Friday, July 23, 2010

Dolphin Spins and Saddle Road

I totally listened to those of you who were saying you couldn't keep up with all of my blog posts and took a day off yesterday, but now I have WAY too much material for one post. See what happens when I listen to you guys? Just kidding, but if this gets divided into two posts you know why.

Yesterday we left our heavenly hotel on the western side of the Big Island, but not before one last adventure... swimming with dolphins! We woke up bright and early (which is becoming a trend the past few days) to get on a sweet boat in the gorgeous waters with a guy named, "Captain Casey." He lead us to the dolphins, who come to the shore area during the day to rest and play... they hunt in deeper waters at night. Dolphins, like many fish, continue swimming while they sleep. They actually "turn off" half of their brain first, then later the other half, so one half is still awake all the time. They do this because they have to remember to breathe while they sleep, cool huh? I love dolphins, but who doesn't really?

Obviously I couldn't take my real camera into the water with me (you'll have to wait for those disposable underwater shots) but I got a few great ones before I went in...


The first mate told me it was close to impossible to get a good shot of the dolphins spinning in the air... not if you take about 1000 pictures it's not :)


Never underestimate my need for great pictures!


To swim with them, we had to catch up to their speeds on the boat, jump in, swim with them for a few minutes, jump back in the boat, catch up again and start it over. A bit exhausting but fun, of course.

After swimming with the dolphins we did a bit of snorkeling near some great coral reefs and then we got a delicious spread of snacks...


I don't think I can explain in words just HOW amazing that pineapple was, so I won't try.


After our dolphin adventure it was time to check out and head over to Hilo. We were debating how to get there when an awesome guy at the hotel told us the northern highway was shut down from a huge truck accident. This made our decision for us and we took what was called "Saddle Road", which is a "highway" that goes right through the middle of the island. It was relatively uneventful except for a few one lane bridges (they LOVE these in Hawaii and I can't for the life of me understand why they can't just make them two lanes?)...


a few goats...


and at one point we drove...into...a cloud haha


When we got to Hilo, we consulted our "Thrifty Fifty" book for some good lunch options and ended up at a place called Don's Grill. I got some pasta and veggies which was quite good...


Next door to Don's Grill is a famous candy store called Big Island Candies. You can watch them hand dip their cookies...


I bought some delicious chocolate covered macadamia nuts.


Then it was time to head down to the Volcano to check into our new temporary home- Volcano Tree House B & B...we are staying in the "Tree Top Suite." Sound cool?

We went from a hotel room that looked like this...


to our new place...


A bit more rustic, no? But this place is cool because we are on the third floor of a house build literally in the middle of the rain forest...




It's just not going to happen every day :) Plus I was a bit sold by the tree house idea, I'll admit it. I told my students this year there were a couple of things I always wanted as a kid, #1- a swimming pool in my house (this came up in one of my kid's marriage advice to me, she suggested getting a swimming pool in my house to better my marriage, haha), #2- a secret passage way in my house and #3- an amazing tree house. So, while I still do not have a swimming pool in my house (though my parents later got a pool OUTSIDE of the house, which definitely satisfied my high school slightly more rational self) or a secret passage way, I have lived for 2 days in a tree house. Check one off the list.

After we settled into the tree house we took a recommendation from the inn keeper to go to a restaurant called Kaiwe Kitchen in Volcano Village. The town of Volcano maybe has 5 restaurants, if that, so I wasn't expecting much but I was TOTALLY wrong. The food was amazing and it wasn't just a fluke because we had lunch again their today and it was even better. Love when that happens.


Tomato Vegetable Soup with amazing French baguette on the side.


And some pita chips with hummus. Both delicious.

We were also sitting next to this couple and their two young kids (maybe 4 and 8?). You know those tables where you are basically on top of people next to you? Anyway, they were playing "high and low" where you tell the best part of your day and the worst part of your day. I automatically snapped into teacher mode and thought this was such a great idea (and loved the fact that the kids couldn't remember their low, and the parents were like, what about when you threw the stuffed animal at your brother? haha). Will definitely be playing this in kindergarten...actually thought of it before but I have to come up with a way to do it so we don't all have to listen to 20 highs and lows. Time to get creative.

Anyway, I have ALL of today still to tell you about and trust me it's WAY more exciting, but it's time to get some dinner so you'll have to wait. For now tell me...

#1- What irrational thing did you always want as a kid? I don't mean like a doll..I mean something ridiculous like a basketball court in your house (though I actually went to a house once with that, but it still counts as irrational in my mind).

#2- What was your high of today (or yesterday if you are reading in the am)? Low of yesterday?


  1. I *totally* wanted the tricked out tree house as a child! My house was actually in the middle of a forest so we had lots of tree houses (with varying degrees of stability and safety) but I always wanted one with a tv, a beer fridge, an elaborate stair system, an alarm system and a fire place. I drew up blue prints and everything but for some reason my dad never seemed so keen.

    It looks like you guys are having a fabulous time on your honeymoon. I hope you enjoy every moment of it.

  2. We used to play this dream game all the time when I was a camp counselor and my secret dream was always to live in a tree house!

  3. I always wanted a pool in our backyard, although we did NOT have the room! And, we live in Ohio, so it was sort of a dumb idea.

    Your hotel looks AWESOME! I can't believe you are IN a rain forest! What a great view to wake up to. I bet you see some fantastic animals in there throughout your time there.

    I had pineapple yesterday too, but I'll bet it wasn't quite as good as yours. WE grilled ours and did a food demo with it. It was a hit.

    Glad you're having a great time!

  4. I just wrote an entire comment that deleted on me. I'm having the WORST luck with blogging.

    Okay here it goes again.
    What if you had one kid say their highs and lows at the end of the day, as a way to wrap things up. Or if you had them draw each draw a picture of their highs and lows for that day. That way there isn't 20 of them just going around sharing their highs and lows.

    Way to get an awesome picture of the dolphins jumping! That sounded like it was so much fun.

    I wanted the same things as you when I was growing up (especially the secret passage way). Weird. I wonder if you shared these desires with me and then I wanted them too.

    P.S. That french baquette looks AMAZING! I almost didn't notice it until you pointed it out!
    P.P.S. I like how first I say I can't keep up with your posting and then all day yesterday I was checking your blog for a post that never came.

  5. I used to play the 'hi/low' game with a co-worker at my college waitressing job! I love that the kids couldn't remember their low. Kind of funny!!

    Let's see, my high from yesterday was book club with my 3 girlfriends. My low as the stomach ache that I got after eating WAY too much cheese dip w/ chips. Oops.

    I really, really wanted a swimming pool, too. No one where I come from has one, so it was a bit irrational, but i def kept trying to make a case for it when I was younger!!

  6. I have always wanted to go swimming with dolphins! What an amazing adventure!!

    When I was a kid, I wanted a horse so badly. Every birthday, that was my wish.

  7. I LOVE the lush greenery right outside your room! As always, eats look devine!

  8. At the end of the day you can recap your day with the kids and then let them pick to share a high or a low? That way it is fresh in their minds what they did that day and they MAY be able to tell their parents more than we went outside for recess? hahaha..

    My high of the day so far? Not waking up tired.
    Low? No coffee.

  9. Yay! What a great photo of the dolphin! Oh and all that food looks incredible!

  10. Avoiding the questions... but just wanted to say that Big Island candy makes some of the best I've ever had! I had a Hawaiian parent bring me back some chocolate covered... wait for it... crushed potato chips and they were freaking awesome!

  11. Beautiful photos! Looks like the perfect honeymoon.

    Best thing about yesterday was a picnic in the park with new friends.

  12. I'm SO JEALOUS that you got to swim with the dolphins. That actually sounds SO SO SO amazing!! I have ALWAYS loved dolphins (Fun Fact: I have one tattooed on my ankle!)

    My high for yesterday was my amazing zuchinni pizza for dinner and watching big brother. My low was a HUGE work project coming up which means working this weekend and on my "day off" next week. Oh well, thankfully I enjoy my work!

  13. beautiful kelly! glad you are having a great honey moon!! that pineapple looks so yellow! i can only imagine how sweet and delicious it is! After seeing the movie "blank check" I wanted a car track in our backyard hahaha

  14. My mom used to do the hi/low game with my brother and I, except we did it as BEST/WORST. My brother's was always: BEST: the 4:00 bell (when we got out of school) and WORST: the 9:30 bell (when school started). I was much better at the game. ;)

    I have to say that I love your tree house suite! So different!