honeymoon part 4: hilo

On black Friday, we left our hotel in Maui to travel to the Big Island. As we were packing up to leave, we realized we had ~6 beers and half of a bottle of vodka that we couldn’t take with us. Our suitcase had already been overweight on the way in so I knew there was no way we could swing it. We decided to just leave it for the cleaning lady and hope that she would either take it or give it away. As we walked out of our room, Keith spotted a guy lugging a case of beer, so he stopped him and explained that we were checking out…want some free beer? The guy was super excited to take our beer off our hands, he said that he was getting married that week, so he’d need it. Haha. So that was nice. Win/win.

We got to the airport obscenely early and ended up sitting around for probably close to 2 hours for our 30 minute flight. It seemed like such a waste to go through all that damn security to be on the plane for that short of time. I don’t think I even finished a chapter in my book!

But by 1:00 p.m. we were on the Big Island.

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Kona airport is open-air. It was very weird. This was taken from baggage claim.

The first part of our Big Island stay was going to be in Pahoa on the opposite side of the island…so we grabbed our rental car and made the 2 hour trek.

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You take the Saddle Road from one side of the island to the other and it was just unreal. So stupidly gorgeous. And then it started raining. And pretty much didn’t stop for the next 3 days. Hilo is basically a rainforest, so I should have expected it.

We stayed in Pahoa, which is where the volcano is/was actively erupting. Luckily, it missed the house we were staying in and honestly didn’t affect us at all. There were a few roads closed nearby but nothing we needed.

The place we were staying was a good 5 minute drive off the main road. I made this video to upload to instagram, but it was too long…so here you go. It was 5mins sped up to 27 seconds. And like I said, it was intended for instagram, so it was going to be square and vertical/horizontal didn’t matter.

And this was the hale (ha-lay) in all her glory. IMG_0633

I was so excited about this place. I kept calling it the spaceship, but in reality it was more like a treehouse. There were screens all around, it was basically like sleeping outside. Which, when you have a husband with pretty severe allergies who accidentally left their allergy medicine in the hotel…maybe not paradise for everyone.

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But this is my blog and I loved it. The outdoor shower was a little strange and the bathroom was a real bathroom…but also outside and 30 yards away, so that took a little getting used to as well. But there were horses outside and little lizards inside! There was solar power and no wifi. There was a small cooler that ran off a generator and we had cellphone service. It was about as off-the-grid as I’m comfortable with and again, only for a few days!

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We didn’t do too much in Hilo, because it did rain every day. The sun was out in full force on our last day, naturally. By the time we got in on Friday, we didn’t feel like doing much of anything so we just stayed in and relaxed. On Saturday, we woke up and it was pouring. We went and got some lunch at Hawaiian Style Cafe and I had my first taste of poke (poh-kay). Poke is basically cubed raw fish…covered in a sauce (soy sauce, oil, etc) and it is magnificent. I got that as a side to a really terrible burger. Keith got some kind of meatloaf and for his side they offered him fries or pancakes. He went with pancakes and when they arrived we found they were bigger than the both of our heads put together. But they were fabulous.

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If I could go back in time I would have just gotten the pancakes and the poke, which actually sounds like a pretty gross combination, but play to your strengths.

After leaving there, we headed to Mehana Brewing Company since it was only a few minutes away. They had a small, informal setup (think East End Brewing version 1.0) but we were able to try all ~8 beers they had on tap and had a nice chat with the lady working.

From there we went to the movies. Hey, it was raining! All of my planned activities were outdoors! So we sat in a dark movie theatre and saw Mockingjay. And I don’t regret it at all. (Loved it.)

On our way back to the house we stopped at Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Visitor Center which was completely overrun with 2 busloads of Japanese tourists. They store had these gift packs of ~8 cans of nuts for ~$35 and I am not exaggerating when I say that these people were cleaning them out, buying literally hundreds of dollars worth of nuts. It was insane. It was like Black Friday, except on a Saturday and people only buying nuts. Nuts. We finally were able to elbow our way through for some samples and there was a self-guided tour but apparently it didn’t work on Saturdays because none of the tvs would turn on. So we bought a bag of nuts and went on our merry way, stopping for some completely forgettable sushi on the way back home.

And I thought I could roll all of Hilo into one day, but I’m not done yet so I’ll stop here. Hilo Part 2 next.

 

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