Category Setting off

Saturday, January 25

Kona to Hilo

A good night’s sleep, and a quick prep to leave.  All was pretty much packed, so got things into the car, and ready to roll.  We got a little breakfast bowl by the waterfront, then went for a quick stop to the grocery store for drinks/snacks for the drive, and a little cooler for some of our perishables. 

There are several ways to get from Kona, on Hawai’i’s west coast, to Hilo, on the east.  There’s the ‘saddle road’, which takes about 1.45, and there’s the options along either the north or south coast.  Everyone recommended the north coast drive, so that was our heading.

Waimea was our first town, just under an hour from Kona, after endless expansive views of the Pacific coast, and road-bordered black lava...

Read More

Friday, January 24

Kona, final day

Our last full day in Kona was a thoroughly relaxing one.  Slow to get going after a morning’s work, we strolled into Kona’s ‘downtown’ waterfront area—Ali’I Drive—to succumb to the tourist magnet.  We’d stopped in to a few places here over the week, but today strolled the length of the strip from the Marriott Hotel north of the Iron Man’s start, past the farmer’s market, to condos beyond the hotels.

Lots of little shops to browse, spots to stop into to grab a bite and/or drink, and basically everything you’d expect on a waterfront tourist strip. 

But this strip has the Kona waterfront, which is just gorgeous.  Some beaches loaded with the black lava that’s everywhere, some beaches ‘cleaned’ of it and more typical sand...

Read More

Thursday, January 23

Kona, day 5

Lots of business today.  Surf City almost seems to be readying to move ahead, and we almost believe the rebuild might even allow us to be there in late March.  That’d be good, otherwise we’ll be staying in Greenville with family, or in a hotel…late March in Surf City is as wonderful as anywhere, and we’re rooting for that, of course.  It’s a long haul since the storm in September, 2018, so we really miss being there.

Laundry, heading to Lowes to confirm some choices for Surf City, sending another box of overpacking home, taking care of professional obligations.  A busy day, but very pleasant weather and just gorgeous to be here.

Read More

Wednesday, January 22

Kona, day 4 (pix forthcoming)

A fabulous day of diving got going early, with our 7:45 call at the Kona Honu Divers boat slip.  A completely different crew than the group we had on Sunday, and they were every bit as helpful, engaging, and just plain professional as the other group.  Cannot recommend this outfit highly enough. 

The first dive was at “Golden Arches,”  a 45-60’ reef with lots of wonderful viewing.  An easy dive, still clear to me that my skills need lots of honing.  No problems, just using up air quicker than I’d like.

The second dive was at “Suckemup Cove,” so named b/c as you pass through a little lava tube “overpass,” there’s sometimes a bit of a ‘pull’ from one of the tubes that pulls you into a rock (ouch)...

Read More

Tuesday, January 21

Kona, day 3

A work day here, with no exciting excursions to relay…  Attending to writing, other professional stuff, Surf City reconstruction matters.  Sunshine and lush greenery all around made for a great office space.  We also fit in more of our study for next week’s scuba class.  We’re both done with what’s required now, and are doing other elective “courses” because they’re free and we can.

Read More

Monday, January 20

Kona, day 2

Exhausted from yesterday’s dives, we slept in.  Good, good sleep. 

Some good writing, and getting a lot of help via feedback from James.

Later morning we drove around a bit; Pattie got some pampering, and I had a great long phone call with a colleague, then got in some studying for the AOW certification course we’ll take next week in Hilo.

We hit the Ola Brewing Co for lunch, then drove a bit to retrieve some highly-acclaimed cookies at Mrs. Barry’s.

Read More

Sunday, January 19

Kona, day 1

A lazy morning, sleeping late, then onto our covered patio area for a good writing session.  One of our hosts came by to join us for a coffee, and we heard his life story…moved to this island about 16 yrs ago from Idaho, with his wife and two daughters (at the time in 9th and 8th grade).  He was originally a carpenter and cabinet maker, now seems to be doing a million different little things, from silk-screening shirts, to making popsicles, making/selling bikinis (designed by one of his daughters), leading kayak trips…and lots of other things.  “This is how we make a living here,” he said, “by being flexible enough to adapt to different situations, and open enough to embrace any opportunity that comes your way.”

Nice place to stay.

The afternoon comprised ...

Read More

Saturday, January 18

Saturday, January 18

Oahu -> Kona (Big Island of Hawaii)

An early morning, but out on time easily.  Passing surf spots pre-daybreak, but plenty of surfers parked and waxing up their boards for a day of waves.  The drive easy, and we got the car returned, bags checked (still under 50 lbs each, even with some food we didn’t want to leave behind), and at gate with lots of time for coffee.

The easy 35’ flight got us to Kona’s airport before 10:15am, and we were surprised and delighted to see an airport without an ‘indoor’ area.  Lots of coverage for the sun, but one definitely feels “outside” the whole time.  Very pleasant. 

Kona airport

Bags in hand, easy rental car experience (Alamo), and off to the Kona Brewing Company for lunch...

Read More

Friday, January 17

Oahu, final day

Another day that brought unexpected broadening of perspectives our way.  We’d planned a tour of a local citrus farm—Lokoea Farms—and had a relaxing and tasty day, enjoying more after the tour with some new friends.

The tour itself was led by Noe, who runs this spread next to her father’s farm.  After time in the states teaching, then running a pet store, she took advantage of the opportunity to take over this land, build a house, and be back home on this land.

Not unlike the previous night’s time exploring a tidal pool with a marine biologist, this time spent with a small-scale farmer who’s constantly trying to find new and/or more efficient ways to get things growing most productively, trying new crops to test viability, etc...

Read More

Thursday, January 16

Oahu, day 5

Today a day of sleeping later than usual, catching up on correspondence and some non-writing work, and getting GoPro replacement parts—very helpful and easy customer service, happy to replace bad battery and broken handle.

Lots of writing in the afternoon felt good; but a particular passage needed multiple re-writings until getting closer to ‘right.’  Time will tell.  Seem to be maintaining about 1’/week of finished music these days; it’s ok, and a huge change over any normal semester, but I’d like to do much better.

The night brought a really eye-opening activity, as we joined a marine biologist (Don) for a few hours at Shark’s Cove, an area with a tidal pool teeming with life...

Read More