Sunday November 7, 2010
We got up around 7:30am and went for breakfast in the Aloha Cafe.
Ship docked in Hilo around 8:00am
by 9:00am we were on our Roberts tour bus
Banyan Tree ...street lined with them and there were wooden signs below each one with famous names who planted them including Amelia Earhart
Akaka Water Fall Hike...about 30 minutes loop to walk through the lush jungle like trail with running water and so many beautiful flowers and tropical bird sounds all around us. It was muggy, warm and the rain was like a mist and the flowers and trees were dripping with moisture. This state park is located about 11 miles north of Hilo. In the Hawaiian language Akaka means "A rent, split, chink, separation; to crack, split, scale". The waterfall is 422 ft tall (not nearly as large as our local Multnomah Falls!)
These photos are from the first stop on our bus tour to Akaka Water Fall Hike!
Then we made a stop at BIG ISLAND CANDIES SHOP
This is a beautifully decorated and well laid out candy store featuring hand dipped chocolates and cookies. You can look through the window and see the women making the chocolates!
There were samples everywhere which we took advantage of...Greg's favorite was definitely the chocolate covered coffee beans and I think my favorite was the chocolate dipped shortbread...but I really did like anything with chocolate! We purchased a bottle of water and a soda to take on the bus with us as we figured if we bought any candy on our first day it would all be eaten before we could bring it home to give as gifts!
Our next stop was the Nani Mau Tropical Garden!
Over 53 acres of tropical plants, flowers and fruit orchards. It was a beautiful setting and we enjoyed walking through the gardens exploring the various areas. Many beautiful flowers and photos taken!
I will devote my next blog entry entirely to photos of the flowers and fruit of this wonderful garden!
Lastly we stopped at Richardson Beach...the famous black sand beach. Greg immediately tossed off his shoes and got down on the beach and into the water wading. It was warm like bath water. He grabbed up a handful of sand to lift up to the sea wall to the other bus tourists to touch and see closer. We also saw our first TURTLE there just off the edge...if you didnt look carefully you would just think he was another rock...until he picked up his head to nibble some green stuff off another rock. Greg put his handful of sand into his pocket...and long story short...it made it all the way home to Portland through various security check points, xray machines and agriculture examinations. :)
We headed back to the ship around 1:30 and had lunch in the Aloha Cafe (Buffet)....stuffed...I think I ate too much! Greg napped after lunch but I couldnt sleep so I walked around the ship. I went to the shops to look around and bought a baseball had and a floral hair clip.
Then I went on the upper pool deck sat in a lounge chair and read my book for awhile and dozed off a little bit. I woke up when I heard the announcement for the next activity "Kui Nut Lei making class" in the Hollywood Theater. So I went to that and made a nut shell lei. It was interesting to listen to the Hawaiian ambassadors tell their stories and explain their culture and traditions.
My tummy was hurting...probably from too much rich unhealthy food I am not used to eating.
I tried to lay down but it wouldnt stop hurting so I took a tummy pill. About an hour later it stopped hurting and I took a shower and got dressed for a late dinner.
We went to the Cadillac Diner and I had spinach artichoke dip with tortilla chips, and a bowl of wonton soup. For dessert I had a hot fudge brownie with vanilla icecream. Everyone knows that icecream is the cure all for any tummy ache!
Then we went to see the MAGIC SHOW in the Hollywood Theater. The magician was really fantastic...Greg is looking forward to going to his Magic 101 behind the scenes lecture later in the week.
After the show ended it was time to head outside to the deck to see the LAVA FLOW at 9:45pm...it was quite the sight to see...I wished I had a stonger zoom lens to really capture its amazing beauty in the dark with the red glow and smoke filling the sky.
Then we went back inside to the Mardis Gras Lounge to watch the "Second City" Comedy show...it was all improv...very funny stuff!
Finally we went to bed at about 11:30pm!!!
GREG'S THOUGHTS ON HILO:
Botanical Garden was slightly dissapointing
Waterfall Hike was sooooo amazing...lush vegetation
The water was warm at the black sand beach
Ate lots of chocolate covered coffee beans at the Candy Store!
The Magician was very charasmatic...Vegas style performance and stage presence.
The lava flow was so cool to watch!