms sprouting in the grass and I took a picture of some that are in the rough on the 15th. After lunch, we tried some fruit. DD liked passion fruit (though it doesn’t look good) and didn’t care for guava. DS only licked the passion fruit once and was done. DH cut up half the pineapple, which we’ve snacked on this afternoon. Since it’s Maui Gold, it’s not as acidic, but Mom and DH prefer “regular” pineapple. I didn’t miss the sore tongue I get from regular pineapple. We also tried the rambutan (the kids tried, and liked, it earlier. It’s like a hard to eat grape, a little thready, though, since some was stuck in my teeth). I didn’t think until after to take pictures of the fruit and the kids trying them – I’m still new to taking photos in anticipation of a TR.

I took the kids to the pool with Mom and read a bit. When we returned, I found DH asleep and Dad watching the 7th game of the ALCS, Sox vs. Rays, so we played Uno with the kids.

This was my assigned night for dinner, so I made Baked Ziti (a cheesy version). Dinner got rave reviews from the parental units. Mom, though, had imbibed in a bit of wine (yeah, just “a bit”, uhuh). After dinner, we all went down to the pool, which we had to ourselves. We splashed around with everyone and let DS swim without his wings, while I laughed at how unrestrained my mother was being. After returning, the kids had a bath, we all had ice cream and we settled down. Still on Vegas time, we ended up in bed a little before 9:00. This early bedtime will be theme throughout the trip.

Here are some highlights from Day 2: Heather DiFulvio's Photos - Hawaii Day 2 | Facebook

Next up: Day 3 “It’s OK, it’s a rental”
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Old 10-30-2008, 08:59 PM   #32
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Another great update!!
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:16 PM   #33
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I just found your TR! Great start, can't wait for more!
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:34 PM   #34
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Great start! Never been to Hawaii so I'm looking forward to hear all about your trip.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:45 PM   #35
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Sorry the little one was not feeling well...it is hard enough traveling with kids but when they are sick it is so much harder. Glad you were able to get him some medication and that he started to feel a little better...

Sounds like everyone is having a great time...loved the Gecko story...(think what would have happened if he made it into the fan, you propbably are a Gecko lifesaver )

Your dinner night sounded delicious, glad it went over with rave reviews...looking forward to hearing more.
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:29 PM   #36
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Day 3, October 19 – It’s OK, it’s a rental!

Guess what? The new upgrades allow me to post pictures!!! So now, I get to show you as I tell the story....I'm so excited! Now, on to Day 3...

This morning, I got up about 5:45 because I saw some light in the main area – indicating others were up. Found DD (!) and Dad up, with Mom joining us shortly. DH soon followed, with DS getting up around 6:15. DS’ fever is down, but his cough is a little worse (meaning, he’s coughing up junk, so the coughs are harder – it’s a good sign it’s progressing though). I’m hopeful that we’ll kick this before the end of the trip. He’s also being a bit of a stinker today. I think we’re not being active enough for him. We had plans to hang out with my aunt and uncle today (who happened to be visiting from Illinois).

Aunt and Uncle arrived and got chatty, delaying our start (until I finally spoke up – they’re just not used to having young kids around! We needed to get where we were going by lunchtime so they could eat). We left at 10:30 to head to South Point and Black Sand Beach. We didn’t find out until we were on our way that it would take for-freaking-ever to drive there! Seriously, it's about and hour and 1/2 away and we did not know that! We stopped at the Coffee Shack for sandwiches, since Mom and Dad rave about the sandwiches from this place. No parking was available, so we parked with the highway immediately on our left and a cliff immediately on our right. I stayed in car with DS, who was sleeping (again, anything to help him get healthy). DH got reprimanded by a server for using his cell phone to ask what I wanted to eat, causing Mom to complain to the person who rang them up (“We’ve been stopping here for sandwiches for 17 years and I’ve never encountered anyone that rude before” Go, Mom!). Sandwiches in hand (DH and I split a roast beef, kids split PB&J), we got on our way again with Mom in a car with Aunt and Uncle. Dad played 20 questions with the kids, which was interesting (and I do mean “interesting” – my dad comes up with the weirdest stuff and DS kept guessing jellyfish and then using that as his answer when it was his turn!).

We got to Black Sand Beach and ate lunch. There is something so magical about eating at a picnic table with this sort of view…




The kids really enjoyed this place, owing, in no small part, to this:


So, being so excited about this - I quickly tossed the kids into the picture....


And then, we met up with DH and Dad, where we saw this:

(There're 5 there, if you're keeping count. So total - we saw 6 (!) green sea turtles!)

Since I’m including pictures, I’ll split this into 2 posts. So, I’ll leave this one with one final picture.


And what do we do to get the black sand off our feet before getting back in the car? Aw, it’s ok…it’s a rental!

Next up: The southernmost point in the whole United States!
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:36 PM   #37
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Great update!! How cool to see so many sea turtles!! Very cool!!
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:26 PM   #38
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Day 3 cont. - South Point

We left Black Sand Beach and retraced our steps to the turnoff for South Point, which is narrow and bumpy and, in some places, one lane (but hey, it’s a rental!). I find this road interesting, considering it’s a major destination on the island. South Point is the southernmost point of anywhere in the US (as opposed to Key West, which is the contiguous US). When we arrived, we were at a cliff with riggings where, once upon a time, ships would be lowered into the water for fishing and such.


We also saw some cliff diving tourists. If you look at this picture, you’ll notice that there are two female heads bobbing in the water (lower right), waiting for the guys. It took the guys awhile to gather up the courage to jump! Girl Power!


We then traveled a little further, to the actual southernmost point, scrambling over lava and enjoying the crashing waves.


We took lots of pictures of crashing waves.


I have to take a break to explain something. There is something on the islands called Hawaiian Graffiti, where people leave messages, names or pictures in white rocks or coral on the dark lava. Up until recently, it was the only “graffiti” you could find (though I did notice some white paint on other roads that really made me angry ). So, this is Mom and DD’s attempt at graffiti. I wonder if it's still there:


At this point, we’d been wandering around the rocks, enjoying the crashing waves (am I obsessing?) and I had the camera in my charge. When DH caught up with us (he stopped to do his own graffiti of the kids’ names), he took the camera, I kept our zoom lens in my pocket and I scampered out to Mom and the kids. I was very excited about finding a pretty shell, so I hurried out to where Mom was standing to show everyone. Suddenly, my feet were up and out in front of me as I did a “butt-plant”! Since Mom was out there, I didn't even think about the wetter rocks being slippery. But the lens was safe, since I turned my body to the other side to ensure this! I was ok, just ended up having a bit of a headache (wait, didn't I land on my bottom? Why'd my head hurt?), and I’m disappointed that DH wasn’t quick enough to get it on camera – then I could have laughed over it.

In the end, DD remarked, “This is the coolest place I’ve ever been to!” And that makes it all worth it, really. Going back out down the road, I took some pictures:

It's so windy at South Point that the trees grow sideways!


Nice and clean (and working!) wind farm....


Old and busted wind farm (notice the armless one on the right)!


Our view, when we reached the main road ready to turn left into Kona. I love that there are road signs for a volcano!


The drive back was uneventful, if a bit repetitive. More 20 questions. We tried to stop at a macadamia nut farm, but they close early and we didn't know that. We returned to the condo to figure out what to do for dinner. Aunt and Uncle wanted to take Mom and Dad to dinner (Aunt felt bad about it, but I was so fine with that – they got a nice dinner where the kids probably wouldn’t have done so well), so we took the kids out for pizza (yeah, I know, Pizza Hut in Hawaii. And it wasn’t that good). At their dinner, Mom had opakapaka (pronounced Oh Pahka Pahka), which she told me many many times the next day, for some reason. Since she felt it was worth mentioning that much, I figured it deserved a mention in the TR! Anyway, when we got back, DH took the kids swimming and I watched Dancing with the Stars (Mom and Dad joined me when they got back).

Up next: Wanna see a tropical flower? Or two? Or 20?
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:31 PM   #39
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more please
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:03 AM   #40
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Great update and pictures!! More please
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:27 AM   #41
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I'm all caught up. The flight out sounds like it was a bit of a nightmare, but what beautiful scenery once you got there. You know, it's so funny to hear you talk about Wal-Mart and Safeway. Because Hawaii is so far from the American mainland, I always think of it as another country, rather than one of the states, so to hear about familiar stores like that out there is quite a wake-up call for me!
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:53 PM   #42
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Quote:
so to hear about familiar stores like that out there is quite a wake-up call for me!
It's a lifesaver for someone like me....I like trying new things, but if I get out of sorts (not feeling well, tired, etc) all I want is familiarity!

I hope Vegas was fun for you (especially your grand tour of Grand Canyon!). Sorry we couldn't meet up....
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:25 PM   #43
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Day 4, October 21 - Part 1 (Honokaa, HI)

I have too many pictures to fit into my narrative of the day, so these first few posts of Day 4 will be exclusively photos of the amazing (and somewhat strange) foliage found in HI. I will finish up with a tale of our day after the photos.

These photos were taken outside of Tex's in Honokaa, where we purchased malasadas (big, square donuts). It's a good snack at the halfway point from Kona to Hilo (a long drive). If I know what it is, I'll label the photo:

Jack Fruit (related to Breadfruit)


This is on a palm tree.


Hibiscus - and one of my favorite flower photos of the trip.




Angel Trumpet Tree (close up) - This tree is in everyone's front yard and it is a beautiful tree, dripping with these blossoms!




Plumeria - the main flower in leis, very fragrant. Those who know me on Facebook - doesn't this look like the plumeria offered on Lil Green Patch?
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:40 PM   #44
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Day 4, October 21 - part 2 (Hilo, HI)

These were all taken at the Hawaii Botanical Gardens, while it was raining quite steadily. No wonder the tropical flowers do so well there!

Rattlesnake Heliconia (there are many many types of heliconia - the "regular" heliconia is commonly found in tropical arrangements, but I didn't get a picture of it)


Lobsterclaw Heliconia




I think this one was Persian Rose (or something similar) but I can't find a resource online to support that memory.






Hibiscus
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:46 PM   #45
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Day 4, October 21 - part 3 (Hilo, HI)

So many flowers! Let me tell you, I was pretty picky about which ones I chose, but they are all so pretty that I had to show you as many as possible!

Loved the colors on this one!


Reminds me of fireworks....


Orchid


Orchid


Orchid




Chenille Tree (I love it when it's obvious why they named something)
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