mark twain says:

"travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."


surfing and saying goodbye

after driving back up the vertical road,
and bidding our horse guide our warmest alohas,
we headed back to the little house to grab the boys surf boards.
a lazy streak struck them, and they decided the girls wouldn't mind cuddling up with the boards for a short drive...
 on the way, we swung by buck's house to scoop him and his board.
 and soon we arrived at honoli'i surf park.
 the boys were eager to test out their new boards.
 they got 'em all waxed up!
 buck set off into the icy water,
 with patrick and andrew close behind.
after an exhausting hour or so among the waves, andrew was tired and so happy.
the board was a complete success.
 after a quick rest- he was back in the water.
 but i have zero surfing photos to show you.
me and shannie sat and watched,
after a long day in the sun, it was time to come home and have some beers.
we kicked off the slippers,
and cracked open some bottles.
 we knew we would be leaving hilo the next day,
and we were so very happy to have gotten to spend so much of our trip with buck.
we got some group shots to take home with us.
he was one of the only people that truly embraced us when we moved to hawaii.
we explored the island together, he and andrew learned to surf together,
and we cooked a zillion meals together.
 shaka brah!!
we love you, mr. buck.
 and so the sun set on our last day in little hilo.
a hui hou kakou!
(until we meet again)


riding through the waipi'o valley

the next day we drove up to waipi'o to do the valley horseback ride.
if you ever have the desire to see waipi'o valley, the 
horseback tour is the best way to go about it.

the valley is huge...
the only way down into it is in a tough four wheel drive.
for the tour, we meet at a designated meeting place above the valley, then board a van and ride down together. the driver asks that you leave the sliding door open and do not put on seat belts. this is because, if the breaks fail- your best chance is to hurl your body from the vehicle. fun!
but once you get down in the valley, it is completely peaceful.
there are only about 50 residents of this valley,
and they are all friends.
they live off the land and many are taro farmers.
finally down at the stables, we sign our waivers (yes- after the life threatening van ride), and are given horses that suite your height, weight, and personality.
example: i was given a sturdy horse with a friendly personality.
the owners of the stable have a bunch of little doggies that love to tag along on the tours.
andrew was given a massive horse with a very opinionated personality.
i was nervous, but have gotten much better about facing my horse fears.
we had a mutual understanding that neither of us wanted to be doing this,
so we just needed to get along and get it over with.
and onward we marched!
here is a little family home.
that is our guide (who's name i can't spell).
he is literally the most genuinely happy and friendly person i've ever met.
he also learns every single persons name within the first ten minutes, and remembers them until your final alohas!
he plucked flowers for all the ladies.
wearing a flower behind the left ear means the girl is taken, the right ear implies availability.
oddly, my left ear seems to stick farther away from my face than my right and flowers resist sitting behind it... a sign perhaps?
here is andrew and his horse stopping for a sip.
note the weird helmet wearers behind him..
the trail winds all around the valley,
and beneath tree canopies.
the colors are so vibrant.
and this particular day was really sunny!
rolling hills and green grass!
hey patrick and shannon!
our guide snagged some guava fruit and let everyone sample it.
it tastes like heaven!
towards the end they line everyone up in their groups and take pictures.
here's our whole group!
and just me and ange.
i know, i know- "cool shoes, lins!" (you have to wear close toed shoes..)
the guide gave his horse a flower. apparently she has a horse fellow.
the home stretch takes you through some fairly deep water.
and then back home to the stables.
the little doggies kept up the whole trip!
what a fantastic experience!
na'alapa- you have yet to disappoint us!
thank you for a fantastic day!


the party doubles

on sunday, patrick and shannon arrived from maui!

we greeted them at the airport and upgraded to a suv...
this was necessary- because both andrew and patrick were now proud owners of new surf boards.
we drove down to richardson's ocean beach park (one of our favorite old hangouts)
where patrick had booked us a two night house!
we unpacked eagerly.
 and, of course, removed our slippers...

the view was directly overlooking richardson's!
we were giddy (despite the overcast day).
the house there on the left is one of the other rental houses available on the link above ("beaches").
 it was just the perfect size place, with a perfect little yard.
 purple flowers were dripping from the tree limbs.
 and this mossy gnome became our friend.
(old smokey)
 this little kitty was another member of the property.
 side note:
as soon as we picked up patrick and shannon, we drove them around little hilo.
we also took the opportunity to grocery shop for the evening.
we went to four stores in search of the little hawaiian chili peppers that andrew loves so much,
but, alas, there were none to be found- anywhere!
next we went on a drive around the neighborhoods- keeping our eyes peeled for some chilies growing in yards. andrew (known locally as "the fruit bandit") loves to snatch unwanted fruits and veggies from yards.
and still we found none.
suddenly- we happened across a house with mountainous pepper plants growing all around! a huge sign out front read "peppers, chilies, spicy nuts, chili water, hot hot hot!"
but then we saw the "closed" sign (it was sunday).
andrew could not be kept away from this opportunity with a mere six letter word.
he leapt from the car and knocked on the pepper farmer's door. a sleepy looking hawaiian in sweat pants answered the door. we watched from the car as they chatted and then disappeared into the house. minutes later, andrew emerged with tons of goodies and a huge grin. there was a bag of hawaiian chilies- three bags of spicy nuts- a small sack of dried hawaiian chili powder- and countless others!
it was chili pepper heaven.
back at the house, we got cozy and unpacked.
the men unpacked and admired their boards.
we snagged a bottle of this hawaiian vodka.
it's distilled with lava!
(clearly a gimmick that worked on us)
and plenty of fruit and veg:
i even snagged some of my favorite gluten free bread- buddha belly baker!
(pumpkin is the best)
we bought hawaiian grass-fed steaks, spare ribs, ahi, and mahi.
it was a feast.
the ladies popped a little vino,
and then we all headed down to richardson beach!
it was a tiny bit overcast- but still plenty warm.
the boys went for a snorkel and a boogie board.
then we hiked the lava hills.
the waves were crashing and the cloudy skies brought out the best blues.
yay for hawaii party!

we spotted a few honu.
rockin' the "locals."

we've been missing you, richardson's beach.
that night we feasted on ahi nachos (that may have been a little over wasabi-ed), ribs, steak, mahi, veggies- bah! so good!
and the little house we were at was out of black pepper, so the boys substituted the dried chili pepper. it was the spiciest dinner of my life.
andrew was in heaven.
and so concludes part two of our hawaiian adventure.
come back soon for more stories!

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