From Dec. 9 -13, 2006 I made my first trip to Hawaii. Upon arriving I got my first taste of Hawaiin food. It was a Hawaiian Japanese oBento. It consisted of a box of rice with a full size chicken leg and hot dog on top. This first impression governed my cultural thoughts for the rest of the trip. Japan meet Hawaii.
My good friend Alex lives and works in the Navy there. I hung out with him and his roommates who were cool guys. During those days we put on about 30 miles of hiking and running on the Nike Shox. We were staying about 30 minutes North of Wakiki. In fact, I did not even make it to Wakiki beach. We spent one day at North Shore doing some swimming. That area was quiet and nice without many tourists. I definitely can go back out there.
We also went to a lookout that had a nice view of the island. Apparently there was a big war there where people fell over the cliffs. It was during the re-unification of Hawaii.
Lastly we spent a night in the city at a few bars, one is called Nextdoor. It was a pretty local crew of people and cool to get a feel for the local nightlife. At last I cannot forget my night with Alex`s good friends where we spent the night drinking and eating Sichuan Hot Pot. It was great.
After 2 days, we took off for the Big Island, Hawaii. The east side, Hilo, was lush with green vegetation and had a cool climate and foggy overhang. We stayed in a town called Volcano where there was a national park and volcano with steams. At the national park, we stayed at the military camp. It was pretty nice. We spent the daytime running on the craters and trails, at night, we went out to do the long volcano hike to see the lava.
We hiked out for about 75 minutes to get as close as possible to the lava flows. As night fell, the view was better and more interesting. AJ and I decided to leave just before darkness came since the terrain back was so uneven and dangerous for knees and ankles. The hike back took about 90 minutes. It was a challenging evening.
Lastly, we drove around the bottom of the island and stopped at the US most southern located restaurant. I ate some crazy concoction that was rice, eggs, and sausages. Again Hawaii meets Japan. I will add this to one of my favorite dishes. After a quick 2 hours we arrived at Kona Kaliua. It was a combination of tourist hotels and a very nice vacation houses. We did a little scuba and some shopping before heading to the airport.
All and all it was a solid trip. We got good food, some good runs, and time at the beach. Now back to work.