Saturday, December 29, 2018

Hawaii: Big Island to Maui, Beers, Sushi

Hawaiian humidity did some fantastic things to Lydia's hair. 

We were about to hop on another flight so we consumed whatever remaining delicacies we'd acquired over the last few days.

I didn't talk much about this Airbnb because we were only there for the one night in Kona. It was raining pretty hard when we checked in last night so that added to the rushed, no picture situation. The neighborhood had several of these unattended fruits stands though which I thought was pretty fun.

When I go I want to it be something that raises questions. "Did you hear John died of banana virus?" "The hell is banana virus?"

We went to this nasty tourist stuffed hotel in downtown Kona, but for all the right reasons.

It turned out that they were keeping it pretty real inside. They had a super cool racing canoe sitting in the hotel lobby.

"The Mahoe
A testament to a champion Kona racing canoe

Hawaiian canoes have always been regarded as living members of the community. Each koa canoe is carefully named and is regarded as having a personality and a soul. Outrigger canoes are an essential component of Hawaiian culture and represent the history and strength of a seafaring people and are found only in the Pacific."

Nearby were these excellent paintings of battles and other important events in Hawaiian history. These guys fighting in such cool clothes would have been quite a sight to see.

"The Battle of Moku'ohai

After the death of King Kalaniopu'u the new king, Kiwala'o, envious of his cousin Kamehameha's growing popularity, created an incident that forced Kamehameha into battle. The battle was fought south of Kealakekua Bay in 1782, both on land and, as pictured here, by canoes off shore. In the fight on shore, Kiwala'o was struck down by a sling stone. Kamehameha's father-in-law, Ke'eaumoku, the ruling chief of Kona, himself badly wounded, managed to crawl to the fallen Kiwala'o and cut his throat with a shark-toothed dagger. Kiwala'o's warriors fled south to enter the sanctuary at the Pu'uhonua of Honaunau, now a National Park. Kamehameha emerged from the battle victorious and the leading contender for the rule of Hawai'i Island."

"Council of Chiefs"

We got some drinks at the bar. Parking in the area was expensive, so I made the genius move of just parking in the hotel's lot and then getting my ticket validated by buying a couple of drinks at the bar. So smart, folks. S-M-R-T.

Lydia made a poor choice and was sad.

I made an excellent choice and was so happy.

The real reason I was here is that there was a historical landmark on the hotel grounds. 
Kamakahonu Kailua Pier is... I want to say a temple Kamehameha I built dedicated to Lono, the god of peace. He had finished murdering fools to unite Hawaii so it was a good time to get peaceful.

Aloha shirt game like whoa. Hawaii never seen a dude so cold.

We squeezed one last bit of fun in before the trip to the airport: a visit to Kona Brewing Co. They are partially owned by St. Louis darling Anheuser-Busch, so I tried to pull some strings to get us a little VIP tour but I think I had the idea too late for it to be effective. The commoner tours were booked so we just had a little lunch and soaked up the place that way.

Besides good food and beer, I took the oppportunity to buy some on-brand beer shirts that the work-a-day schlubs back at the office could never get. I got an especially hideous Kona Brewing aloha shirt which I think is going to turn some heads for better or worse.

I don't know is this guy is on the payroll or what but I bumped into Kona Brewing's mascot on the way back to the car.

I don't remember why Lydia's hands were so dirty. So, so dirty. I was pretty proud of my last trick before dropping off the rental car. I filled it up with gas, as normal, but then I found an airpump and inflated that flat spare tire on the back of the Jeep. I figured it would deflate so slowly without any weight on it that the car company would never know it was me and I would get away scot freeee. Heee Heee. Sure, a future traveler may get a flat and swap the tires and realize that the spare is also flat butttt... you can't make a free omelet without cracking a few other people's eggs now can you?

Our plane to the next island was a dinky little prop. I was very amused when they asked us how much we weigh at the ticket counter. Poor little guy.

On the bright side the planes seem to be so small that they fall below the level that TSA gives a crap. There were no metal detectors or anything and I could see the pilots doing their thing without any doors or other obstructions. I could've grabbed the controls at any time. Just like the good old days!

Baby plane was so baby it had a little bicycle kickstand on the back to make sure it didn't fall over after we landed.

Our little micromachine had transported us to Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

West Maui is apparently the rich old people part of Hawaii. We stayed in like an old people time share sort of place. It was like having a beachside apartment. The view was killer so I can understand why the area is so expensive.

The highlight of the day, after Lydia's awesome hairdo, was grabbing some sushi takeout and eating it on our little patio and watching the waves roll in.

Lydia's always like "cool blog bro but people want to see more pictures of me eating."

I had a couple of favorites but I couldn't decide.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Volcano to Kona: Lava Tubes, Green Sand Beaches, and McDonald's

Another day in sunny Volcano, Hawaii!

It was our last day at this Airbnb so I savored my last slice of buttered pink guava bread.

If you recall we had some cool volcanic rock behind a glass wall inside of our room. Well the Airbnb property was also home to a little tributary of Kazumura Cave. Kazumura is the longest and deepest lava tube in the world.

They had some helmets, gloves, and flashlights for us to rent and we headed down in to the darkness.

A definitely highlight of the tube was this silver spray-paint looking substance all over the cave walls. The Airbnb guy said that this was a type of algae or mold or something. I was impressed.

So the lava tube situation is: lava from the nearby volcano travels out toward the ocean. As it travels the outermost lava cools and hardens which insulates in the inner lava which continues its journey, thus creating a big ol tube.


Back towards the room, above ground, there were some pretty cool plants.

I was especially excited about these pitcher plants. See vegans, even plants are out there butchering things and eating them.

Mark Twain spent some time roaming around Hawaii, which is awesome. I wouldn't have thought too many 1800s Missouri boys would've made it out here. So I had to stop at Mark Twain's monkey pod tree. I sorta think this story is BS but the sign said

"Mark Twain, the famous American author, came to Hawai'i in 1866 as an unknown journalist. On horseback, Twain rode here to Wai'ohinu Village which he described as a place  where "trees and flowers flourish luxuriantly". During his stay he planted what is now known as The Mark Twain Monkey Pod Tree". Cool.

Another spot that we followed Mark Twain to was the famous green sanded Papakolea Beach. The path there is too real for a rental car, and the guys giving rides there seemed shady, so we just hoofed it. I think the guide book lied to us on this one. I was expecting a pretty leisurely trek but this one really kicked my ass.

So the green sand wasn't like neon green or anything but it has a definite green tinge. It is one of only four green sand beaches on earth. The green color comes from olivine sand released as the water erodes volcanic rock.

The tourists packed into the shoddy pickups driving through the dunes had sort of a Taliban thing going on.

It was pretty long hike over rough terrain and it beat me down pretty thoroughly.

Goodbye Volcano. Time for Kona!

I made a startling discovery during my time in Hawaii and I felt like it needed to be preserved in meme form.

Ok two startling discoveries.

While we were waiting for our food at a real restaurant that had no bathroom, we popped over to the nearby McDonald's for a potty break. I picked up a couple of Hawaiian delicacies while I was there, as is my custom.

Flat tire on the back of the Jeep looking legit.

That night we did some snorkle manta ray watching. The seas were pretty choppy and I was happy when I was back on land, but I did get to see a couple of rays. They are pretty crazy looking creatures.