Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hilo Getaway

After six hectic weeks of the summer reading program, presentations and craft sessions, it was wonderful to get away for a few days.

It had been 6 years since I'd been to Hilo on my way to a conference in Kohala, and 2 years since the DH had been there with family for a reunion. It may be true that the weather there may be changing - aside from the usual, expected, morning, afternoon and occasional evening shower, there was only one day when we experienced a strange, Kamuela-like whiteout while we ate lunch.

How did we spend our days? We walked the streets of Hilo, stopping where storefronts caught our attention. Some of us played with flags.

We spent a day in Kamuela: had stew luau at Hawaiian Style Cafe, read, drank coffee at Waimea Coffee Company, had dinner at Merriman's, where they treated us to a glass of anniversary champagne and dessert!

We hung with the DH's cousin, and everywhere we went with her, she knew someone, and stopped to share a word. In our opinion, she's the Queen of Hilo, our official food consultant, and tells us she is the first to respond when someone passes away or is in the hospital! The last time, DH came home with ten pounds of rambutan; this time, we brought back opihi (still very much alive!), frozen lychee, homemade Portuguese sausage and more. 

We hadn't stayed at Hilo Seaside in years. From the outside, it doesn't look promising, but it gets better once you step in the door. I can't say enough about the staff: from Diana at the front desk, who looked at my large suitcase and kindly asked if I could make it to the second floor. (Thank you, I couldn't, as I had just wrenched my knee; still recovering.) To the honest maid who found my watch outside our room - I only realized this the next morning!

Opihi photo courtesy of Rad Kanda

We flew back to Honolulu and reality, shared opihi with relatives and friends, and spent a lovely Bastille Day evening in the country, at a cheese dinner at the only dairy left on Oahu. More here.