Thursday, December 10, 2009

December: Mele Kalikimaka

31 Dec. Thurs - Aloha (good-bye) and Mahalo (thank you) 2009! Many new friendships were birthed and rewarding visits renewed old ones. We give thanks for the beauty of creation and the good health to enjoy it. Aloha 2010!!

Yes, Ron, Hawaiian history
is full of surprises!

Ron Beatty 2009 - Gold Medalist, Hulaman Triathalon

Hawiian gods: Grr, Grrr and GRRRRR!

Gargoyles Come in All Sizes!

Can't someone please pick those coffee beans for a quick injection?

Kaileau Volcano Steam

Hiking Kaileau Volcano Crater Christmas Eve Day

The International Fireplace: Kaileua Restaurant and Lodge

Mele Kalikimaka

29 Dec. Tues - The contract for deed was signed, faxed and escrow completed late in the day. We accomplished a lot today: lots of Sudokus! Ron loves his Christmas gift from Santa: a book of the most challenging Sudokus. Little Carol Ann gave him a Borders Books Store gift certificate.

28 Dec. Mon - We met George, owner of the Kula Kai property at the Kona airport following his flight from Maui; he is a super nice fellow. After breakfast and lots of visiting we drove to the property having lots of time for discussion. On the way home we shook hands and agreed on a price for the land. How fun is this! We are proud owners of a little piece of the Big Island on the south west tip. It is in a pretty unpopulated area - but it is a nice subdivision with good paved streets.

27 Dec. Sun - We drove to Kula Kai to investigate a three acre lot near Oceanview. It does indeed have a nice view of the sea - and it is up high enough that the Tsunamis would not be problematic. The owner is a helicopter mechanic living in Maui.

25 Dec. Fri - Merry ChristmasThe promised breakfast feast was a major disappointment to two HUNGRY Smooches. Little on the breakfast menu was on our diet and la chef was too busy to do special treatment, albeit she did scramble egg whites ... but no veggies, sour dough bread or rice. YUK! Post eating (or not eating) we found it fascinating to study the International fireplace created in 1938 by the YMCA; it was fabricated with rocks, coins and artifacts from such unlikely places as the floor of the Sea of Galilee, the Acropolis, coins from the Roman empire, etc. The letters that accompanied the artifacts were copied and bound for reading pleasure in front of the glowing embers. Moving on - we hiked the undeveloped part of the Thurston lava tube; it was so dark when we turned off the flashlight we could not see the shadow of our hands. Smooch Smooch spooked and wanted to return about 3.4 of the way into that tube. We drove down Crater Chain Road to the sea before leaving Volcano National Park to the end of HWY 130 to see molten lava flow pouring out into the ocean sending billowing towers of steam into the air. Walking on the lava path required dexterity - but we were smart enough to leave before total darkness. Good job!

24 Dec. Thurs: The Smooch Smooches packed up for a two day Christmas adventure: hiking the volcano crater today and tomorrow. This is a link to Kaileau crater: Let's hope there are no eruptions. The hike to through the Kaileua crater was fascinating - about four miles RT. We made it back in time for dinner at the Kaileua Restaurant which is beautifully decorated for Christmas. After dinner we attended an inspirational Candlelight Christmas Eve Service of Carols and Scripture in the chapel of the Kaleaua military base.

20 Dec- Sun: This morning it poured, and it brought welcome relief from the smell of smoke. Lets hope it also extinguished the forest fire above us that has been burning for three days now. The rain built from drizzle at Bongo Ben's during breakfast into a blinding downpour while driving to the condo and maxed out with terrific thunder claps once we were safely inside. Wowie, zowie, ain't Mother Nature grand? Smooch Smooch is chilly and huddles under a blanket. Weather on the web showed an intense downpour over the volcano tapering to showers where we are south of Kailua-Kona and it snowed on Mauna Loa. Let's hope Pele is not angered. By mid-afternoon it cleared, the winds died, and a Vog-less sunset promises to be spectacular. Our stay here on the "Big Island" has been marvellously educational - we don't want to live here. Next time we will look for a rental near Waimea, near the town of Volcano (yes, really), or north of Hilo along the seashore. We like Kauai but it rains too much for the outdoors activities we enjoy. Oahu is too congested. We haven't tried Maui, but it is reputedly the most expensive.

We have again had a productive afternoon. Cynthia has a couple of e-mails ready to send to 675 of our closest genealogy cousins. Ron has uploaded another dozen pages to fix broken links on his web sites.

19 Dec - Sat: We heard an amusing story from the clerk in Barnes and Noble about vacation.
She told her kids they were going on vacation.
The little ones excitedly exclaimed, "Where??"
"Hawaii!" she responded.
With fallen faces the children chorused, "But we LIVE in Hawaii!"
"Well," she said, "We are going to see Hawaii like the tourists."
They stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, and the children enjoyed a marvelous vacation including boats, waterslides, and dolphins.

Hawaiian history is fascinating; King Kamehamaha, upon meeting the first missionaries, said he could accept their religion. He had never done anything he thought was wrong. He had sacrificed tens of thousands of people. He had invited his arch-rival to a temple dedication with the intention of sacrificing him. Our previous visit to Bishop Museum on Oahu had revealed a surprisingly advanced socio-economic culture.

18 Dec- Fri: About three-thirty this morning acrid smoke from a forest fire in the mountains above us disturbed our sleep. At first we wondered if the heavy smoke was from the Mauna Kea volcano which spews a plume of sulphuric gases all the time. The trade winds blow those gases around Mauna Loa and then north. Vog is what the natives call this volcanic haze. To escape the smoke we drove into Kailua for breakfast and saw a large mountain goat on a bluff overlooking the road, but we were disappointed to learn that our favorite waiter lost his job at Bongo Ben's. We took one of the roads less traveled north
from Kailua-Kona to Waimea (Hwy 190). We had lunch at 4 minutes to 4! Our Hawaii Revealed guide book gives rave review of Daniel Thiebaut's restaurant, but our experience contradicts theirs. The strawberry salad was nice, but the portions were miniscule, and the service was definitely inferior.

The day was lovely, pleasant and relaxing. We continued further north on another less traveled road (
Highway 250) to the shore. This was a pleasantly deserted but narrow pathway that snaked uphill and provided interesting new landscapes. Soft & intermittent rain enhanced the peaceful day. Promised views of Maui from Hawi Town were hidden by overcast skies and fog. Continuing on highway 250 south along the much drier west coast was a treat with the sun dropping through clear skies towards the ocean. We passed the Blue Dragon restaurant at ?? town, but we were just too full and sleepy to think about dinner at this recommended place. The brilliant red sun flirted with the clouds finally bursting through like the drama queen that she is. Oh boy did we shop earlier today: oh my, oh my! Christmas lights and a white miniature tree with fiberoptic twigs that change colors from Target and hiking poles (on the cheap) and a nifty fanny pack with two water bottles from Walmart. We are proud new members of the Costco family; but will we recoup the $114.00 membership credit card fees? Probably not. We did buy wine, vitamins, protein powder, Christmas cards, and gas from Costco. How fun is this: sipping wine on the lanai, basking in the joy of the season, and enjoying lights all a glow and tree all a twinkle! So ends another perfect day.

17 Dec - Thurs: After hoofing it to Aloha restaurant for breakfast we worked on addresses all day and forgot about dinner. Ron's personal address book contains 350 names so far; there is yet another large box on the mainland with a gazillion more names to enter into the Excel spreadsheet. The Rambo correspondents total 675. The good news for the day: the fourth volume is ready to send to the publisher. The fifth and last volume WILL BE READY before we leave here... mebbe so an mebbe not???

16 Dec - Wed: The hike to Aloha restaurant for breakfast grows increasingly fun since the purchase of a four dollar machete to trim low-hanging branches en route. A car honked this AM but we don't know if the driver was trying to pick up Ron or perturbed that he was trimming the branches. Oh well. Our fun realtor, Cheryl, picked us up at one PM to view condos for sale. There are lots of short sales and foreclosures. Hawaii would be a good place to invest since we enjoy our time here so much.

15 Dec -Tues: With lots of shopping to do we drove into Kailua for breakfast at Bongo Ben's; the day was gorgeous; we walked for three hours before shopping until dinner at Jackie Rey's.

14 Dec - Mon: The Coffee Shack is a great alternative site for breakfast at lunch time. For two hours we walked through the artifacts at the Refuge Museum and along the beach followed by dinner at Keei's.

13 Dec - Sun: The great adventure of the day was circle driving the island with stops at the black sand beach and a late lunch at the Volcano Lodge and Restaurant. It is reputedly the best restaurant on the island. That being the case, we made reservations to spend Christmas Eve. We can hike the volcano crater floor on the 24th and the 25th - have dinner on Christmas Eve early and make the candlelight Christmas Eve outdoor service at the military base. They have a special Christmas morning brunch, too.

12 Dec - Sat: Work, Work, Work, hardly working!

9 Dec - Wed: A delightful realtor named Cheryl showed us local property for sale.

8 Dec - Tues: The internet is up and running and editing continues! We enjoyed a great dinner at Keei's about two miles south of our condo.

7 Dec - Mon: we worked in the AM, breakfasted at the Coffee Shack and hiked the Sacred Refuge Wilderness for three hours making the mistake of not carrying water. The hike was listed as two miles; that is a pizza cake in an hour but the boundaries are not marked and our hike took us far beyond the line causing dehydration. Hungry and thirsty we ordered two glasses of wine, drank four glasses of water AND and a diet coke at the Coffee Shack. Herbert joined us for dinner at HIS favorite restaurant, Jackie Rey's, where we had an educational evening learning about raising coffee. His coffee farm markets world wide. Didja know 100% Kona Coffee sells for $55.00 a pound? Ouch!

5 Dec - Sat: We did sleep and sleep and sleep late. It was off to Bongo Ben's for breakfast followed by a hike along the shore line for a couple of hours. Dinner was at the Kona Inn providing table side awesome views of a magnificent sunset. Our favorite waiter is Herbert who says he owns a coffee farm and only works for fun. After dinner we strolled along the beach wall watching the breakers hit the rocks.

4 Dec - Fri: The condo was hot late afternoon; the high elevation and evening breezes bring refreshing cooler temperatures. The view is awesome when there is not a haze. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Kona Inn.

3 Dec. Thurs - Dale is weller than well and back at the omelet station. He had a virus. Whew! It wasn't a frustrated wife! Mahalo Jon, Dale, Paul G. and Aloha to Waikiki. Our 3: 40 PM flight was cancelled but re-secheduled for a later departure at five-thirty; all went well except for a rocky landing. Budget Car rental managed to hang onto our car reservation so we had wheels and enjoyed the friendly agent. After stops at Safeway, Wal-Mart and the Health Food store we were vitaminified, supplified and finally foodified following a happy chance late night restaurant. The GPS was a good purchase at $148.00 in Wal-Mart.

2 Dec. Wed - W e are finally rested after nights of being up too late and too many early morning editing sessions. Paul G. joined us for a tour of the west side of Oahu to to the north beaches. It was fascinating and heart rending to see miles of homeless living on the beaches in tents. The beaches are far superior to Waikiki so I guess if one is going to be homeless this is the place to have that happen. The surf was higher today than yesterday; we watched a little girl about four with a boogie board diving into the surf and rolling in the waves as they catapaulted her back to shore. There were lots of cute big girlies to watch, too. We had dinner at Don Ho's Restaurant in the old Honolulu shipyards now turned into a mall. The food was bad but the view from the second floor was awesome.

1 Dec. Tues - We are catching up from sleep deprivation by sleeping until 8:30 AM; with renewed energy we hiked to the Hyatt. Dale was ill. He said his wife runs the household with an iron fist. Could she have been upset he was late picking her up yesterday??? We missed Dale at the omelet stand but Emily's smile is very appealing, too. After a rough start at the first rental car dealer's (cars were junk) - we did find one across the street and headed east up to the north shore to watch surfers and tour the Temple of the Gods; Smooch Smooch took lots of pictures of the black swans and birds.