Please also check out Beautiful Heather Hogan’s beautiful photos of Hawaii, http://hhogan.com/hilo-hawaii/
Our first order of business was to shop for some groceries and the KTA Superstore won out. We got to see how local we were really staying when we jostled shopping carts with so many brown skinned, beautiful Hawaiian people. Not an aloha shirt in the in the crowd, we found that they had Asian food items in their carts, and, yes, spam, and there was a line at the seafood counter. I got in line and ordered up a couple pounds of the poke (po-kee) that is chopped ahi tuna with different seasoning options. The spicy version was our favorite, though the Korean and the sesame were also good. At nearly $13 a pound, I estimate that we inhaled close to $200 worth of this stuff during our week there. It was worth every cent. It was fresh and light and tasted of Hawaii. We got our first cans of Mehana beer, brewed in Hilo and we did buy some spam too. Also in our cart were some luscious ahi loins, chicken, salad, veggies, local fruit juices, rum and snackies.
Hilo Market Days are Wednesday and Saturdays and claim to have over 200 vendors. I’m not sure that they had all 200 out the Wednesday we visited, but it was still impressive. The farmer’s market is really such fun, the fresh, cheap tropical fruit and flowers made me cry! Starfruit, rambutans*, glorious papayas, durian, flat beans, broccoli, lettuces, tomatoes, nuts were all beautiful. I am so glad that we have a kitchen to prepare all this great stuff. The paintings, crafts, jewelry, speciality food, clothes and flowers were fun to see as well. I think everyone got a trinket or two.
Not far from Hilo is Rainbow Falls. It is an impressive waterfall with a pathway that leads to an area of magnificent banyan trees. Since our precious little boy grand-darling is named Banyan, we snapped photos of the systems of trunks and branches that would give Escher a headache, juxtaposed with that darling boy. I can’t help but visualize these strong, intertwined living networks as mimics to the riot of neurons that grow and spread out within the brain of that growing little genius and his genius big sister. What a joyous gift to see all of this through their new eyes.
On another day, we took a ride up to see Hawaii Volcanos National Park. Though I was a little disappointed not to see molten rock threateningly flowing across the landscape, setting fires to trees and maybe some vermin on a determined path to the sea, it was still interesting. We saw the caldera from which there was smoke rising from what looks like an alien planet’s surface. We got to wander around fields of lava that formed rough and odd surfaces and from which some Dr. Seuss type vegetation was beginning to grow. We perversely enjoyed telling our little girl grand-darling the “true legend” about the Goddess Pele. She will bring misfortune to you if you take rocks away from Hawaii. Incidentally, the website Snopes, says that this is true urban legend. I am certainly not going to mess with a Goddess of Fire.….http://www.snopes.com/luck/pele.asp
Additionally, we made a stop at an Hawaiian winery in the town of Volcano, which was just cruel since we live in Northern California near the finest vineyards in the world. Sorry, not brag, just fact.
*Wikipedia defines rambutan: The rambutan is a medium-sized tropical tree in the family Sapindaceae. The name also refers to the fruit produced by this tree. The rambutan is native to Malaysia and other regions of tropical Southeast Asia.