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Monday, January 6, 2014

Adventure 24: The Big Island Part ONE; Captain Cook and South Point

I've had a really crazy month.  Being a parent, an active pet owner, an employee, and a house wife
 with a health conscious that makes me cook nearly every meal in my own home... PLUS, I have this thing I only know to call "adventurous A.D.D." that makes me sporadically HAVE to go on adventures, PLUS PLUS I've had to drive 4 hours round trip to a few doctor's appointments, (I had something growing off my uvula, {that dangly thing you see in the back of your throat that most mistake for their tonsils}... It's removed and I'm totally fine).  But SERIOUSLY, I think I need a vacation.  Oh wait... we just had one, and it was wonderful.  So I'm genuinely hoping just writing this will put my brain back in "namaste" vacation mode.

My Dad, (AKA: Big Daddy), just came for a 5 week visit and we had a blast.  It was his first time seeing Reise since her birth and BOY, has she changed!  She and Dad gained their own rituals while he was here, (morning gummy grins, games of peek-a-boo, belly head rubs {it's hard to explain, but Reise loved it}).  I could write a book on just Dad and Reise alone, but I'm going to stick with the Big Island for now and just caption the images as to TRY not to overwhelm with words.... Here it goes:

Wait!  I lied.  First I have to mention that when we picked Dad up from the airport he had SHAVED his head, (in an attempt to pay me back for when I shaved my head!)... but it backfired BIG TIME.  While the rest of him was fairly tan, his bald head was super white... Plus he found that there were some lumps and bumps he wasn't aware of, where as I really enjoyed my bald head.  ;)

My Dad had his pilot's license when he was
younger.  Our pilot on the small one prop cessna
we flew over in looked JUST LIKE Dad from behind.
A note about the flight: I was scared out of my wits.  I'm
not the frequent flyer I use to be and this plane was tiny!
I guess I just prefer my feet on the ground or in the water.

First stop:  Getting some grub at "Bite Me", (located
at the Honokohau Marina in Kona).  Great views all
around, but this was my personal favorite.  :)

Fish and beer... Our Big Island food staples.

They called this cat, "Tuna Cat".  He was just
cruisin' waiting for someone to accidentally
drop some ahi his way.

I love that the bar was painted like the back
of a boat... and that "Weigh In" seems like the
perfect caption for any photo with Reise.

I've always loved boat harbors and the calm laziness of
the swaying boats and gentle waters.

Checking out the fishies after lunch.  :)

So I kept saying to Dad and Jun that I REALLY wanted to make it to the cottage before dark.  I 
didn't tell them why though, but I knew they'd find out sooner or later.  Put me in charge of booking a vacation and you're always going to end up in the middle of nowhere, (preferably with animals and food growing close by)... and a CRAZY driveway that gets you there.  Just before sun-down, our rental van made it's way up a long, steep and fairly sketchy driveway surrounded by coffee and macadamia nut trees, (and a section that was a car graveyard occupied by feral cats judging by the intense smell of ammonia).  At the very end was a gate we had to open and close behind us as too not let the animals out, or the wild boars in.  I knew the guys were wondering what I had gotten them into, but once we arrived, our cottage was nothing short of perfect, peaceful, and a country girl's paradise.

The inside reminded me of the sailboat I use to live on.  The wood
work and artistic touches made it very cozy.  The owner's gave us a
ziplock of coffee straight off the farm to brew in the morning.

The mornings were brisk, (something we're not used to).
Reise actually got to wear clothes and Dad/Granddad enjoyed
getting in his morning cuddles to go with his coffee.  


The sun coming up on the farm from
our front porch view.

After the flight, rental car, lunch, shopping for groceries and then finding our cottage, I thought the first day would be best spent enjoying places close to our cottage.  I didn't realize when booking our place that it was less than 2 miles away from where I farmed when I lived on the Big Island before!  Captain Cook was the perfect place to go explore from and being that I was designated tour guide since no-one else had ever been to the Big Island before, I got right to work on adventure mode.

We started out at Kealekekua Bay,  (you can see the Captain
Cook Monument behind us), where the spinner dolphins
often play.  I thought we could try to snorkel there because
I had yet to snorkel with the spinners, but they were out in
the distance and likely wanting to rest and not be disturbed.

We cruised up the road to Honaunau, (Two Step).  Here and Captain
Cook both have the best snorkeling I have experienced in my life.
To our surprise and delight, the spinner dolphins were here playing!
Dad insisted on Reise/Granddad time, so Jun and I's first date away
from Reise was in the water, holding hands, snorkeling with
 thousands of fish and coming face to face with 60+ dolphins.  It
 seemed fitting for us to have our first date alone in the water.

And it wouldn't be hard to figure where we'd go to feed
our appetites, (and quench our thirst), after all that swimming.

Cheers!  (And it's beer samples, not shots,
in case you were wondering)...

Hello Kona Brew Co. Gecko!

And someone wasn't shy about wanting to
clean up our pizza crumbs.

The following day we worked our way slowly South towards the volcano... Here are
 some shots along the way...

Seeing a zebra on the side of the road was an unexpected
and nice surprise!  If only I could have gotten past the fence to
get a better perspective rather than making it look like it had
an ass up it's A$$.  ;)  They were fighting over the lime-light.

Windy South Point is SO beautiful, (also it's
supposedly the cleanest air on Earth).  It is the dry
side and not what most would imagine Hawaii to
look like.  I've jumped off these cliffs in the past.

Jun and Reise looking into a deep ravine where
the water goes in and out.  I know seeing them
this close to the edge made Dad very nervous.

This nice Korean lady came up to Reise and played "Twinkle
Twinkle Little Star" on some strange wind instrument I've
never seen before.  Reise was completely fascinated.

Because it is always so windy, the trees grow sideways.

More like a scene from Wyoming, South Point has a
lot of horses and a lot of wind turbines.

Past South Point is Punalu'u Beach, known for its
black sand and basking sea turtles.

Having Dad here meant we actually got some
photos of all three of us together.

I just had to photograph this coconut because it was the
only colorful thing on the entire beach.

Reise and I  posing with the sea turtles behind us.  (Reise loves
making crazy noises with her lips and becomes unstoppable).

So, my friends, that is just one and half days of a seven day trip on the VERY BIG Big Island.  Up next, the volcano, getting tipsy, more creatures and critters, beaches, hiking, and meeting up with one of my best friends!  

I would really appreciate your insight on which photos are your favorites.  I'm working on a new online gallery and would love to know which ones you like best from each blog.  Mahalo!

Hugs and Aloha,


  1. AMAZING!! I loved all the pictures especially the family pics..I know what its like to be behind the camera all the time, its nice to be in front and IN the pics every now and then. And your just plain gorgeous so why wouldn't you be in the pictures ;)
    Can't wait to read the rest of the Big Island adventures!!

    1. Thanks Sis! I took SO MANY PICTURES on the Big Island! I think it was because I had two baby hogs on my hands which freed them up for some much needed photography therapy. ;)

  2. Okay, so maybe it's just from this mom's point of view.... BUT the photos of your WHOLE family, mainly with you, are by far my favorite. Beautiful as usual, thank you for the update!


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