Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mahalo for Reading!

What a day!

This morning I saw my first gecko - They're quick little critters! I tried to take a pic of him but I'm afraid they did not come out very well as he kept crawling away when I got close enough to snap a shot:



Oh well!

This morning while making a minor grocery run, Jeff and I ran into our next-door neighbor, Frances, who works at his clinic. They were working the same shift today, and she offered to car-pool him so that I could have the car for the day, out of the apartment and enjoy the beautiful weather we're having here (which is apparently cold even by Hawaiian winter standards - it was about 77 today). I will have to thank her again tomorrow, because I had a wonderful day and took a ton of photos!

Well, Since I had the car for the day, I knew right where I was going to go. About a mile down Hualala'i Road (that we live on), is a bit of beach, a farmers market and a ton of shops set up a'la boardwalk style along the streets.

First stop was the Kona Farmers Market a.k.a. Kailua Village Farmers & Crafts Market:



This place had a lot of produce (none of which I bought today because we just went grocery shopping), some crafts and a ton of jewelry (I'm sure not all of it made in Hawaii). There where about 40 vendors and I spent about an hour there.

Here are my purchases:




The top two necklaces and the one on the left here where from the same stand and $4/pc. They are made out of braided Lauhala, with Cowrie shells, some teeny-tiny shells that may or may not be Kahelelani shells, and some other type I have no guess on (the pink ones). If anyone can correct me on these I would greatly welcome it! The 4th I spent a whole $8 on - it's a bird carved out of mother of pearl, the strand having some seashells and stones on it.



My last purchase at the market where these 2 rings. They're roughly same, roses carved out of stone (I hate to say I'm not sure what - jade maybe?). One is a pale blue, the other more green, the bottom of the rings are a knotted thick thread like carpet thread - a little thicker than Highmark for those stitchers out there... I would have only gotten one but they where 1/$10 or 2/$15 so I figured what the hey and bought one in each color - I know I'll wear them all the time now.

After the market, I walked down Ali'i drive and checked out the Kona Inn Shopping Village for about 2 hours:



This area looks like a boardwalk and was great to walk in and out of the shops with their doors open wide, some along the street and some tucked back behind those. There are a bunch of eateries and shops here too (sorry, no fries that I noticed), one of note being Keoki's Donkey Balls ... lovely, Lol....

So at one of the shops I bought this little skirt/dress:



It's by KarizaDesigns - in India! Soooo not Hawaii, but it's really cool and I loved the pattern so I bought it and I'm sure will make a few of them myself before summer (no sewing machine here w/ me). Anyway, it's 2 lightweight layers of different printed fabric with a waistband of long ties to make it into a wrap skirt. One layer is shorter than the other so from the Pink side it shows a bit at the hem, which is cute. The really cool thing about this is that it's crazy versatile! They say there are over 100 ways to wrap it into different dresses and skirts, 3 of which I tried in the store and where super easy - I have to go onto their website to learn more! I'm sure that I will be wearing this here all of the time, and If i can find them cheaper at a market in a different pattern that I like I will probably buy another one. This is the long one so as a skirt it is full length. they also have medium ones which since I'm tiny make a knee-length skirt/short dress or cover-up and a short one that makes a top all different ways! I'll have to do a little photo shoot of some of the styles one of these days - but more than likely you'll see me wearing it in a bunch of photos!

Now, walking down Ali'i Drive is Kailua Bay Beach, where some people where snorkeling on one end of the area that I was walking, boats where going all about out farther, and on the far end children where swimming and a kayak came back to shore. Here are those pics of the water and the land around it:



And some more of Ali'i Drive:



There where a bunch of crazy huge and cool trees around here too as you can see in the photo above. Here are some more pics of that monster:



And not far down the street from that is this next one, and some others around the area:



I reached the end of the Drive (more or less) and got an Ice Shave which I had read about and was very excited to try my first from Scandinavian Shave Ice! It's basically like a snow cone, but it's not pieces of ice the way that we normally eat them at home and from the vendors on Broad street in Philly during a parade. No, these are big round blocks of ice that sit on top of a blade and are shaved to the consistency of snow - not grainy ice. I got the small size, as you can obviously see here:



Haha! No really, that's the small! It's $2.75 and about 6" in diameter - the pile it on off of the shaver, then pour 3 kinds of syrup on it of your choice and then pack it all down to a nice snowball on top of a flowery plastic cone dish. It was huge - and I ate the entire thing. I got Mango (good), Coconut (didn't care for this flavor - I thought it tasted line perfume rather than actual coconut) & Pineapple (way good, a recommendation). A pointer to those of you who may ever come here and get this treat - take napkins (just one or 2 will do you) and make sure you grab a spoon AND a straw, as this is crucial and I found that out the hard way thinking that the spoon would be enough. Wrong. They load it up with syrup and since the ice is so finely shaved it does melt quickly. The shape of the bowl/cone does help but after walking for a bit and eating the ice I felt a little drip from the liquid pooling in the bottom. I sipped what i could out of it so that I didn't make such a mess but that was tricky since there was still a giant ball of snow on top! I finally passed a foodery that had straws just inside the door at a condiments stand and took one. My other bit of advice is to try to get three flavors that you think will mix well, because especially as you get towards the end, or the snow starts to melt and you reach for the straw, it's all mixed together. All that being said, I can't wait for my next one!

Last but not least to write about for the day, I passed the Moku'aikaua Chuch, the oldest and first founded Christian church in the state of Hawai'i, established in 1820. I was nearing the end of my walking time as the day was getting later, but I did snap a few photos and will have to go back to tour it another day (you can also see the steeple of the church in one of the ocean view pictures above in this blog):



I also walked by the Hulihe'e Palace, the former vacation residence of Hawaiian royalty, currently a museum operated by the Daughters of Hawaii, with a showcase of furniture and artifacts. I missed a photo of the whole outside, and appeared to be closed today (it is currently in repair due to earthquake damage), but I hope to get back to see it and be able to walk through. Until then, here is the front gate and the plaque mounted outside:



Well, that pretty much ends my adventures for the day, and what a great day it was!

Once again, Mahalo for reading this super-long blog!

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