Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Waipio Valley & Akaka Falls

Saturday morning we got up early. We were up at 5 and we left the hotel by 6.

We were headed to Waipio Valley and Akaka Falls.

Some of our friends had been up there a few days earlier and stopped for lunch along the way. They were headed to a restaurant that someone recommend... but when they got there it didn't look like something they would be interested in. So they stopped at a little diner because there were tons of cars in the parking lot... they said that the place was packed and that it was the best Hawaiian food they had ever had. Anna (our adventurous friend) asked one of the hotel workers about this little diner the night before and he said, "Oh, yeah, it's the best Hawaiian food on the island but on Saturday morning there is always a wait, even before they open." We took our chances. As we were driving up the island, it started to get really cold and it started to rain on us. We were super bummed because we were all in shorts and the top of the Jeep was off. But we got to the diner soon after it started raining... and there was already a line by 6:40 a.m..

Luckily only 3 people were in line before us, but 5 other cars pulled up before it even opened. The three people already in line were old college football stars... from Oregon and Idaho state... who now live on the island and run football camps. (It made me wish I were an old football star... I've got the name, anyway...). They raved about the food and told us that absolutely everything on the menu was delicious.

(Internet loco.... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!)

I ordered one of the specials. I can't remember the name of it, but I got two HUGE HUGE HUGE coconut pancakes with coconut glaze (in between and on top of the pancakes) with some toasted coconut on top. Deeeeee-licious. I only made it through a quarter of the pancakes. Anna got banana macadamia nut pancakes, Jake got his favorite breakfast ever- corned beef hash- and Ben got Hawaiian Style Loco Moco.

(I saw this newspaper on the way out and it helped to justify my fear of sharks a few days earlier.)

We rolled out of the diner and continued our drive to the Waipio Valley lookout. Earlier in our trip I told Jake that I didn't really like the Big Island very much. We had always driven towards Kona and it's all just black lava and very desert-looking. But as were were driving north, we drove past huge cow pastures and rolling, green hills. I was really starting to change my mind about the Big Island.

It was so beautiful. It kind-of just takes your breath away.

From the lookout you could see a little village. (To the left of the water, between the lookout and the mountain). It looked like a little hippie farm village and I thought of my sister, Montana, and how much she would love this.

We decided to drive down there and check it out. The road going down is super steep and the people going down must yield to the people coming up.

It was so beautiful down there.

(I REALLY wanted to be this kayaker)

It was exactly what it looked like from above... a hippie farm village... with all the residence promising to throw rocks at you if you drive too fast.

There was a fork in the road earlier and we decided to go back and turn the other direction. It lead right out to the black sand beach.

The 'parking lot' had a sign that said NO CAMPING, ANCIENT BURIAL GROUNDS.

(We saw several cars/truck that had tumbled down the mountain. And airplane parts)

I was a little uneasy when Ben asked Earthquake if he wanted to drive up the mountain... but I got to have the front seat so it was ok.

Ben, Anna, and I stood up on the way up the mountain. It added another level of scary to the ride back up.

Steep. Narrow. Crazy.

Jake didn't see a speed bump on the way up and the camera almost got thrown out of my hands and into the ocean below. Good thing I'm quick like a cat :)

Jake made it up the mountain just fine but we almost ran out of gas, so we stopped at the first gas station we could find.

(Wouldn't it be nice to live somewhere that had such good weather all year long that the airport and gas stations were outside?)

We stopped by a fruit stand on the side of the road.

 (Guanabana- Jake's favorite fruit from Costa Rica)

The view on the way to Akaka Falls:

It took about another hour to get to Akaka Falls. The entire drive was beautiful; we crossed half a dozen bridges and saw several waterfalls.

We had to pay $1/person to walk down to the falls. No big deal for how beautiful it was!

Akaka Falls.

After we posed for that picture I asked Anna if it was a good one. She said she thought so but would take a few more just in case... and then the we-woke-up-at-5:00-this-morning dorks in us came out:

 -We didn't plan the braids/hat combo-

Jake says hey babe, this would be a cool shot...

...and it was a cool shot.

Ben drove back while Anna and Jake slept. Ben let me play with his iPhone. (my phone was made in the 90's or something because it can only to 1/100,000th of what his can do).

We decided to go to Hapuna beach one more time before we flew out in the morning. We were all pretty tired... but it's not everyday that you're in Hawaii. We tried snorkeling one last time but the waves were kicking up too much sand to see much of anything.

That night was the big dinner and awards recognition.

They always do an hour of drinks and socializing before the main event... we usually end up with water or coke because we don't drink... but this year they made us pineapple juice with grenadine which made us feel pretty cool!

Then we had dinner (AMAZING), dessert (DELICIOUS), 3+ hours of awards, recognition, new advertising campaign announcements, and an Elvis impersonator. We were really excited about the new advertising campaign and we think some of the commercials are pretty awesome. (They are about insuring your American dream. Have you seen 'em yet?)

Since Elvis was a little before our time, we headed to bed early... which was still past 11 p.m. We packed our bags and then waited to fall asleep. We were both so excited to see Everett the next night that we couldn't fall asleep.


  1. I wish I were in Hawaii... right NOW. Hehe. What an awesome trip and LOVELY pictures!

  2. That picture at the end where you're both holding your drinks looks like you're holding a GIANT hat in front of you with your left hand lol