Monthly Archives: May 2013


Years ago when Meghan was in middle school, she was on an Odyssey of the Mind team. The graffitigirls picked the classic problem which had to do with Pompeii. Someday, lol, if you meet Meghan ask her to say the rap they made up. Anyway, one of the things we all learned was that Pompeii was full of graffiti. What I remember most is the graffiti because the girls had to research the whole point and mimic it in their scenery and play.

Graffiti is a noun. Writing or drawings scribbled, scratched or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place. Originally from the mid 19th Century, italian, ‘graffio’ meaning ‘a scratch‘.

today graffiti

‘Course, the main kind of graffiti you think of it the kinds on subway walls, beside highways, in the downtown areas of big cities, on high school buildings. This kind. Until Meghan was on the OM team, I though this was rubbish, but I’ve come to appreciate the art and the creativity.

graffittiSo when we arrived in Hawaii, we found a different kind of graffiti, sort of eco-friendly and non-invasive. Go to Hawaiian Rock Graffiti. This is a lot of work. First you have to go collect all the white rocks. Then you have to find and open space. Then you have to go out and do it.

Not as a creative as the one on walls in color, but still, it is pretty neat!

fauna and flora

IMG_0062We’ve had a lot of fun just wandering around the island and paying attention. This island doesn’t look, to us, like a tropical island, not Honolulu, the business, the commercial islands. It’s a beautiful island, with three huge mountains, volcanos in the middle, this is the Big Island, from which the state takes it’s name.

walking bird


First the fauna.

saffron finch

Our first and favorite is what we call the ‘walking bird, probably a myna. You’re in a car, driving down a side road, this bird walks across the street, not fly, just walks, sometimes runs. It’s funny. Then there’s the yellow bird, the saffron finch. I had a TR Spitfire that was saffron. I Loved it. And there is the mocking jay, pretty when it spreads it’s wings.

northern mockingbird



But the funniest is the goats. They come in black

IMG_0115and brown, horned and bearded. They like the bushes around the barbecue between the two condo buildings. They trot in between the buildings in pairs, the oldest with the kids.

And the flora. IMG_0042

The most interesting plants are the skeleton type trees, looking like hands coming out of the earth.

IMG_0044Some looking so windswept it’s like their leaves have just been whipped off the branches. And then there was the tree at the shops at Waikoloa Village, that was very much like the trees you see when you take the Safari ride at Animal Kingdom.


It looks like the roots are coming out of the top of the tree. And, today when we were IMG_0124up in Mauna Lani, for lunch at Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Cafe. They look like something that comes out of Disney, not really real.

Is this what you think of as tropical? Well, it is!



What do you want from a vacation? Something you never saw before? Adventure? Peace and Quiet? What? I look for a different view, a place to be that isn’t home. I don’t want it forever, I want it for a bit, just a bit. When I worked in HR, especially when I was in banking, we insisted that employees take at least a week vacation at a time. Makes sense, it was harder to maintain a fraud if you had to leave your post. But regardless of where I worked, it was take the time and come back refreshed and renewed.

IMG_0012Well, let me tell you, you want refreshed and renewed? The Big Island, Hawaii, is one of those places. We can’t find a movie theater. There probably is one, but no, not really close to us. The resort has a DVD kiosk. We rent for free, as members, so Tom and I have watched a couple of movies we didn’t get to at home. The Hobbit and now I know this is only one. Glory be! It’s Tolkien’s smallest book! Well, may Roverdom is but… Anyway, this was The Unexpected Journey, next is the Desolation of Smaug, and the third may be There and Back Again. And, I’ve downloaded the book to my Kindle, just because it may be time to read again. Last night we watched Trouble with the Curve, a good movie, interesting characters, a bit predictable, but good. Tom will get to watch Life with Pi. So, yes there, a different view.

Click on the picture above. There’s a video of the view from our room, again, a different view. So, we’re spending some time at the pool, we’re traveling up and down the coast to small fishing villages, we’ll visit the volcano, the southern most tip of the US and very Hawaiian companies, and we’re just sitting, here, with this amazing view, very different from home, and perfect, for a bit.


A vocation, avocation, hobby, addiction, call it whatever you want, but I can not resist shopping. There was a time when I bought, but what do I really need to accumulate? Now I just look. It’s not the big IMG_0019department stores that are so much fun, you can find that stuff anywhere, it’s in the little shops that you find the nifty stuff. So we went to the Macadamia Factory. I wanted to go to a farm, but no. You can’t do that, the macadamia farmers–growers?–keep their property personal, private. So. Okay, and, oh, yes, chocolate covered macadamia, 70% cacao, ah, love those anti-oxidants.

The Bamboo The Macadamia Factory is on the north eastern shore of Hawaii, the big island, at Waikoloa Beach. Today, after we recovered from the flight, had a nice breakfast, because that can set you up for the whole day, and we had moved fully into a time zone six hours from our own, we decided to head north along the only road that traverses the eastern side of the island, We went north to Hawi Town, to The Bamboo, a lovely little restaurant in a former hotel for the Chinese brought into work in the sugar plantations.

IMG_0024 I had a lovely fish, ono, with a fresh fruit chutney. I love chutneys, I love the flavors, the mixing of tastes and colors, well, wow. So then we walked around the town, it’s now a historic property. In one shop we came across had these baseball caps, with hardwood visors. Cool, but not for the price.

IMG_0048Then we drove. It’s one of our favorite things to do. We do long-cuts. Never short-cuts because theyIMG_0047 are much less fun. Long-cuts, there should be more about this in the English language.

Anyway, after a roundabout long-cut, we ended up back in Waikoloa Beach, and The King’s Shops. With, are you ready? the smallest Macy Store ever. Yes, it is that small. So, now we can say, we’ve been to the IMG_0050largest Macy store, in New York City [ha! where else?] and to the smallest. I like the symmetry, the stores being at either end of the United States, like bookends. Sort of fits in with my shopping.

Hawi Town

Nice trip down to Kailua-Kona, saw the coffee farm, couldn’t find Captain Cook, had lunch, came IMG_0043home and took a nap. We knew there was a catholic church just outside of Hawi Town. But since we believe in the journey as much as the destination, and, I’m sitting, now,  with a cup of Camomile Tea and a chocolate covered macadamia nut well, here’s what happened next.  We went north. It’s a strange drive, first you pass acres and acres of lava, it’s desolate and bleak.IMG_0046 Then you drive a bit longer and there is the beginning of green, but just the beginning and there’s scrub, reminds me of chaparral in the high desert, and these trees, looking like hands, reaching out of the ground and I though of you, Gretchen Griffith. And the more north, the more green and then you think, ‘yeah, this is tropical.’ IMG_0042   So, back to the catholic church. IMG_0040 Around 4 pm we set off, everyone said it would take about an hour. They lied. It took about thirty five minutes. We prayed for them.

We drove in and out of rain. We saw the sun rays peek through huge clouds and shine a spotlight on the ocean, like that was the perfect place for those rays to be, finally arriving at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

A lovely IMG_0092beige wooden structure, above the road, looking very old, with a grotto to the Madonna. It was IMG_0090starting to rain, yet again, and so we ducked inside. Beautiful stained glass windows, made me think of Villa Cabrini and the way the light used to come through the colored glass. Cushioned pews, saintly statues, fans gently whirring above, that not unpleasant odor of calm,  defintely an old church. As we get to the doorway a woman approached us with two leis of puka shells, hand tied, and a note attached, Sacred Heart Parish. The woman places the lei over my head and hugs me. “Welcome to Sacred Heart.”
Then to Tom. And she invited us into the church. We celebrated the Ascension at Sunday mass.  Father gave a lovely homily focusing on IMG_0096the ascended Lord, and then mass ended with a blessing for mothers on Mother’s Day. As we exited the church there was a rose and a bag of candy which Father said was non-fat :-). And so we came back to our condo. A full, satisfying Saturday on the big island.