Hilo is my new favorite place!
After all the activity this week, we slept in this morning. I think this was my first night of continuous and solid sleep. I feel great! And clearly I really needed some rest. Plus it is nice to have a slow morning every once in a while.
Once we ate breakfast, Jack, my sister, and I went to Richards Beach to snorkel and look for sea turtles. Unfortunately we had no luck in actually seeing any sea turtles, but it was still great! We saw heaps of different fish and reefs with actual coral growth. For being in a protected bay that is avidly scoured by snorkelers, surfers, fisher people, etc., the reefs were in surprisingly good shape. After an hour of no luck, and the thermocline coming in, we rinsed off and continued our exploration of Hilo. Which turned out to be great timing because it began to rain off and on the rest of the day. Glad we caught the sunny window for ocean time this morning!
The rest of the day we spent exploring downtown Hilo. Super cute place! The buildings are all old, 1950’s era construction. We walked a big loop up and down the streets. Our first stop was in the Discovery Center. It was catered toward children, but I still learned about the various islands and atolls that make up the Hawaiian islands. I definitely want to do a live-aboard to dive at some of the northern territories. They also had an exhibit on beach debris that was quite disconcerting.
Very quickly my sister and I discovered that several stores carry these mumu jumpers things. Erika brought me a mumu from Guinea, and I have been in love with it, so we thought maybe these new things could be the next level of extreme comfort. Instead we learned that these things definitely should never have been created. Or I need to be 6 feet tall with a skeletal body. Anyway, hard pass. It was funny trying on the various styles and laughing at how ridiculous I looked.
We then stopped for ice cream. Chocolate hazelnut and ginger double scoop. So good! I think I mentioned that Jack and Libby love ice cream more than I do somehow, so it was an easy sell for 11am in the morning. We then found this bakery with fresh amazing deliciousness. I bought cinnamon roll for tomorrow’s breaky and a fresh veggie pizza to eat right then as lunch. I wanted to eat literally everything in the shop. It smelled so amazing! The guys working were also super nice. They too wanted me to buy everything. Haha!
Our next jaunt was into Good Earth Sandals, working the minimalist leather sandal with leather straps. It was a neat new business. Minimalist sandals are definitely the rage these days. And a really cool guy working who does all the leather work. He told us about a trip he went on into Waimanu Valley for ten days, eating foraged tree fruits. And when he came out and wound up in Hilo, he met a man named Kevin wearing these awesome sandals. He only wanted material but instead ended up with a job setting up this store with Kevin. Nice store. Great design. And they clearly want to expand. I will admit these are much nicer than the leather Luna sandals. I wear Lunas everyday. But their leather versions sucks. These sandals looked great and still have the quality functionality of minimalist shoes. Erika bought a pair. She finally undermined her Lunas while we hiked Waimanu Valley, so seems like an ideal coincidence.
Hilo was treating us well, and our next stop was at a chocolate shop. They grow their own cacao, pineapple, other fruits, and buy honey and macadamia nuts locally, and make excellent chocolate products! Not surprisingly, they were also amicable to our wandering in. I chatted with the main guy about climbing prospects in Hawaii and Erika asked after their orchard practices. And of course, we bought some goodies!
Next up, we checked out the Mehana Brewing Company. It was pretty awesome. We were the only ones there for a bit and the woman working was providing generous portions on our flight series. After working our way through the offerings, we bought our favorites for the road. Next up was the Big Island Booch Kombucha at the Conscious Culture Cafe. We basically loitered there the rest of the afternoon, sampling through all their offerings, until it was time to collect Libby from the airport. After a relatively quiet day, we headed back to Arnott’s and played some cards before heading to bed. What a delightful day!