Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hawaii Trip, 2014-15

Above is the last flower from the lovely spray of orchids and anthurium I brought back from the Big Island.  It's been over a month.
I sould probably tell a few more details of what we did, so here are some photos and a little more narrative, in very random order.

 Blue skies, warm weather and pretty flowers.  And ORIGINAL organge trees (above, but on the right) planted by the plantation owners. Berenice commented every time we drove past this home on the road, "There's the Schattauer's home. I can always tell by the orange trees."  And we could see the large organges from the road.

 Above:  Margaret Schatteur (sp) with Berenice.  John and Berenice enjoyed staying at this plantation home a time or two on visits in the past. She is a gracious lady, failing in health, but still in her lovely home.
 The breakers and the water and the ROCKS  by Kailua-Kona town on the Big Island. There are not really very many swimming beaches with white sand.  But the people swim in the rocks and waves. It's quite striking, warm and lovely.
 These (above) are steps leading down to the water.  We didn't go in here. We were waiting for our place to be available and just killing time, enjoying the scenery, etc.

 Below:  Once we were able to get into our rental place, we enjoyed a lot of fresh fruits and juices of all kinds. We'd stopped at the Farmer's Market and got some, but our hostess, Kay, also provided us with quite a lot from her yard, AND her baked goods from her booth at the Market.  Mike and I picked a few things from the rental yard, as well. Yummy.

The Carls' live in a coffee shack on the side of a mountain.  Michael Carls wasn't home at the time we dropped in on Joanna, but we found him home at a later time. It honestly took us two days of driving up and down and up and down this road to find their place.  Below is the view from their living room window.  Joanna is a gracious woman. She had me help her make some lemonade to server to us all.  She and Michael have mostly been living in Washington state, they grow organic honey, among other things.  She sent us home with a jar of honey.  Both of their homes are off the grid. This one is quite primitive.

Above:  One day the four of us went out for Chinese food for lunch. 
We are always enjoying the seasonal flowers. People (some of them) think that Hawaii is just always full of all kinds of flowers.  Not true. They do have seasons. This was the season for Poinsettias (above) and African Tulip trees.  But not plumeria.  Those trees were mostly bare.

One evening near the beginning of our trip, me, Mike and Gayela walked past the five to seven houses between us and the beach.  We stayed to watch the sun set. The cute little puppy above came to join us. There were lots of kayaks at the beach I could have rented and paddled across the bay...that is, if I could get someone to come with me.  But I couldn't, so I just drooled over them.  someday.
And I experimented with the "sunset" setting on my camera, the zoom, etc.  it was a lovely evening and I didn't even get eaten up my mosquitos!  Ever--the whole trip!  only 5 total.

Below is another view of our cute little 2nd story cottage we stayed in.  Kona Kay's Vacation Rental. It was quite comfy and adequate. We didn't think so when we first walked in and it felt to be about 95 degrees F. Yikes. I thought we'd be living in hell for the next week!~!  Ugh. But fans and the cooler evening temps helped a lot. Mostly the fans.
Notice the plumeria flowers on the table--that's all I could find in the neighborhood!  And bananas from   the Market and oranges/tangerines/lemons from the trees in the yard.  and that's Mike;-)

These are just some pretty bouganvilla flowers on a hedge by Walmart.
One day we went to the Honoka'a area and met the Veloria's and Cheryl.  Brother Veloria was selling refreshments to passers-by for a Scout fund raiser, and they were doing it in the front yard of Cheryl Sproat. Cheryl was the first person that John and Berenice baptised on their mission and Brother Veloria was the bishop of that first ward they served in.  Delightful people, all.
Cheryl's home is located at the end of the road by Po'olu point or road or something. I cannot read the sign. It used to be quiet, end-of-the-road silence, solitude and serenity. Not so anymore. It's a peak tourist attraction, dozens of cars lining both sides of the road up to a mile back, people passing by non-stop.  Cheryl and Clyde (deceased) built another home, up higher and away from the hubbub a few years ago.
There is a black sand beach and that is the hikers' destination. We could see them swimming Waaaay down there.  The valley with the stream that empties into the ocean here is now off limits to people.  They still hike down 45 minutes to the water.  If I had been wearing more appropriate clothing, I would have hiked down and up this day.
But, alas, I was wearing brand new white capri pants and some flip flops. Next time, right? [ old am I now?!  NEXT time?!  sheesh.  Maybe next life.]
Berenice and Cheryl

Brother Veloria recruited Mike (also in shorts and sandals!) to use a very dangerous-looking saw-on-a-stick to cut down a shrubby tree that was blocking some signage.  This was no weed-whacker!  There were solid sharp spinning blades on that thing!
Years ago, Brother Veloria (he's a Tahitian) was a very large man. So large, he could only weigh on commercial scales on a farm!!  However, health issues have prevailed, he's had knees replaced and now cares for himself much better.  He is married to Audrey, a very beautiful Hawaiian woman who played the ukulele and sang for us while we visited. She also brought lunch for us to enjoy.
While sitting at the "booth" and sometimes helping, we noted that a lot of the people (well, we spoke with at least 4 groups) were from New Jersey.  Here's one random lady they serenaded. She was showing us that SHE had Don Ho's "Tiny Bubbles" on her phone's play list.
Just to the left of this coconut palm tree is another shorter palm tree that was planted about 7 years ago in honor of John Liebhardt.  Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get it in the picture.  We just stopped by the Veloria's home to say hi to their daughter, Reena, before heading back down to Kailua-Kona.

The view from my bedroom window. I spent a day in bed, getting over a cold/cough.
Another food picture. Because I like food.  ESPECIALLY these wonderful papayas and fresh-squeezed juices.

The photo above is a zoomed-in shot of the Captain Cook monument which is right across the bay from where we were staying--Kealakekua Bay, to be exact. The same place that has the "Little Grass Shack" made famous in the song.  It's zoomed in from the shot below.  The entire bay is a marine sanctuary and dolphins play here. Lots of pretty fish to see if you snorkel. Unfortunately, the snorkel trip Gayela and I planned to do was canceled because of high winds and rough surf.  Mike fished in that weather on Wednesday and very nearly got sick from it!

Above: Mike and I walked around the block one day.  A whole little neigborhood is squeezed in between Kay's house, the lava beds and the bay.  This donkey was part of the interesting scenery.  There is everything from squatters to mansions.  and everything in between.
Beehive signs.  The drive to Kay's Vacation Rental is a wild "Mr. Toad's  Wild Ride" kind of drive down the side of the mountain through coffee fields, other stuff, steep hillsides, a coffee sorting manufacture place, this bee and honey museum, vacation rentals, a plumeria farm.  And a lot of winding road. I recorded it on my tabled and it's dizzying. We did it every day, twice a day at least.
These two fellows, Mike Crouch and Doug Barton, were missionaries at the same time as John and Berenice in Hawaii. They've stayed in touch all these years.  I think one of the Crouch girls grew up and married one of the Barton boys, or vice versa.  They remain very close (they have to--they're related! ha).  We only found out while there that Doug's wife had just passed away in November from cancer.  She was a sister to another dear Hawaiin family that we usually tried to see, but no longer live on Hawaii.  The kids do, though.  We didn't have time to find EVERYone we wanted to.
One day we attended the temple. We did some family sealings, the Veloria's were there, and so were our friends, Roy and Mickey Bauer!  They live in Hilo.  We enjoyed seeing them, and then we all went to Jack-in-the-Box for lunch afterwards and visited.  It was fun to catch up on all their kids.  Roy and Mickey recently returned from serving a mission for 18 months in Turkey/Istanbul.
Later that day, we drove to Hilo to find the Wagner's. Another fine family that John and Berenice taught.  We had a nice visit with them, they fed us another huge meal. And (above) there was a rainbow on the way to their house as we crossed over the mountains.
Below is our hostess, Kay Johnson Nelson.  One other major activity that I didn't record on film was the luau that we attended at the Nakamoto's farm on New Year's Eve.  It was a lot of fun.
And that concludes our Week in Hawaii.  December 26, 2014 through January 3, 2015.

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