My two sons Hunter 28, and Giles, 25 recently flew to Hawai'i for a visit with Dad. They flew into Kona Airport and earlier that morning I had set up a campsite in Ho'okena State Park about 35 miles south in Captain Cook.
As they had flown in from LAX at nighttime, they had no idea of the technicolor vortex that they had descended into. As we made the 2.5 mile switchback descent from Highway 19 from ~4000 feet to the beach, I hinted that as it grew lighter, Hawaii was going to slowly reveal itself to you guys and BLOW YOUR MINDS. And Pele did not disappoint.
As dawn broke, the boys, er men, took their first swim, replete with snorkeling masks and fins, and a school of dolphins surrounded them, just curious as to what they were up to. What an opening salvo in your first waking hours on Hawai'i!
We then spent several days on the white sand beaches around Kona. We hiked across a ~ 1 mile a'a lava flow that in ~1805 buried everything around here covering old beaches but creating new land including the parking lot. That lava however just missed Makalawena Beach, which we had almost to ourselves.
Did some snorkeling at the Kapoho Tidal Pools, specifically Wai'opae pond.
In other comings and goings
Speaking of goodbyes, a couple of months ago, Tony on right and I took Jamie and Brenden to the Kona airport on their way to their new adventures of being chefs catering to the on horseback camping crowd at a dude ranch in Wyoming. Jamie made many appearances on this blog and we spent a few days in these Kona condos reflecting on all the adventures. Aloha and a hui hou lady!
Meet Tylar, 24 and from Cincinnati as she plants the coconut seedling (nutling?) that she has promised to come back to in 25 years, when this whole area will be a mature coconut beach, and take a nap beneath it. Not too long ago, Tylar was leading the cubicle life, selling high end opera tickets over the phone and Internet.
She was very unhappy in this line of work and daydreamed of a way out. In an anonymous cubicle in Cincinnati she goofed off and surfed the Internet. Lo and behold, what blog does she stumble upon but none other than, yup, Chef Ted's a wanderin' and a ponderin'! Hawai'i it was going to be. Specifically Kalani. This little story was mentioned at our Monday morning meeting and when I heard about it, I volunteered to be her "buddy". A buddy shows new arrivals here the ropes for a few days, but it seemed that Tylar was so acclimated that she did not need much of my help......maybe because she studied the blog when she should have been selling opera tickets?
With Tylar is Laurie.
I had promised Laurie, who worked in the kitchen with me, an adventure sometime. I usually just drive around, pretty much like I used to do in Virginia, and do some snooping somewhere, hoping something will just happen. She wanted a little more destination to the trip than that, so I suggested the always stunning Waipi'o Valley, several hours away.
But instead, in Hilo, the brakes on my "new car", a 1988 Camry, went right to the floor, spewing brake fluid, as luck would have it, right in front of this repair shop.
So we spent the daylight hours walking around the seedier parts of Hilo, having a snack and visit on a wall between the garage and this uh, ahem, "gentleman's" club.
One last funny below that has been making the rounds on campus. Thanks for stopping by.