Sunday, August 9, 2009

Alissa Goes To The Land Of Pele - Part 1

I wasn't traveling anywhere this summer, however when I asked Alissa if she would like to come visit me on the Hilo side of the Big Island of Hawai`i, she jumped at the chance. It took a little planning, but she was soon boarding a plane and heading west to the islands in the sun.

It's a long trip from Dallas to Hilo so Alissa's first stop after a quick shower was the hammock on the front lanai; where she settled in with a good book and a glass of wine. She kept a lahala hat close by incase the sun got too bright.

After a good nights sleep with the coqui frogs singing a lullaby and a hearty breakfast of papaya, fresh eggs, and toast from Hawaiian sweet bread, Alissa was ready to see some of the island. We decided to go into Hilo and visit the bay front area.

The first stop was the parking lot at Coconut island where she could look across the water to the island.

She wanted to run across the bridge to the island, but I convinced her that it wasn't going anywhere and that she should stop and enjoy the view of Hilo Bay.

The first thing she did on the island was decide that since she was on Coconut Island, she should climb a palm tree.

Alissa really enjoyed talking to the local people who were at the beach. She learned that the Hawaiian name for the island is Mokuola; and that according to Frances Reed in her book “Hilo Legends” (Petroglyph Press) this is how Mokuola came into being:

It is said that the famous trickster demigod Maui, who lived in Hilo with his mother, the goddess Hina, in a large cave below Rainbow Falls, owned a magic canoe and magic fishhook. With his magic canoe, Maui could cover the distance between the Big Island and the island of Maui with two sweeps of his paddle! And with his magic fishhook, he could catch all the fish in the ocean!

One day, while watching a canoe head out on a long, arduous journey to the island of Maui, the demigod wondered if it might not be better to have all the Hawaiian islands joined together. That, he reasoned, would be a tremendous help for all his people. Inspired, Maui called upon Hawai'i's chiefs and strongest men, and told them of his plan to bring all the islands together. "I shall need your help in the pulling," he instructed them, "but no matter how long it takes or how difficult it may be, you must never look back to see our progress until all the islands were completely joined."

All the men obeyed and eagerly set out to begin their exciting task. The first island chosen to join Hawai'i was it's nearest neighbor, Maui. Maui the demigod fastened his magic fishhook onto Maui the island, and at his command-"'Oia! Go"-the chiefs and strong men paddled with all their strength. Slowly but surely, the island moved behind them.

As Maui had commanded, no one dared look back, although everyone was curious to see the results of their work. It was a struggle, and they paddled long and hard, until the two islands were but a few feet apart!

One of the chiefs, however, unable to contain his curiosity, peeked behind him.

In an instant, the spell was broken. The island of Maui slid back through the sea to its former position, despite the best efforts of the demigod Maui and his men to pull it back. Only a small piece of Maui remained, the part where the fishhook was still deeply fastened.

This is how Mokuola, once part of the Valley Isle of Maui, happens to be in Hilo Bay.

While she was visiting with the local people, she decided to go wading with this young boy.

From Coconut Island, Alissa looked across the water and saw a lovely park. She thought this would be a good time to also visit Queen Lili`uokalani Park. Queen Lili`uokalani was the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian Islands and was forcefully deposed by the United States Government in January of 1893. As well as her role as monarch of the islands, she was famed as an author and composer. The beautiful park along Hilo's Bay Front is named after her.

As soon as we got to the edge of the park, Alissa decided to climb another tree. She said she could get a much better view of the park from up in the Banyan tree.

However I was able to coax her down after a while and she enjoyed her view of other parts of the park.

On our way back home, we decided to stop at my favorite wine store, Grapes. Alissa wanted to meet Randy and to pick up some wine for the evening.

We finished our day with with a stop at Cafe 100 for a Loco Moco, but Alissa and I were both too tired to take pictures. A Loco Moco is a unique local dish that consists of white rice topped with a hamburger patty, fried eggs, and gravy. Totally unhealthy and totally “ono” (good) eats.

The next day we were pretty lazy in the morning, and Alissa spent part of her time on the lanai of my studio/guest house reading a good book, sipping a cold drink and enjoying the sound of the fountain and the local birds.

Later that afternoon, Hoku had an agility lesson with Andrea Dexter who was here from Seattle for a seminar with the Orchid Isle Dog Agility Club. Alissa decided to go along for the trip and to watch Hoku. She was impressed with how fast Hoku could run the obstacles.

That evening, she went to the dinner and a movie night with the Agility club at Toni Barnhart's house. She had fun laughing at all the antics of handlers and dogs.



  1. What fun! A surprise trip to Hawai'i!!! Hoku and Veryl make great travelling companions.

    I can't wait to see what else we did.

  2. Nice post - pictures of pele ..Keep Posting

    pictures of pele