Friday, October 24, 2008

Hawaii Recap

Hi everyone. I've wanted to post pictures from my Hawaii trip for quite a while now. Finally, I'm getting to it. It was a really fun trip. You can ask me how the IEEE meetings went. I'm sure you're not surprised that the highlights of my trip were not from the meetings. There were actually some really nice views from the conference hotel, though we didn't stay there. (too expensive) Here's an example to the left. The meeting took place at the Hilton in Waikaloa Village.

We were in Hawaii for approximately a week. We stayed in a resort in Kailua Kona on the Big Island. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. The only time it really interfered was to keep us from going all the way up to the top of Mauna Kea to do some star gazing one night. Overall, it was a great opporunity to make use of our new digital camera, a Nikon D40X. (For you photo bufs, I stuck with my 50mm F/1.8 prime the whole time.)

One day we drove around the island to Hilo. We had dinner at an excellent Thai place there, which you can see to the left. That day, we also went to see the lava flowing into the ocean, which was near Hilo. We couldn't get too close to the lava since the park had set up tape keeping people back, but it was pretty cool to watch too. Jerry and I had fun making fun of the people who were trying to use their on-camera flashes from approximately a mile away as it got dark. Sorry, we're engineers, what do you expect. If you look closely under the rising cloud of steam, just to the left of the flow, you can see a water spout. They would spring up once in a while.

That same day, we visited a black sand beach. If I remember correctly, it's lava rock that has broken down and is only a few hundred or thousand years old, and the minerals haven't yet been removed from the rock, which would turn it to the normal sand color. I tried to take a little bit of a close-up so you can see how course it was and how jet-black it was. We also tried to visit a green sand beach near what's called south-point, but it was quite a walk across some hot and dry areas, so we turned back and didn't actually get to see it. Next time...

One day, we went to a luao in Kona. It was pretty cool. They roasted a pig underground for us, had some other native Hawaiian dishes, including poi. I don't recommend it in general, though, if you have it whole how they prepared some of it, it reminded me of yams. I was interested to see that the poi was purple. They put on a show for us, including dressing up like the royal Hawaiian court of the 1800's, specifically King Kamehameha. There's a picture of them to the left. They also dressed and danced like natives of New Zeeland, Fiji, Tonga, and other islands.

On our final day, Jerry and I went to a coffee plantation and to a farmers' market in downtown Kona. The coffee plantation had avocado and banana trees in addition to the coffee plants. The farmers' market had some interesting fruits, including dragon fruit, rambutan (I'd never seen thsi before and wish I'd gotten some to try it now.) and apple bananas (they're small, red-ish bananas, which Jerry and I tried). We had some dragon fruit when we had gone to a grocery store one day, but it didn't really taste like anything; it just looked nice. We also saw some geckos crawling around on some boxes in one of the stands. He was giving such and odd pose, as you can see to the left.

We enjoyed great pineapples, passion fruit and papayas during our time there. I have a bunch of pictures from the underwater camera from snorkeling, but I'll post them another time. I have to get them organized yet. All in all, it was a really fun trip, but I do wish Chantal would have been there. She just makes everything more fun. :) Next time...


qsogirl said...

wow, i am totally jealous!

TheFrazers said...

Jason and Chantal! This is Stacy Frazer...used to be Stacy Billings from EDGE Corps...your fellow Bulgaria friend. I found your blog through Melanie Keath. Chantal, you are as beautiful as I remember! Drew and I have friends studying here from South Africa and I think of you every time we are with them. Hope you are well. Our blog is