Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Honeymoon, Part VI

We only had Saturday and Sunday left in Hawaii (plus a couple of hours on Monday waiting for the plane), so when we woke up Saturday morning we knew there was only one thing we wanted to do first: breakfast at Buns in the Sun. Like I said, find something good, stick with it.

We were up pretty early and we wanted to go snorkeling again, so after breakfast we drove south to a beach on Pu'uhonua O Honaunau Bay, which is also called Place of Refuge becuase there's a small "fort" there that anyone could claim sanctuary at if they'd broken the law but managed to make it there. We didn't get to the fort, but we saw it across the bay when we arrived. Parking was pretty easy and the "beach" was mostly a field of black, volcanic rock that was mostly flat.

This area is also called "Two Steps" by the natives because there are two big chunks of rock that form steps down into the choppy water. It's a little nervewracking the first time you climb in from there because of the waves, but it's much better than trying to make your way into the water from the jagged rocks everywhere else along the waterfront.

The bay was big and apart from when the waves hit the rocks it was very calm and great for swimming. Which we did for a couple of hours. This was a good place for it, too. Besides the calm waters, the area nearest the shore was easy to navigate and offered some great sections of coral, but as you went farther out the water got deeper very slowly. It was fun to glide through the ocean and look down at a couple different layers of fish, the big boulders of coral and a few sandy sections that made it really easy to spot fish as they swam between you and the white sand below. In a particularly large sandy area someone had set concrete blocks on the bottom spelling out the word "ALOHA" and the coral had already started to grow on it. It sounds like a cheesy thing, but it was cool and surprising to see as we were swimming along.

After we finished snorkeling we headed north on the road and found some lunch at a roadside restaurant called Teshima's. It's been around forever and the food was very good. One thing I noticed right away was a bright Family Circus cartoon framed on the wall. When I asked if it was an original the waitress told me it was and that it was a gift from a regular who knows Bill Keane, so he'd commissioned it for the founder's 100th birthday which was earlier in the year. That was pretty cool to see.

Back on the road we stopped at a little shop with lots of curios and a bakery (called Coffees & Epicurea) where we picked up a handful of postcards which we didn't actually mail until we got home. There was a nice sitting area in back and when we went to check it out we saw a number of geckos running around. That was fun because they're apparently territorial, so you don't see many of them in the same place very often. We spent a couple of minutes finding others and admiring their bright colors. They're very pretty with bright greens and blues and reds.

Then it was nap time, so we headed home so we could read and nap. When we were recovered from our hard day we decided to go see the movie Funny People, which we both enjoyed. Then it was time for ice cream, which meant heading down to the main drag, finding a parking spot and walking along the waterfront. That was a lot of fun because the ocean was really choppy with some pretty sizable swells that had just enough force to send intermittant showers of water over the retaining walls and onto the sidewalk and street. It wasn't dangerous, just surprising and exciting (especially when we first drove by and we were splashed by a well-timed wave).

With ice cream in our bellies and a short walk under our belts we drove home, did some more reading, and then fell asleep.

I hope that sounded like a nice, slow, relaxing day to you, because it definitely was.


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