Daily Archives: 2015-02-19

Happy in Hilo, Hawaii

It is always exciting when you get to land after almost a week at sea. No matter whether you like the port or not, there is something very “grounding” about it, for lack of a better word. Legs always feel a little funny for the first bit, especially if the seas have been rough. Kind of like the feeling of getting off an especially twisty roller coaster ride. I happen to love it. Yo ho, Yo ho, A Pirate’s life for me!

I woke up super early because I wanted to go to the special ceremony on the bow of the ship at daybreak. Several of the Hawaiians onboard were dancing and chanting performance to announce our arrival. There were a lot of other symbolic meanings that I completely missed because I was so excited about the whales. YES! Whales everywhere! The sun was just coming up and there were about a dozen humpback whales dancing in the seas around us. As we pulled closer and closer to the big island it was as if they were welcoming us, escorting us in. I couldn’t contain myself. At one point, I practically climbed right up on the railing to follow the baby whale that slapped his tail on the surface then swam right past me. He wanted to play! I could almost feel the alarm of the ship’s officers as they watched me from the bridge. “Is that young lady about to jump overboard?!” It’s easy to get carried away when there are whales around.

We went up to the lido deck for breakfast for the first time, so we could watch our ship pull into the pier. I was pleased to find that I had AT&T coverage so I checked my mails and caught up on messages. I was super-excited to find a message from McKenzie. She was on the road already and would meet us outside my ship. She only had a few hours before she had to go to work, so I felt especially honored that she would drive two hours each way just to spend a couple hours with us. I love this girl. She is a gooder.

At the end of the gangway, we were gifted with some purple orchid leis, much like the ones we made a few days before. We met Kenz and her big bad pickup truck on the corner by the Coast Guard. After a heartfelt embrace, I introduced her to Michael. Then I inspected her reconstructed hand and war wounds. She is healing up really well, and I felt so grateful to have her still. There are a few people I know that make this world a better place just by being in it, and she is one of them. A pure soul.

We climbed into her extra tall truck and we were off to the Akaka Falls Lookout. We stopped and picked up a coffee from a cute little local coffee shop. It wasn’t until we were already inside that we realized that it was called called Hilo Shark’s Coffee. Though there were offerings such as Shark Attack and Shark Bite, Kenz just got an Americano. I guess she has had enough shark for a while. I found a sweet little siamese kitty in the back and cuddled her for a while until we had to go.

We hiked the short loop and got to see beautiful super-long spout crashing down the cliff face. It was awe-inspiring. The weather couldn’t have been better, as the sun shone down on us. The forest along the path was so lush and green. It was so easy to breathe. I was feeling super-blessed to be in this space with such special people. Next we went to Rainbow Falls Park, which definitely had attracted a lot more tourists. It wasn’t as grand as the Akaka Waterfall but I appreciated it for the many small pools and the faint rainbow that appeared in the mist above the waterfall.

We decided it was lunch time so we headed in search of poke. We ended up at Suisun Fish Market, where we loaded up on a couple pounds of the freshest poke you ever did taste. We gobbled it down and watched the military planes fly past us overhead. Kenz dropped us off at the Farmers Market and we had one last hug, until next time. We wandered through the colorful fruits and veggies, passing by the vast array of crafts and handmade jewelry. Michael and I strolled down the street wandering in and out of the charming shops. I got very excited when I discovered a large health food store. I have been wanting to get a bottle of apple cider vinegar and this was just the place I needed. After finding it on sale, I got the large bottle and didn’t worry too much about not finishing it. After all, I have almost a month.

We strolled a long the main street and weaved in and out of the shops. I found a pair of good comfy used heels to replace the very sparkly but uncomfortable ones I had brought onboard. I just couldn’t bear the thought of having to wear those foot-killers again. We caught up on our online stuff in an internet cafe, that ended up forgetting to charge us for the coffee. We tried to pay them but they had already closed down the till. This is the kind of laid-back easy going nature of most of the locals around here. They just don’t get wound up about stuff. Or at least the ones we met.

We thought we had more time but were misdirected to the wrong bus, so we became quite worried that we would miss our ship. It’s true that the next island is not all that far away but I have never missed a ship yet. I didn’t intend to start today. We were lucky that Jerad from the Hoppa-on Hoppa-off bus agreed to take us. We gave him all our cash that was left, a measly $5 but he didn’t make a big deal of it. He took it smiling and reassured he would get us there in time. On the 15-minute ride back to the pier, he animatedly shared about his island living experience. I felt so grateful to have gotten “home” in time that I gave him my lei as we were getting off the bus and wished him all the good luck on his future travels.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner then made our way to the show. We enjoyed a bit of the comedian and a short version of the one-man Beatles band. It was fun but I have to admit by the end of the show I was nodding off. It was a long day and I was more than ready for bed. I filled out our room service breakfast order then tumbled into bed.

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