February 7, 2019
Here is the clock tower and the lights on the hills as we left the Honolulu harbor on Wednesday.
We heard that our executive chef, Mario, had bought some fresh fish in the Honolulu markets so we went to the Terrace Café for dinner. Mario and some of the other chefs were grilling fresh tuna out on the Terrace. And it was delicious. He was also quite proud of the display of the tuna and the opah (moonfish) which is a native Hawaiian fish. We will have the opah on Thursday.
This was our fourth time in Hilo. This time we chose to do a culinary tour. This was conducted by hometourshawaii.com
and it was a great day. Hilo gets a lot of rain, average of 160-280 inches a year. It was cloudy with rain predicted but we didn’t get any at all in the area we traveled. There were two vans with 8 people in each. Our driver/leader/chefs were Lisa on the left and Jen on the right. Jen is talking about her book about living in a yurt for a year.
Our first home is owned by Beverly, a former chip designer in Silicon Valley. She retired here and bought 20 acres of absolutely beautiful land overlooking the ocean. There is no possibility of anyone building to block her view. She designed the home and every room has a view of either the ocean or the mountains and is constructed inside and out of native Hawaiian wood.
Here we are relaxing in the lovely spot.
This view shows our ship in the harbor.
Here’s our breakfast. Pure Kona coffee (costs up to $50/pound). Most coffee labeled Kona has only a small percentage of Kona beans. We could add Bailey’s or Kahlua, cane sugar and whipped cream. We had a small glass of guava juice, banana macadamia bread, chocolate expresso/coffee bread, a taro doughnut – malasada (my favorite) and homemade sausage.
We had plenty of time to relax, enjoy the serene setting and chat with Beverly and the other cruisers before moving on to the next house.
Here is a blown up version of the chip she designed. The actual chip is on the right of the picture – very small.
We moved on to the second house, a bed and breakfast called The Palms Cliff House Inn (which, by the way, is for sale). On the way, our driver/guide Lisa gave us some information about Hilo and the Big Island of Hawaii. There are no snakes here, also no squirrels, skunks or raccoons. They do have rats which came from some of the ships originally, and they introduced mongoose to catch the rats. Unfortunately one is nocturnal and the other is not so they actually co-exist quite well. Another unintended consequence of human intervention!
We didn’t meet the owners of this beautiful place, but we did meet their 4 and 6 year old granddaughters who just couldn’t stay away even though they were told to. They were proud to say that they were wearing their bathing suits!
This place was just built in 1995 and made to look like a Victorian residence – a style that is popular here. Again, the views from the large lanai are spectacular.
This is the large kahili, a feathered staff used in processions with former Hawaiian royalty. They were up to 30 feet high. In Hawaiian culture if you stepped on the king’s shadow you were killed immediately.
These are handcrafted hats – beautiful displays of many handicrafts in this B & B.
So what did we have to eat here? It was lunch.The chips are made on the island with potatoes imported from Idaho! They were really good. There was chicken macadamia salad in a papaya and an organic green salad with pineapple and pita chips and a sesame ginger vinaigrette dressing. We had passion fruit iced tea to drink.
Then it was on to the last house for dessert. This home also has a beautiful view. It is a 5300 square foot home with just Bernie, his wife and his dog Morgan living there. The beach just below his house is a big surfing destination and we enjoyed watching them while eating our dessert.
Here we had a bread pudding, a coconut macaroon, lilikoi (passion fruit) mousse, apple banana, fresh pineapple and this fruit called rambutan. The part you eat is inside that fuzzy stuff and it is much like lychee.
Norm and Jim have a chat.
On our way back to the ship we saw the beautiful African tulip trees, a monkey pod tree and also this small lighthouse which has marks for the height of the water in the two major tsunamis in 1946 and 1960.
During the tsunamis the railroad tracks were completely demolished and that was the end of the sugar cane industry here since there was no way to transport the sugar cane. Beverly’s house stands on former sugar cane fields and you still see some growing along some of the roads here.
Speaking of roads, there was a lot of work being done and the road is only one lane each way. Their law is that 100 cars pass each way with a flagman stopping the opposite traffic. Needless to say that delays the trip.
It was a wonderful day with just the small group, the great guides, the homes and the fabulous views and the food.
Later we went to the Terrace for the opah fish and again, we were not disappointed.
I am writing this on Friday – we had a “welcome home” party for fellow traveler Sukey at 11 today – we met her on the 2015 world cruise. She broke her leg in Mexico, got back on the ship, was seen by the ship doctor and one in Mexico, left the ship in Los Angeles for surgery and came back in Honolulu to finish the world cruise with us. What better place to recuperate.
The party had free flowing mimosas and bloody marys as well as delicious appetizers.
Norm and Karen with GM Damien. He says we will do anything for a party!