Back to classes on the weekend. The Quilt class has moved to Sundays at the Chinatowns/NorthBeach Campus. We are working on Stars as a theme this semester. Every semester, we have a different theme and as students finish quilts, they bring them in to show their progress. I have a few photos of sampler quilts to get started on my quilting blog. I always take photos of the student work and I used make prints to put them in scrapbooks, so this is a new media venue for my class and their quilts.
On our last day, we packed everything and said goodbye to the Kona Tiki. What a find that was. We loved it, small, intimate and right on the ocean. No phones or TV. Who needs it?
We set off for the quilt shop in Kona and a drive up the coast. Going out of town I looked at our tickets only to find out that we did not have the day but our plane was leaving in an hour. We made it in time. Phew! The week was perfect. My son, Andre and I had a fabulous, fabulous time.
Andre Loved the snorkeling spots we saw today. The hotel provided for us masks, fins, beach towels and chairs, and we took off for Kealakakua Bay hoping to swim with the dolphins. This particular bay is a spot known by locals and tourists because of these sightings. No dolphins today though, and not many fish were on the reef. The beach was very steep, and consisted of bowling-ball size and lava rocks we had to climb over to get in. It The surf was quite rough and we both got dashed on the shore trying to get back in. (a little scary!). Most people bring kayaks to look for the dolphins here instead. Our next stop was The Place of Refuge, a beautiful peninsula where only the Hawaiian royalty lived. We learned a lot about early Hawaiian culture and navigation. The east end of Molokai, where I stayed for 3 months, is where the first Hawaiians settled. We then drove to Two-Step beach, where Andre snorkeled with turtles and much bigger fish. That was a much better experience. A stop for lunch for smoothies at the ‘Southern Kona Roadside Stand’ and another stop at Greenwell’s Coffee Plantation for Kona Coffee made the day. North. We watched another beautiful sunset from our hotel patio with the other Tiki hotel guests. The owners have the kids light the tiki torches and blow the conch shell as part of the evening ritual. Our dinner at a local Thai place was the last dinner as we leave tomorrow for home.
Today was a travel day, driving to Kona from Volcano. It was a beautiful drive past coffee and macadamia plantations, lava fields and flowering trees on the ocean. . We had to find a lodging because I did not make any reservations for these last two days. There was actually not a problem finding a place. The KonaTiki was recommended by one of the ladies at Volcano Inn. It’s a cute little hotel right right out of the 50’s, just on the edge of town, very simple, no phones, no TV and the couple who run it are so nice. The ocean is right outside my lanai door. Andre and I watched the sunset from their patio/swimming pool area then walked to town for dinner. The restaurant was on the sand, dancing and music included. We loved the people watching and the fish tacos. Every night we have been lulled to sleep with different sounds, frogs in Hilo, rain in Volcano, drumming from the Kava bar in Naalehu and tonight in Kona by the crashing surf.
The pics are “Hawaiian Sunset” “Coffee Drying in the Sun” and “Hubbas Restaurant”
Saturday and we started out with a lovely breakfast overlooking the garden. We started our day with a drive to The Puna area, the south coast, very jungely and local. We went for a morning swim in a hot springs pool called Alahani. Remember the place Jess? It was heaven. Our goal for the day was to go up Mauna Kea to see the Keck telescope, this is 12,000 Ft above sea level. I was a bit nervous but we had our 4-wheel drive vehicle for the trip.
We stopped at the Lava tree State Park and looked at the sculptural formations that remain after the lava flow covered trees and cooled. Stopping in Pahoa was like going to Bolinas in 60’s. They call it the outlaw town. Unfortunately, lava is flowing into parts of the town. Not a good place to buy real estate.
We wandered around Hilo until time to drive up the mountain, a long drive but we wanted to catch a talk at the visitor center by an astronomer at 6. We made it to the visitor center at 9000 ft. where we had to acclimate for 1/2 hour before driving up to the summit. There was a big protest going on there. The native Hawaiians are protesting the building of another telescope on their sacred mountain. It’s not only the age old argument of religion against science but the desecration of Hawaiian lands and culture. They can’t seem to agree. 12 people were arrested
Friday for blocking the road.
We drove the 8 miles UP to the top, me hanging on for dear life. Once up there, it was spectacular. We were above the rain and clouds below. On the way down we drove into a huge rainstorm. Whatzzat?
Back down to sea level. What a day!
Hona Hua, the the very local restaurant in front of our rooms, is where we had breakfast. The menu has spam and lots of gravy offered. We picked up a few bakery items for lunch at the local bakery and stopped at a black sand beach on the way to the Volcano National Park. After checking into our b & b, the Volcano Inn and I found a quilt store tucked away in the town of Volcano. We drove the Chain of Craters Road all the way to the end where lava covered the road in 1969 and then walked through the Thurston Lava Tube, an air pocket through the lava. Very eerie. Lava everywhere!!
We had a spectacular dinner at “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe” as Andre called it. The Volcano House is inside the park and we watched the active volcano venting, not erupting at the moment, from our table. It was an amazing sight.
After checking out of the hotel and finding some great Hawaiian coffee, we took off for Naalehu, Patty’s Motel and the Green Sand Beach. Green sand is formed from a crystal called olivine, that precipitates out of lava rock. The beach, one of two in the world, was literally green, in a beautiful cove. My geologist will attest to it. We hiked 3 miles (6 round trip) to the beach over lava roads, next to the crashing surf. It was a great day and Andre was thrilled to actually see it. This area is the southernmost point in the U.S. We are in totally rural Hawaii. There is not much in the town except churches, a couple of restaurants, a kava shop and a Hawaiian bread bakery that we will check out tomorrow on our way to Volcano.