An Island of Ice and Fire

Hawai’i, or the Big Island as it is commonly known, is the largest island in the Hawaiian chain. Until this visit I had never set foot on it, despite having visited the State of Hawaii on several occasions. Were it not for my friend, Martha, I doubt we would have made it there on this trip.

Since the first grade we’ve stuck it out together – making mud pies, riding horses and having a blast just being our weird little selves. Somehow we have grown up and changed in parallel lines. I am grateful everyday that I have her as a friend.

Kilauea

5 Years Ago

Martha decided to move to Hawaii and found herself on the Big Island, and despite a few occasions where she has attempted to re-transplant to the mainland, something keeps calling her back. Perhaps its her fiery Aries nature that keeps Pele drawing her close. Or perhaps its something else all together.

In all of that time, despite talking about it each time we spoke, I had never made it out to visit. It was her presence in Hawaii that was one of the major draws for creating the pit stop in the first place. I could not wait to see my dear friend once  we’d landed on her island.

View from Summit of Mauna Kea

6 a.m.

It was early. We had taken a 5am flight from Honolulu. The flight was only about an hour and the sun still had not risen when we arrived on the Kona side of Hawai’i. Martha lives on Hilo side, about a two hour drive from the airport. Because of the distance and the horrible hour, we opted to rent another car.

I do not recommend just walking into a car rental agency these days. The “walk-in” rates are the financial equivalent of dropping the soap in a male prison shower. Not good. We did end up with a sweet, soft-top Jeep Wrangler, though. A car my 16-year-old self dreamt of. J and I were both pretty pumped about it.

Snow in Hawai’i

Pineapple Park

Bad weather on Hilo (did we bring it with us?) had us staying on Kona side for a couple of days. Martha joined us in the afternoon at our hostel, Pineapple Park. We spent most of our time together catching up and just enjoying being together in such a beautiful place. Ain’t it great to have good friends? Unfortunately, our time with Marth was also peppered with some last minute paperwork J and I had to complete for selling our house. Yay!

Our last full day, we headed over to Hilo to see Martha’s town, Pahoa and meet her farm family. An absolutely lovely group of people who all live on a agricultural property together, including two generations of the family who owns the property. They were so gracious to let us stay with them.

Observatory on Mauna Kea

Highlights from our time on the Big Island:

  • Watching the sun set on the black sand beach, Ho’okena
  • eating three meals at Rebel Kitchen – if you happen to be around Captain Cook on Hawai’i, definitely go hear for delicious eats and local booch on tap!
  • making it all the way to the top of Mauna Kea – the tallest point in the State of Hawaii, and the tallest mountain on earth… if measured from the sea floor. Seriously, Google it.
  • visiting Kilauea at night and seeing Pele give a stellar show
  • seeing snow and hot lava all in one day
Pele’s Beautiful Dance

We had such a great time in Hawaii, it was too short. Martha, if you’re ever reading this, I miss you tons already and love you bunches!

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