Hanging with Locals

The best thing about having friends who live in the area is that they can take you to all the cool places that only the locals know about. Palmer is a friend of mine from way way back (as in grade school). He was stationed on Oahu while he was serving in the military. He’s been out for a few years now and is studying marine biology and geology at Hilo University on the BI where he met his partner, Emily. As you might imagine, given their majors, not only did they know about the local spots, they had a wealth of knowledge about the island’s geology and marine life. Staying with them was like having personal tour guides for ‘off the beaten track’ adventures. T & I can’t thank them enough for their generosity, but we can certainly try! Muchos gracias amigos!

T’s gratitude’s & highlights

Taking “controlled” risks by jumping off a bridge.

Completing a rigorous 9 mile hike on the pu’u oo volcano trail (which we originally thought was only 5 miles).

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Tea tree oil application to the mite bites (we counted a total of 36 bites- ouch!)

Palmer chopping down a sugar cane stalk, stripping it and giving it to us to chew the raw sugar stick – that’s service!

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Seeing the sunset above the clouds at 9,000 ft elevation at the Mauna Kea Observatory

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R’s gratitude’s & highlights

Surviving the steep road that leads down into the Waipio valley. The road gains 800 vertical feet in 0.6 miles – if classified as a road, it would be the steepest road of its length in the United States and possibly the world. Also, of course, the exotic black sand beach in the valley.

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Gorgeous flora & sights at Akaka falls

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Also completing the 9 mile pu’u oo volcano trail hike!

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Handing out candy to the ridiculously cute trick or treaters (I haven’t had the opportunity to do this since I lived in VA, over 3 years ago, and I missed it!)

Acro show presented by Yoga Centered at the Black & White festival in Hilo, HI (and realizing that my & T’s acro abilty was on par with nearly all of the performers!)

And the Thorn

While completely sober, I tripped and fell down a small, outdoor, wooden staircase that was slippery with dew and had no railings. Luckily, I broke my fall; unfortunately, I broke it with only one finger…can you guess which one? T has been doing anything that involves dexterity (zippers, filling up camel packs, opening food packages, even tying my shoes) which he doesn’t mind at all but which makes me feel a bit like a little useless blob. Hopefully this sprain will heal quickly!

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Hello Hilo!

Hilo is a sleepy town on the east coast of the Big Island. T & I have been making our way through the Historic Downtown Hilo Walking Tour (if you’re curious about it, here’s the link).

T’s gratitudes & highlights

Exploring the inner ecosystem of the giant Banyan tree.

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Hiking down to the startlingly picturesque cove.

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Our (failed) attempt at taking a local’s advice to break into the Botanical Garden via a back entrance that only locals know about. We gave it a good shot, but the Gardens had posted a classical-music-listening sentry to bar our passage.

How connected he feels to me. Dawwww :).

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R’s gratitudes & highlights

T’s antics on the Banyan Tree didn’t get himself injured (or, at least, I hope he isn’t injured). 

Impromptu caving. It was pitch black and I was terribly anxious at the thought of exploring deep into the craggly lava tube which had created the cave. T’s comforting words didn’t do much to quell my fears, so he switched gears and began to make quiet, derisive comments in my direction, which did work ;). So motivated, we impressed the other tourists with how far and how fearlessly we explored the cave.

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How lush and green the world is here; every time I look out a window I am reminded that I am in the jungle.

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Thorn in my rose

Designated the ‘thorny’ section, this part of my blog will denote any things I may need to get off my chest or that is a particularly good piece of self depricating humor. The issue I face here, in Hilo, is a little bit of both!  The number of warning signs here borders on the ridiculous (and, in some places, steps right into it) and, paired with my neurotic nature, it has become a mental chore to convince myself to ignore the warnings, and dive right in. T, of course, has no hesitation when confronted with these signs.

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