Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fathers Day

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Fambly at Father's Day 2015 and A's bathday

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

dame de liberté joyeux anniversaire

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130 ans et peu - Bon anniversaire

quand est-elle arrivé au port de New York?

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

engaged !

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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Big Island 2015

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"Sublimal deep-Earth energy from potent living volcanoes. Glowing lava flows. Sweeping coastlines." that's what the Rocket Scientits characterized it. That's why the Hippo loves this island. She loves character. As the plane approached the island for landing, the absolute black lava rocks came into view with Mauna Lea dominating the background, hidden behind a bank of fog at the top. I've always loved this sight when we landed on the island. Your first sensation when you stepped out of the plane, the humidity, the heat, your first view, the clouds, the looming gigantic volcano, always mysteriously hidden in fog, the black lava rocks.

The ride from Kailua-Kona north to Waikoloa on Queen Ka'ahumanu Hwy, flanked by midnight lava rocks, was a smooth ride, beneath intermitten rain. I looked for the Hippo sign I've made with snow white pebbles years ago on the lava rocks, and of course, it was no longer there. This island has good memories, from my first time with TnT till this one.

Strolling through the labyrinths in the Hilton Waikoloa Village, looking for dinner, marvelling the decor, the statues and paintings on the walls, we remembered the ocean facing room we stayed in, the swim in the lagoon and the sunset ever so glorious. "this was where T and A got married" we pointed out the chapel to S. "and here's where the reception was held". They swam in the serpentine Kohala pool, right below our old room in the Ocean Tower, while the Hippo simply reminisced contemplating the glorious sunset. C&D drove over to meet us, and we shared a mid-day meal in the lanai, catching up. We havent seen each other since the wedding in 2006. Later they took us to a secluded area in the Lava Lava beach, where the water was shallow and the waves calm. Even the Hippo dared to enter the water. The view looking back at the resort hotels by the bay and the mountains was picturesque. They said on clear days one could even see Maui. Back at the Kohala timeshare, we had a tasty BBQ of skirt steak and Ono. It was always so nice to see the O'Reillys, so warm, easy going and comfortable to be with.

The surf was high and the skies stormy, but we did checked out the kayak launch pad in Kealakekua Bay. We stayed a bit to watch the waves crashed on the rocky shore. Gorgeous and spectacular but the waves also look menacing and scary. We stopped at the Kona coffee farm on our way back to the Hwy. Their peaberry Hawaiian medium had a very smooth taste. the salted macademia was out of the world. The dark chocolate covered macademia was so good we kept asking for more samples. Bought a bag of their oatmeal macadamia cookies and ate them in no time. Even their fig and apricots were fresh and delicious. We bought an entire papaya, advocado, guava jam, honey and bags of different kinds of coffee. Awesome place! Annie's Burgers came highly recommended and so we had our burgers there. True to the reviews, their burgers were excellent. To compliment the lunch even further, the bakery/creamery next door had the most real taste of chocolate orange ice cream. I spotted mini cannolis with crusted macademia nuts. bought 2 and they were the best i've had, almost as good as the authentic ones in Sicily, even without the ricotta cheese. Yum!

I've always loved the drive to Hilo. All along Hwy 11, the view was magnificent as always. Pouring rain by the time we reached Volcano. S and A did managed to take the helicopter ride and according to their testimony, although the crater was hidden in fog, they did see spectacular sights, the waterfalls, the red glowing lava flows. However, when our turn came, they cancelled the flight due to fog. M was bitterly disappointed. the Hippo, however, didnt have quite as high an expectation, because the weather didnt cooperate and choppers usually werent friendly to the Hippo. she was prone to motion sickness. Since we're already on this side of the coast, we drove to see the Kapoho tide pools, stopped at the green sand but because we either had to hike a 6 miles roundtrip or pay $17 for the shuttle, we opted out, and made a brief stop at the South Point diving point instead, and saw a couple diving. Paid a visit at the buzz bee farm for ka'u coffee and they had some of the most colorful parrots. Rain came on and off with the wonderful scent of the tropics. People come to Hawaii for the sun and beach weather. But I prefer the misty rain, romantic cloudy skies and tropical rain that came down in sheets. There was no rain back home and I so missed it. paradise for me is not the tropical heat, sunny white sand beaches, coconut trees shade and cool drinks. Paradise for me is the misty fog, tropical rain that you can smell it before it came down, romantic cloudy skies. And south of Kona all the way to Hilo is paradise to me. We took the newly redone saddle road back to Waikoloa, most of it under the dense fog of mauna kea. It only took us a little over an hour to come back to the sun and heat of the west side.

For the kids, we did do the white sand Hapuna beach, with waves so feroucious that knocked me down twice because I gave up. And the kids also had a dip in Mahukona Beach Park. We drove to the end of the highway till the very tip of the island at Pololu Valley Lookout. Later that evening, even though we made dinner reservations at Roys (and changed it several times), we ended up eating at the Tommy Bahamas in the Mauna Lani mall. My second and their first. The food was delicious and we were even greeted with a spectacular fireworks from the Fairmont. Returned to the timeshare and watched the Seventh Son on DVD (very bad movie!)

Best moment of this trip? Alone in the timeshare garden drinking the last of the orange fanta at midnight in almost total silence, below the now clear dark sky with sparkling stars.

When asked how many times I've been to Hawaii, I had to think. Hawaii in general or each island? Hm, kauai twice, Oahu 6, maui 4 and the big island 4. aside from
vegas, hawaii is my second most visited place.

on our way back, we had a layover at Kahului. The volcano was obscured by fog but the last time I was there, it was sunny and in clear view. "today is a good day to drive to haleakala" I remembered L saying. I kissed the ground on that visit. It was also on that visit that i first sampled the hawaiian macaroni salad with sticky rice and dined at Tommy Bahamas in the new Wailea up-scale mall. L took me to the Maluaka beach and its current was alternating cool and warm, and I've floated there in total bliss. Later that evening I drove to lahaina at dusk and the amber rays hitting the West Maui mountains made them look deep orange and red, a view one could only get at that beloved place. Such nostalgia! Love that island, Maui no ka oi indeed.


See the 2015 pictures:




also see the Hippo Hawaii page
 

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