Continuing with my 2009 Hawaiian adventures!

I’ve always thought it would be so cool to be able to surf. I can just imagine what it must feel like to be on top of a wave, rushing toward shore, feeling on top of the world! I can also imagine what it must feel like to wipe out and almost drown in said wave. Which could be a reason why I’ve never actually attempted to surf. Or it could be because I have terrible balance. Or because I’ve seen the movie Soul Surfer. Who knows.

Well, my friend Janellen has no such fears! And today was the day she was going to catch a wave in Hawaii for the first time! She rented a surfboard from Kona Boys and we made our way to Kahaluu Bay.

part 5 1st surf

Janellen paddled out to the breaker while the rest of us donned our snorkel gear and waddled into the water by the beach. Much fun was had by all!

That evening, buoyed by her surfing success, Janellen cooked a lovely, good ol’ southern meal: chicken ’n dumplings. We would not let my Aunt and Uncle even look in the kitchen until after we had cleaned it up. 🙂

part 5 kitchen mess

The next day Teresa and I got up early with Janellen and drove back to Kahaluu to watch her surf. We perched on the rocks near what has to be the world’s cutest church.

part 5 church

One of us was armed with a camera and the other was armed with a video camera. Both of us were determined to capture on film Janellen riding a wave. And we did! Yay!! Go Janellen!!

part 5 surfing

Today was the day of the King Kamehameha Day parade. King Kamehameha was the monarch who first established the kingdom of Hawaii which comprised the Hawaiian islands of Ni’ihau, Kaua’i, O’ahu, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Kaho’olaw, Maui and Hawai’i (or the Big Island).

We headed into town and parked ourselves on the wall that runs along Ali’i Drive and the ocean. The parade was very sweet and all of the islands were represented.

part 5 parade

I do have to say though that I think what garnered the most cheers from the crowd was this:

part 5 target

Yes, Target came to Kona in the summer of 2009. And all the people rejoiced.

After the parade, we watched some of the outrigger canoe races, did some shopping (hats for everyone!), and waited in a ridiculously long line for shaved ice.

part 5 shaved ice

Back home we spent the rest of the afternoon lying out by the pool. Ahhhh…this is the life!

The next day was another fun-filled day on the Big Island! Janellen hit the surf again, then we all piled into our cars and drove north to the Pololu Valley. This area of Hawaii offers up some spectacular views!

part 5 pololu valley

We parked near the Ponolu Valley Lookout and started our descent into the valley. By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere that has so many warning signs. And this goes for all of the island – not just here! I so wish I had taken pictures of all the different warning signs we came across on this trip.

part 5 trail

The hike down to the valley floor is very steep! And the views are amazing! Once on flat ground we of course had to play on the rope swings. The many rope swings! Too fun.

part 5 rope swings

The beach here is black sand and we walked along it taking so many pictures. This is one of those crazy places on the Big Island that doesn’t feel like being on a tropical island. Well, the beach and ocean do, but a few yards inland and you are in a pine tree filled forest where people camp. Seriously makes me think of camping in North Carolina or somewhere similar.

part 5 pololu 2

What comes down must go up (or something like that) so we bid adieu to the lovely forest/beach/ocean/river/valley/mountain/rope swings and started our traverse up the trail back to our car. Whew! Quite the workout! But I love it and wish I could hike more often. Preferably in Hawaii.

part 5 pololu 3

We had a leisurely, rainy drive back home, stopping along the way for some Dairy Queen blizzards. Oh yeah.

part 5 dairy queen

This evening we did….nothing. Other than eat dessert on the lanai while watching the sunset. There was that.

There is so much to do on this island I don’t see how anyone could ever get bored! Unless that someone doesn’t like being outdoors. And that would be very sad. But no sad faces here because we got to paddle our very own 10-person outrigger canoe today!!

My Aunt and Uncle have friends who are members of the Keauhou Canoe Club and they offered to take us out. Um, yeah!! This was seriously one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that I am SO glad I got to take part in!

We started at the Club on Keahou Bay and paddled to the Kahaluu area. It took a bit of time but once we got into the “groove” of paddling as a unit, we flew across the water.

part 5 canoe

We took a break at one point for some of us to jump in the water and snorkel for a bit, then it was back in the canoe to return to the Canoe Club where we slathered our shoulders with Bengay. Or that’s what a wise person would have done. But we were still happy canoers!!

part 5 canoe 2

A quick stop at Kahaluu for some more snorkeling then back home for some swimming and sunbathing.

That evening was full of food, fellowship and fun as my uncle cooked dinner on the grill for us and some friends! Perfect way to end a fun day!

part 5 dinner
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