Friday, March 2, 2012

Thursday: Off the Beaten Path

Yes, I'm still blogging about the week-long vacation we took last month (already?!). Ever since getting back, my days have been spent thusly: eat, workout, eat, work, eat, homework, eat, sleep, lather, rinse, repeat (with minor variations). I do have lots of thoughts about Lent, my TA job, grad school, and life to share, but no time to make these thoughts coherent.

Right now, the garlic I planted last fall is sprouting up in green shoots and big, fat snowflakes are falling from the steely gray sky. So instead of bemoaning that spring as we know it may never be the same again, I'm going to share more pictures from my happy place.

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Thursday was a wonderful day, and quite busy. So to prevent (too much) photo-overload, I'm splitting it into two posts. To start the day, Ross and I had a quick breakfast at the hotel. Anahola granola and Kona coffee on a sunny balcony guarantees even better things to come.

My mom and dad wanted to stay close to the hotel on Thursday and bike around to the fish ponds and petroglyphs nearby. So Ross and I took the rental car and headed north. Our plan was to head up to one of the black sand beaches, go into Waimea for lunch, and get back to the hotel by early afternoon. Instead, the scenery kept distracting us and we spent most of the morning stretching out the 45 minute drive.

About 15 minutes after heading out, we saw a real estate sign for some oceanside lots and we decided to take a look out of sheer curiosity.

So lush and green. Not your typical image of Hawaii.
Morning sun.
 FYI, the lots were all less than $200,000. If I could buy one, I'd be thrilled to squat in a tent until I could afford to build a house!

The grass + sea air smelled so sweet. I'd bottle it if I could!
Best of both worlds.
After that, we got back on the highway and drove a bit more. Near the King Kamehameha statue, we ran into a small Episcopal church. The town of Kapa'au felt like stepping back in time 50 years.

We did, of course, pay a visit to the famous statue nearby, but I liked the church better.

We also found a library and I think Ross' sister should apply for a job here!

Right after this, Ross took a turn toward a shoreline access road. It's amazing how the scenery and air had changed so quickly! From rugged beach to lush grassland to pine forest.

We parked in a semi-paved lot where the road end we noticed the a lot of the foliage was planted in distinct rows. Not the kind of farms we're used to, but definitely garden-like. So we started poking around.

Then we ran into a farm hand who told us we'd stumbled across Hawaii Island Retreat. So we took a more official tour. This retreat was an off-the-grid getaway with solar panels, well water, and 50 acres or gardens and trails. They serve only their own organic food and have nine rooms, plus yurts, for guests to stay in.

After our brief tour, we finally headed down to the shoreline that led us off the highway in the first place.

Totally worth stopping for.

cool pattern of lava coming out of the rocks

After seeing the seashore again, we snooped around the Retreat on our way out and found more gardens, orchards, and some animals.


can you see the ram?

Finally, we realized it was almost afternoon so we hiked out and got back on the highway to head toward our original destination: the black sand beach.

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