Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Saturday through Wednesday on Big Island

Saturday

I woke up early, as usual, on Saturday morning. Krystle must have been super exhausted because she slept till 11:30 or 11:45. I texted Brianne and Nephi to see what they were doing, and they invited us to lunch.

So they came to get us, and we ate at Splasher’s Grill. I got an enormous burger with grilled onions and mushrooms, plus avocado. Don’t worry, I didn’t finish it. Krystle and I should have just agreed on something and shared because we ended up with a whole burger left between the two of us. We got onion rings too. They were yum yum good.

We went to an ABC store where I excitedly purchased some Maui Babe browning lotion and after sun lotion. It’s supposed to be amazing. Then we went to the farmers market to get some presents for my mom and little brother Jared, and to evaluate another present for my daddy-o.

After that, our paid parking was going to expire, so we headed to the car and went to Brianne and Nephi’s hotel. Brianne and Nephi went in the pool. I went in the ocean. Krystle slept on the sand. That particular beach was super rocky and difficult. Oh well. It was fun.

When we left their hotel, we headed to Mauna Kea. Thank heaven for Krystle and her willingness to drive. We stopped first at the visitors’ center where we browsed for souvenirs. I got nothing. In the visitors’ center there was a lot of information. I learned about the people who used to live there, and that they’d throw the umbilical cord into the lake to bless the baby with long life and health. Interesting! We headed up to the observatories and watched the sunset and took pictures. One of the best parts of the drive up was this poor mustang trying to do this intense hill off road bit. We laughed when we headed back down and passed that Mustang. So back at the center we watched the stars and looked in telescopes and watched them use crazy lasers to point out constellations. I’ve never seen the sky like that before. I probably never will anywhere else. It was amazing. So, so awesome. I saw Saturn, too. :)

We started the long drive back home, touching on all sorts of topics in discussion.

I was too tired to do anything else so Brianne and Nephi went to eat and Krystle and I went to sleep.

Sunday

I got a text on Sunday morning at 8 AM from Rachel. I couldn’t go back to sleep after that so I decided to hurry up and get to the Kona 1st ward at 9 AM. I was 10 minutes late, but better than waiting for the next ward two hours later.

The congregation was HUGE. The room itself was huge. I couldn’t believe it. There were all different types of people there. Casual dressers, people in shirts and ties and flip flops, women in mumus, tank dresses, etc. The talks were on forgiveness, overcoming trials through faith, and something else. There was also a performance from the youth—they did a song in sign language. It was beautiful. The spirit was so strong.

The crowd completely diminished after sacrament because there was hardly anyone in gospel doctrine. Relief Society was great too—on spiritual and physical death, and how Christ overcame both for us.

After church I came home and basically ate all day. Krystle and I watched movies that were on TV. Empire Records was one of them, but I can’t remember any others. We seriously just vegged all day. It was fun.

Monday

We didn’t do too much on Monday as I recall. Krystle had to go house hunting for some teachers here on the island. I went to a beach while she did that. I basically got cooked alive. I sweated gallons. It was SUCH a hot day, at 9 in the freaking morning! When I got to the beach I thought I’d just go in the water, cool off, get dry, and apply my browning lotion after drying off. Oh, Hawaii makes sure things don’t go the way you want! I never got dry! I stayed sweaty. I tried to put on that lotion every dry place I could, but it wasn’t working out very well. I decided I’d acclimate to the super cold water because it was better than being baked alive. So it was just a small sandy cove, no waves because it was blocked off by Kamehameha’s original burial site.

While I hung out in the water this local lady talked to me. She had her two kids with her, and she was an older parent. She was way cool and friendly, asking me all sorts of questions, if I had been to certain places. She said I should snorkel out past the beach that we were at. She talked about how she had lived in Alaska for fourteen months but couldn’t hack it and felt depressed all the time so they came back. We went out to the other side of the cove—it’s rocky but only about 3 feet deep so you can walk over there. There’s a big structure and straw hut next to it. The lady told me about the sacredness of the Kamehameha burial site to the Hawaiians, how even for construction workers to work on it, they have to be blessed. I just poked my head around and looked. It was so awesome. I will go back and take pictures of it soon.

After I got out of the water I wandered around an ABC store for a couple minutes. They had some really cute photo albums that I thought of getting because they were only $6 or $7, and I can’t get them that cute anywhere at home. We’ll see.

I walked up the hill to the Big Island Harley Davidson store and bought my dad a t-shirt. It has a pocket on the front because he likes that, so I was very thoughtful in my decision. ;) Krystle came to get me and looked through the store too because her dad also has a bike.

After that we came home and sat around, watched TV, and showered. We were going to go to the coffee plantations or kayak but we didn’t really get ready fast enough so we basically missed opportunities for both. We went and ate at the Brewing Company Brianne spoke so highly of. I got root beer and a slice of pepperoni with salad. The dressing was good and the pizza was good but I wasn’t amazed.

Krystle had to look at another house for her friends, so we went there. We actually had a really fun conversation with the current tenants who have lived in Lake Tahoe and Alaska and are Harley riders and beer drinkers and music lovers. They were way cool and laid back of course. :)

After that we went and got ice cream and rented Princess Bride and Up because Krystle hasn’t seen either of them. When we got home Krystle did some homework and I put on Princess Bride. As soon as she stopped working she laid down to watch the movie and fell asleep three minutes later, so I turned it off and went to sleep.

Tuesday

I woke up super early the next morning and ran some loads of laundry—not mine, but some sheets from the master bed and the sheet and pillow case I used and stuff. I made sandwiches and prepped some snacks for us—chocolate chip cookies (which I made several days ago), banana bread, sodas, water, sandwiches, etc.

We went to Costco to get gas and were on our way to the National Volcano Park. We first stopped at South Point—the southernmost point in the United States. We took pictures and video of this crazy kid who decided to jump off the side of the cliff. Apparently that’s the thing to do. Krystle hasn’t done it because she had no insurance until recently, and I wouldn’t do it because A. it’s scary, B. I didn’t have my bathing suit, and C. my ears freak out when I jump into water like that. None for me. It was really windy there, and since the trees have been blown over their whole lives, a majority of them are sideways. I got a picture of one of them that was particularly amazing. I guess it’s in the island books of sights to see.

When we got to the Park I had to run to the bathroom. I was ready to pee my pants. I took pictures of this huge big island model that they had out front because it was so neat. We walked around inside, learning about the habitat and the nature of volcanoes. We watched a ten minute video with footage of recent activity.

Then we did “the drive.” There were signs marking the lava flow of particular years. There are two types of lava: a’a and pahoehoe (pa-hoy-hoy). One is smooth and curvy looking, like you would expect flowing lava to look. And a’a is rocky and sharp, like a volcano spitting out sharp pieces of lava. It was so awesome to see all of it. It looked like black bubbles, and also looked like you could kick it and it would turn to ash. But that’s not the case. It’s like super hard rock.

The thing I liked most was stopping to look at the petroglyphs in a certain area. The lava flow is 400-700 years old at that particular point, and Hawaiians who didn’t have a written language recorded their life in engravings on the lava. It was so cool. I took tons of pictures. We also saw a sea arch, and I took pictures of that. I took lots of pictures of the hillside where you could see patterns of growth combined with lava flow. Patterns of black and green, basically.

We also visited steam vents and walked through a lava tube, where lava once flowed through the ground. What I love most about Hawaii and appreciated in this park was all of the natural greenery, the rainforest/jungle type atmosphere, and all of the wild birds. I also got a picture of one of the beautiful red birds that sings in the forest. It was so cool.

We went into the Jaggar museum. I learned a lot about Pele, the goddess of the big island, of fire, and of volcanoes. I saw lots of different types of lava—lava glass, Pele’s tears, etc. It was really interesting.

We started the two-hour long drive home where we passed three LDS churches and many others. It’s mostly rural out on that side of the island, but very pretty. I was hungry so we got some L&L, and might I add how awesome the menu is here as opposed to in Provo. They have musubi here! And I got honey walnut shrimp with chow mein. It was so, so good! It was just as good as the shrimp dish I got on my last trip to Red Lobster a few months ago. It was delicious. I’ll say it again if you need me to. Yum.

After eating I got ready for bed, got some ice cream, and we finished Princess Bride while Krystle did homework, yet again.

It was a long day but was full of learning and walking and sweating and driving. I loved it.

Wednesday

I woke up at 7 AM and called the temple to see the status of my great grandpa’s temple work. They waited for me, and said if I could come in the next hour we’d figure something out. So I hurried up and got ready and took Krystle’s car to the temple.

There was a group doing baptisms and one gentleman got in and was baptized on my grandpa’s behalf after the group’s girls were done. I went into their tiny one person at a time confirmation room for his confirmation too.

It had been a lot of trouble just to get something worked out for him since they don’t even do walk-ins, and since I had missed the male group that finished. It was much more difficult than it’d be in Provo I think, but the spirit there was so strong, and I was so glad I was able to do that for him! I hope he accepted the amazing gift Christ gave him. I know he’s been waiting for a long time for it. I almost couldn’t withhold my tears in the baptistery, the spirit was so strong.

I sat in the waiting room so they could stamp my grandpa’s card that the ordinances had been done, and this temple worker lady came over to me and said, “That was your grandfather that they just did?” I nodded my head and smiled, and she said, “How awesome that you go to do that! Good for you!” She was genuinely happy and excited for me, and I really appreciated that! I left on cloud nine, partially because of her and how she wanted to share my joy.

I got some McDonald’s breakfast and drove back to the Schwartzes. Krystle had a doctor’s appointment so I changed, and she dropped me off at the International Farmer’s Market where I got some gifts for lots and lots of people—more for my brothers, one more for my mom, for grandma, and puffy. I got two shirts, some vinyl stickers, and a magnet for myself also. It was really fun wandering around actually.

Once we finished we headed to the Schwartzes’, packed up our stuff, cleaned up, packed up the car, and headed to Krystle’s. At Krystle’s we had to come up with a game plan for fixing her wireless—going to Time Warner to get a new router thing and whatnot. If this doesn’t work then we have to wait around tomorrow for them to come and fix it. We also stopped at Costco and got some food, and we went to Wal Mart. I got a made in Hawaii neck pillow which I think was a good purchase being that the longest stretch of my flight home is through the night. Good buy, Janae, good buy.

I edited (downsized) tons of pictures so that I could upload them more quickly when the time came, so maybe after this post I’ll get some pictures up. I’m trying to decide if I want to do it all at once or in pieces—doing the last part after I get back to Provo. I’m not sure.

Nevertheless, thus far I have:

Walked through the farmers’ market of Kona
Walked on the pier
Seen a wild random awesome turtle
Gone to Kohala
Watched the Kamehameha parade and lei ceremony
Seen the lookout point and a local surf point in Kohala
Driven to Mauna Kea
Watched Stars
Been to a rocky beach at Nephi and Brianne’s hotel
Been to a sandy cove without waves by the Kona pier
Been to the temple (twice)
Gone to church in Kona
Been to the Kona Costco, Target, and Wal-Mart
Been to the National Volcano Park
Been to the international farmers’ market
Been to a bunch of ABC stores
Bought lots and lots of presents for people
Picked a pretty flower off a tree and stuck it in my hair
Eaten at Splashers Grill
Eaten at Kona Brewing Co.

I still need to:

Hike down the site in Kohala
See green sands
See black sands
Visit the Hilo side
See the volcano glow
See the ponds on the Hilo side
Visit family on the Hilo side
Visit coffee plantations
Snorkel
Kayak

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