Summer & Tyler

crazy in love...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

9.13.10 Waipio Valley

Posted by Summer

This is an already long post with lots of pictures. Take one look at this place and you can see why. This side of the island is pure tropical paradise. I would love to go back and hike to the falls and the black sand beach...ahhhhh...so beautiful. Instead we went on a private horseback ride with a tour guide down in Waipio Valley. Didn't plan it that way but as luck may have it this island is not very touristy and I guess they were slow for a Monday. Score for us.


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We were a little early, even after our 1 hour plus drive to the other side so we admired the fruit. Fruit trees everywhere you go. Just look at those bananas!

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WOH Ranch (Waipio On Horseback)
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I wish I didn't love animals so much. They sure can win me over. If I could have snuck this ranch dog off I totally would.
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The only way into the valley by way of a 4 wheel drive vehicle. It's steep grade of 25% (if it were classified as a road) would be the steepest road of its length in the United States. We went down in a huge van very, very slowly. I thought I'd be more scared but the view had my complete attention and any anxiety I had about going down was completely gone when I handed Ty the camera. Lucky guy had shotgun with the window rolled down while I was in the back so he was on picture duty.
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{This is my horse Journey. He's been doing this tour for over 20 years.}

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{Ty's horse named Pono}
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{We weren't joking around.... but I don't remember that river looking that deep}
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We got an awesome hands on tour from our guide Dava who showed us all the different edible fruits and flowers. The honeysuckle below was my favorite to taste.
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Dava was telling us about the 100 wild horses that supposedly live in the valley and that we would be extremely lucky to see one. At the very end of our ride, one came out of nowhere and started following me!
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{Lotus gift from the little local girl Elena}
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{Dava}

After our ride we went back to the Waipio lookout point. A much better way to photograph than during a bumpy ride.
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In the 1800s many Chinese immigrants settled in the Valley and even at one time there was a jail & a post office. But in 1946 the most devastating tsunami in Hawaiian history swept the valley. Today there are only about 50 people who live there with no running water and no electricity. They enjoy their simple life and do not like people trespassing on their land. A bit glad we went with a guide. Some crazies live back their.
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We made a wrong turn and ended up at this monument.

From Parkerranch.com....Between 1942 and 1945, Waimea was home for 50,000 Marines from the Second and Fifth Marine Divisions and the V Amphibious Corps as they prepared for the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Parker Ranch played an integral part in hosting the Marines at what became known as Camp Tarawa. A monument to the Marines who trained here can be seen along the highway near the entrance to the Ranch Historic Homes attraction.


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Thursday, September 16, 2010

9.12.10 Sunday Funday

Posted by Summer

Thanks to my generous parents, we were able to use their Hilton Honors points to stay at a Hilton of our choosing. What I love about these are their fully equipped kitchen with everything necessary to prepare a meal, and what better thing to go with that kitchen than a Costco down in Kailua Kona? We've been twice already, and may need to hit it up a third time so I can see their eye doctor. Could there be a more ideal time to come down with some eye funk that won't allow me to see clearly in my contacts? We are going on a two tank dive this afternoon/evening so I'm trying to make the best of it.


Sunday was one of our lazier days. We made a Costco run for food for the week and went to the beach behind the Marriott for some snorkeling. I'm not complaining but truthfully, I've been freezing since we got here. It's been pretty windy and has barely gotten over 80. Most of the time it feels like the temp is in the mid to lower 70's with the wind. Much too cold for my likes, especially when you add water to the mix. The Hilo side on the other hand has had rain for the forecast every single day-obviously the wet side of the island with 75-125 inches of rainfall a year. It is amazing how diverse this place is. Each 50 miles or so of driving is a new landscape...from tropical rain forests and volcanic lava fields, to black sand beaches, pastures with cows and goats, and desert-looking areas complete with cactus. We were definitely not expecting any of this at all. So neat!

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{View off our balcony of the golf course}
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Best part about this day was the treasure Ty found. Within 5 minutes of snorkeling right out here he found $70! We picked up a hitchhiker yesterday on the way down to Kona and he said that when the tide goes out people like to treasure hunt out there--even Rolex watches and expensive jewelry and diamonds have been found. We may need to may another trip over there. :)

The snorkeling was horrible the time of day we went, very windy and visibility was poor. We did see some fishies though but my vacation will not be complete until I swim with some turtles! The Marriott is supposed to be the spot where a family of turtles come onshore to sunbathe, but none were to be found.
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After we tired of the beach we went exploring up north a bit and found this macadamia nut factory. Being a Sunday, the factory part was closed, but we still were able to browse the store and taste test all the different kinds they make. Did you know the macadamia nut comes from an evergreen tree?

Wikipedia-They have the highest amount of beneficial monounsaturated fats of any known nut. They also contain 9% protein, 9%carbohydrate, 2% dietary fiber, as well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, selenium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin

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They let us crack and eat some of our own.
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Now this is just nasty, but now I'm kicking myself that I didn't try it for fun. Spam flavored macadamia nuts. Ick.

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Here's a few fun-filled SPAM facts from Wikipedia:

Spam is a canned precooked meat product made by the Hormel Foods Corporation. The labeled ingredients in the classic variety of Spam are chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch as a binder, and sodium nitrite as a preservative.

Many jocular backronyms have been devised, such as "Something Posing As Meat", "Specially Processed Artificial Meat", "Stuff, Pork and Ham", "Spare Parts Animal Meat" and "Special Product of Austin Minnesota".

In Asia, Spam and similar meat preserves can be bought in gift sets that may contain nothing but the meat preserve[24] or include other products such as food oil or tuna. When invited to another person's home, guests may present their hosts with such a set, or with other food gifts such as fresh fruit, beverages or tteok.

Burger King, in Hawaii, began serving Spam in 2007 on its menu to compete with the local McDonald's chains.[12][13] In Hawaii, Spam is so popular it is sometimes dubbed "The Hawaiian Steak".[14] One popular Spam dish in Hawaii is Spam musubi, in which cooked Spam is combined with rice and nori seaweed and classified as onigiri

An fyi... With only 7g of protein, 15g fat, and a third of your daily intake's worth of salt, Spam is not my idea of a healthy meat.

We bought the ones on the right--much better!
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Now for our drive home...see what I mean? Dry, dry, dry.
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