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[personal profile] mizarchivist
If I don't do this now, it'll never get done. So, I'm doing this in the HTML interface since LJ's visual editor is down, pls excuse the rudimentary. Also, I'll have to emulate 42itous and put in photos sans exposition another time.

expositionFubar has work-weeks semi-annually in summer/winter. They tend to go to Cool/vacation places (like Whistler, London, Orlando). When they announced last year that THIS year was Hawaii, I waited maybe a whole half minute before I told him I/we would be coming, too. Our whole house: Jaime, Kid, asciikitty, Fubar, me, and last minute add on: Fubar's mom! Work week worked, then the rest of us tagged along several days later.

accommodation: Right before Crime Fighter joined the party 6 years ago, there was a trip to Italy as some of you may recall. When we were there, we rented an apartment in Rome, and I believe that was what set the precedent for renting houses rather than staying in hotels. That and whenever Fubar goes to the UK he inevitably stays with our friends, so yeah- this trip, no exception. We rented a house near the beach in Kona within a medium sized walk to Ali'i Drive. What many of you may not know is that all beaches in Hawaii are open to the public, even in the gated community we were borrowing. There were a few cut-throughs from the main drag to the ostensibly lava-rock beaches. The house itself was magnificent and absolutely huge. And smelled exactly like what I remember my maternal grandmother's house smelled like: of moisture in the air that you get in the summer, of eucalyptus, and I'm not sure what. The decor was also very much Moey's style. It felt like being home and I marveled at that for several days before I could figure out how to keep that fugue state in my head. There were 2 linai, a big one in the back as a secondary dining room, and a lounge-y one in the front off the kitchen. There was an in-law suite where Jaime enjoyed puttering when she was up first (also where a big-ass TV was). There was a pool in the back, but it was damn cold to swim in and we had the OCEAN across the street, so... Oh, and the ground floor where the in-law suite was had sheltered area to play pool, plus another eating and couch-y area. I've never in my life spent so much time in a tropical place where people mostly are mostly outside even when they're inside. A house is a place that keeps the rain off your head and has closets, instead a fortress. Or something.

Outings (not necessarily in chronological order):
1. The day at the resort. The Mozzilites were in a resort, so our first full day was spent at the resort enjoying their pools and restaurants. It was nice for a day, but I prefer the stay in a real house where you get to control for meals. Fubar's mom is a neat-enthusiast (too), and so basically just cleaned up without fail and was happy to do so since she wasn't cooking.
2. Ali'i Drive artist fair- The artist fair was... expensive. I enjoyed getting new mugs, shirts, sarongs... yes. very expensive, but we aren't on vacation every year like THIS. They also have a farmer's/outdoor market (rabbit warren) almost every day, which has a lot of cool stuff to meet tourist needs (carvings, jewelry, clothing, knick knacks)... Interestingly, the souvenir/artist stall space I liked even better was one a bit down the road- I was in rare form and spent a ridiculous amount of time just talking to the folks about their work. The rest of the family was amused and eventually had to drag me away.
3. SNORKELING- that was life-changing like the way climbing was: sort of scary at first, but quickly the cooolest thing eeevvvvarrrr! It's too bad we were only 2 hours in the water. Next tropical vacation will have much more snorkel options. This particular half day jaunt is one where you sign up and go out either first thing in the morning (our choice) or afternoon. The smallish motorboat seats maybe 12-15 and had 2 crew: Erika and Tiana. We got the tour-guide spiel along the coast (moral of the story is: know how to swim so you don't get stoned to death by angry indigenous folk, Captain Cook) with a stop over at the Cook memorial for an hour of snorkeling then stopped at the Refuge location. We learned about Ku, lava tubes, burial practices, Captain Cook, and old Hawaiian law. The return trip was more direct across deep water to see dolphins and whales. We saw both! Lots of dolphins, about 8 or more, who obligingly played with the monkeys' boat and when Erika kicked up a huge wake, they rocked out and jumped behind us for a while. The humpback whale sightings is not as exciting, since you have to say 100 yds away. But! It was clear there were 3 whales along the coast, one was even a behbeh.
4. Coffee Plantation- You can go up into the mountain and visit where the coffee comes from. Fubar and Ascii had been on their last trip 2 years ago and it was worth going again. It was maybe a 15 minute tour, then we bought a ton of coffee and went back DOWN the mountain.
5. Volcanoes National Park- It takes 2 hours to get from where we were staying to the Volcanoes. It was nice that the minivan we rented had a DVD player in, because the kid could watch videos most of the way. After being stuck in an airplane for 12 hours, 2 seemed not so bad. Unfortunately, it was rainy that day and none of us were fully prepared for how cold it was when we started the journey sweaty. I have to say, it felt a lot like Mordor. We lingered at the lookout spot on the caldera of one of the volcanoes, lunched in a covered area, saw the lava tubes, and the steam vents. We looked over where you could hike but none of us were up for that kind of hike. Certainly not the hike required to see flowing lava (4 miles to and from over rough terrain). On the way back, we went through Hilo, then timed it right to go part of the way up Moauna Kea to see the sunset. This was a situation where we were ABOVE the clouds. I was all "well, this isn't gonna work out" and Fubar was all "Just wait for it." Ascii and I hustled up to a vantage point to watch the sun go down. It was phenomenal. Then drove back to Kona and had takeout pizza. :)
6. Beach? Beach. We just went to a sandy beach near the original resort for most of a day. Not much to write home about, but nice to Go To The Beach, which I generally enjoy.

food: It's all true. It's all delicious and all expensive. I think I ate enough to replace pineapple juice for blood. We returned to a place Ascii and Fubar found on their last trip called the Poke Shack. 2 large and 1 small takeout pizza was 2x the cost of Boston pizza. We ate a lot of fish and rice and fruit and I rarely thought too hard about dessert. (no longer true now that I'm back to grey and dark places).

Nice brain, good brain (and summing up): Within a day of being there, my brain started to reset from being default angry/ depressed/ anxious. I had a few moments where the lack of that situational (work, mostly) stress made me feel like I was borrowing someone else's body and life. I was not reactive at all, just chill. I got to do some watercoloring. Not a ton, but some. Jaime and I got to go on a date. The Kid and I had a lovely time together. Ascii and I got up early a few times, sometimes jogging, sometimes not. I saw sunsets and sunrises. F's mom, Julia, and I had great talks. Fubar and I failed to have a date, but we hung out together way more than we do in any standard-issue week. I'd have liked another week so I could do a few more outings andsome unstructured stuff for walks or art. I'd like to go on the tropical vacation diet from maybe Halloween through to Easter some year, where I snorkel, do art, mostly forget there's a thing called dessert, and maintain a sense of chill more easily.

TL: DR? Everyone had a great time. We saw pretty fish, swam, saw volcanoes, drank COFFEE, enjoyed getting souvenirs, and it's a damn miracle we came home at all. Feel free to ask me to see pictures if you're into that sort of thing. I by default don't offer them in case you're one of the ones who finds looking at vacation pictures depressing. (ETA): Also, I'm giving myself a gold star for knowing enough HTML/LJ code to put in cuts, because this did run quite long. Go me! I know things!!
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