Sunday, July 29, 2012

Travel Log: July 9, 2012

A quiet condo/beach day.  Breakfast was leftover pancakes and fresh made eggs.

Boogie boarding at La'aloa for M and reading for me.  I started reading The Gift of Asher Lev since I am reluctant to take my borrowed Nook to the beach.  After a few hours at the beach spent some time at the condo: reading, napping and watching TV.  Made sandwiches for lunch with a free avocado from Greenwell's farm, delicious.

Shaved ice for a snack mid-afternoon.  Then a short, but fun snorkel trip.  Mark was really worn out from Boogie boarding still and needed more resting before dinner.  We ate at Thirteen Palms again.  This time we had the very yummy house salad with grilled ono.  Then desert on the lanai (ice cream sundaes) while watching the sun set.  Once Mother Nature's show was over we watched Our Idiot Brother (a movie).  It was cute and sweet.

Tomorrow is our last day on the island, then back to normal.  I miss the pets and Grandma and Grace Bear and Glow in the Woods.

Waiting for a wave

Neat car parked outside Thirteen Palms

No Island Magic This Time

A little break, dear readers, from the travel narrative.  We of course were hoping against hope that we could use this Hawaii trip to recreate whatever magic forces need to align for us to conceive.  We had a great run, really long luteal phase, ovulation days before I would normally etc.  Fertility Friend recommended a pregnancy test yesterday.  I debated about what to do, since I hate negative tests so much after having so many in the past.  I elected to wait until Tuesday, kinda arbitrary I know, but I would rather wait then have than damn one line looking at me instead of two.  My temperature fell a little yesterday, but held at the same level today, still well above the cover line, but then I started spotting earlier today and it is getting heavier as the day progresses.  I was so hopeful about this cycle and have even been having nausea for the last few days.  I know that there is still a small chance, but realistically I need to probably start to focus on my next cycle.

I do have an appointment with a hypno-therapist in a week and I am hoping that may reveal some subconscious blocks to pregnancy, since medically I am normal and my DH is normal and yet we don't get pregnant as easily as we should.  Although man when we did our baby was just the best.  Think good thoughts for me in the next few days as the final few lines are written in our island cycle.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Travel Log: July 8, 2012

A much better day than yesterday, although it still had it's share of misadventures!

Breakfast was French toast with organic, range fed, cage free eggs from the Farmer's market.  Then off on a short drive to La'aloa Bay Beach (Magic Sands Beach).  I wrote names in the sand and M had some great Boogie boarding.  I did get stung by a bee on the bottom of my foot, but other than that a fun outing.

Back at the condo for a shower and some laundry.  Lunch was another mis-step.  I wanted pizza so we went to Bianelli's, but it was closed.  Since Bianelli's was so close and we were going to get take out, I did not bring either camera.  The next closest pizza place was south of Keauhou, so we drove south to a place called Patz Pizza.  Unfortunately, it was MUCH farther than I had though and M was cranky.  We did eventually find the place and the pizza was pretty good.

Since we passed several coffee farms on the trip for the pizza we decided to take a tour of one, after eating, and sampled some coffee.  It was very interesting and I learned a lot about coffee.  I also learned sampling some of the world's best coffee, that I don't really like coffee...  Then we went to the famous Have a Ball Factory and purchased Donkey and Wild Boar Balls (chocolate covered macadamia nuts).

A short adventure in buying food from hippies followed (do we look stupid enough to pay $10 for a pineapple?).  Across the street for the aforementioned uber capitalist hippies was the Amy Greenaway Ethnobotanical Garden.  We walked over there and M chatted up the gardener and bought a very cool T shirt, but we did not take the garden tour.

Back down the mountain for snorkeling at Kahalu'u beach park.  It was fantastic, so many varieties of fish in big schools.  There were also some turtles sunning themselves and eating there.

Another shower at the condo and then a quick "game" of tennis and a sunset walk on the beach.  Wrote some more lost babies names in the sand as the sun was setting.  Dinner was left over pizza on the lanai at the condo.

M did end up having a good day, even after getting annoyed at the long, unplanned drive, to find pizza.  My day was also as good as could be expected.  What keeps coming up is that we are still so broken and fragile.  We would give anything to have our girl back.  She is so loved and so precious.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Travel Log: July 7, 2012

A long hard day.  Missing Grace so, so much.  Woke up and finished reading The Five People You Meet In Heaven.  M was really low energy and slept in, so I started reading Sense and Sensibility.  We went out for breakfast at Vista Restaurant at the Kona Country Club.  Great view and decent food: pancakes with raspberry, macadamia nut compote for M with sugar cured bacon, veggie eggs benedict for me.

Then we shopped at the Farmer's market, Long's drugs and the KTA Grocery store.  Lunch was sandwiches at the condo after a long walk looking at the shoreline near the condo.  There is no good ocean access within walking distance for swimming or boogie boarding.

We drove up the coast in the afternoon to look at some of the beaches in the guide book.  Long drive made even longer since I got confused and we went to the wrong beach the first time.

The correct beach was a 20 minute walk from another beach which was 1.5 miles from the highway.  The road to to the first beach was not drivable so we hiked in with all of our beach gear.  The hike was long and hot and ugly, through an old lava field.  We finally got to the first beach and there were signs at the trail head for the second beach saying not to go down the trail.  So we decided to stay at the first beach.  The wind was heavy and my hat was blowing around and I broke the chain on my Grace necklace without even knowing it and lost the charm.  When I noticed a few minutes later we spent over an hour walking the beach looking for the charm.  I burnt the bottoms of my feet on the hot sand and burnt my skin in the sun.  A German woman and her son helped us look for a while as well and I was very grateful.

We gave up looking and M briefly swam in the water and then we started to hike back to the Crown Vic.  Some people took pity on us and drove us back to the car.

Walking on that ugly road through a barren lava field we realized that we had been playing the happy couple on vacation, but the truth of being baby loss parents shown through then.  Losing my tangible link to her, the necklace, was like a slap in the face.  I can order a new one when we get home.  I know it is not her.  Maybe the islands needed to remember her and the charm will help them.

I don't think that I like this place... it is too harsh, too barren.  Hilo was historied and alive and fecund... this place is so raw and difficult.

Grace my darling I hope to dream of you tonight.  Cradle you in my arms, feed you from my body and smell your sweet, perfect baby smell.

View from Vista Restaurant

Outrigger Beach

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Travel Log: July 6, 2012

A quiet morning.  Slept well and awoke early and read.  Sunrise was subtle and gentle

Ate Hawaiian bread baked french toast and stuffed papaya for breakfast.  It was good, but not great.  Checked out of Hale Kai and went to the Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Gardens which were fantastic.  Unfortunately I got eaten alive by mosquitoes there.  Took a really obscene number of photographs there.  M plans to practice drawing by doing small botanical pieces every day and using some of the photos for inspiration.

Had lunch at McDonald's of all places and inside the Hilo Walmart to boot!  It was M's choice and he had all the Hawaii only items: Saimin and coconut haupia pie.  Drove back through Waimea and cattle country to Kailua-Kona.  Read the guide book aloud on the trip and learned about the history of Parker Ranch which once comprised all the land we were driving through.

The condo at Keauhou is just beautiful, right on the water, but the town in general is lacking charm.  It feels like a vacation town, not a real place the way Hilo did.  However one plus is that no jungle no bugs!  M feels like he is back in the 80's with the decor of the condo, but he seems very happy.

I finished The Keeper of Lost Causes, the Danish detective novel, not as good as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but an enjoyable read.  I have now started The Five People You Meet In Heaven.

Dinner was Ono tacos at a sports bar called Thirteen Palms.  The back to the condo to watch the sun set over the water.

Tomorrow is for reading, painting and playing in the ocean.  May also check out a book store saw that has cats living there!

Stuffed Papaya

Onomea Falls at Botanical Garden


Beehive Ginger

Botanical Garden

Botanical Pictures

M at McDonald's


First Kona sunset

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Travel Log: July 5, 2012

Slept poorly last night, there was a dripping noise from outside that sounded like a faucet leaking that kept waking me up.

Mark did a great pencil drawing at sunrise and I took some good pictures of him doing it.  I relaxed and read until breakfast.  Breakfast was okay, but just that.  Cooking is not this B&B's strong suit.  However we had an interesting mix of people this morning.  A couple of composers from Australia and 2 couples from Florida.

We got a late start, but went for a beautiful scenic drive through the Puna district.  Waded in two natural hot springs (the second was far superior to the first).  Breathed the cleanest air in the world on the far east coast of the island.  Saw some breath taking vistas.

Had a fantastic lunch at Kaleo's in Pahona: Sesame crusted Ono for M with wasabi vinaigrette and mountain apple salsa, Caprese sandwich for me with fries.  Also partook in some decedent deserts: banana spring rolls and chocolate lava cake.  Met a couple from Tahiti there.

Things deteriorated from there.  M became obsessed with seeing flowing lava and I was just plain worn out.  We walked out to the new black sand beach at Kaimu through a lava field and wrote Grace's name in the sand.  A tour guide from an adventure company offered to take our picture and we got completely drenched by a wave that destroyed Grace's sand name, a complete family wipe out.

The tours out to the lava were canceled due to weather, too rainy.  M still wanted to wait and walk out on our own at dark.  So we waited for 90 minutes for the sun to go down.  I read in the car, but he listened to live music from a hippie band at a place called Uncle Robert's.

Once the sun had set M left me waiting at the restrooms for him while he walked out to the lava field.  We fought and I cried and I missed Grace so badly I could taste it.  Due to the rain all you could see was steam from the rain hitting the lava.

Then we drove to a place called the end of the road which has public lava viewing.  It is where a previous eruption destroyed the road.  We got some flash lights and walked out as far as you could and finally saw lava.  Very anti-climactic... all you could see were flecks of red a orange on a hill in the distance, but little else.  The best part was watching the line of flash lights of people hiking up to where we were.

Then M was too tired to drive to Volcanoes National Park to see the Kilauea caldera, so we drove back to the B&B in the dark, in the rain.

The day started so well, I was sad how it ended.  Further evidence to not plan so many activities in one day.  Tomorrow begins out last in Hilo, then off to Kona for some beach adventures.


The artist at work

Pencil drawing

M in the natural hot tub

My sexy look :)

Lunch at Kaleo's

New Kaimu Sand Name

Family wipe out

Trail of Flash Lights on the end of the road 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Travel log: July 4, 2012

Awoke at 4 am, dozed off until 5:30 am when the sun started to rise.  M can't wait to go in the ocean, but the beach is a good walk from the B & B, possibly a drive so I convinced him to wait until after breakfast.

As lovely as it is here I miss Kauai and Kapa'a Sands.

Started reading a new book The Keeper of Lost Causes.  Ate fresh tropical fruit and coconut macadamia pancakes for breakfast, carb dense, but tasty.  The other guests at the B&B this morning are German Literature professors at the University of Minnesota.  The woman was born and raised in Hilo.  They had a few reading suggestions for me, the most interesting is a feline serial killer mystery called Felidae.

M  finally got in some beach time at Honoli'i beach park, and got to boogie board.  There were tons of surfers there as well.  I wrote Grace's name in the sand with pebbles, and then decided to write the names of other lost babies.  I thought that they turned out really well.

I have felt so close to her here, as if she is sitting on my lap in the car and at meals.  No car seats for my girl!  Since we are trying to conceive I visualize being pregnant again and even talk to her new brother or sister.  I welcome them to our little family.  I hope this welcoming energy will encourage new life to come to us.

After the beach we headed into Hilo and ate lunch at Cafe Pesto.  M had the bulgolgi ono and I had a warm kalua turkey sandwich, wilted spinach, caramelized onions, poha berry-mango chutney on a garlic basted French roll.  We walked next door at had a black tea bubble drink with boba for desert.

Next we explored the impressive Farmer's market.  I wish that we had a kitchen at the B&B.  I could have made some phenomenal meals with the produce I saw at the market.

Our plan was to go to the Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Gardens, but it was closed for the holiday!  Instead we hiked on the Onomea Bay trail and took the 4 mile scenic drive recommended by the B&B.  We finished the drive with a Mango Madness smoothie from What's Shakin?

Short recharge at the B&B.  M planned to draw, but a new group of guests were noiser than the professors so not the serene environment he prefers for art work.

We drove back into town, bought some souvenirs at Walmart and Long's, then had a so so dinner at Nori's Saimin: M had Saimin and I had the Fish Moco Loco with Ahi.  The strangest thing was the restaurant was next door to a "hostess club" called Club Rainbow!

At the B&B we watched the fireworks over Hilo Bay from the lanai and cheered.  It was raining so we thought the display might have been canceled, but the show went on!  We had pouring rain and coqui frogs providing the soundtrack instead of the usual patriotic music.

I imagined it was an island celebration just for Grace.  A celebration of her life and her world changing spirit.  I miss her so much.  Baby, Mama loves you to infinity and back again.....

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Travel Log: July 3, 2012

Travel Day.

Ate breakfast at the airport, a strange, but tasty breakfast pizza at Sauce, it had eggs, cheese, potatoes, chicken sausage and poblano peppers.

Long flight to Kona on a really cramped 757.  Ate sandwiches we packed for lunch.  Read about 75% of Diane Ackerman's Natural History of the Senses on the Nook.

Landed in Kona around 1:45 pm local time.  Airport there was very small and we had to walk down those rolling staircases to deplane.  A lava field surrounds the airport and it looks like Mars, NOT the tropics.  The ocean however is turquoise and gorgeous.

We rented a Crown Victoria aka land boat and drove 2 hours to the other side of the island (Hilo).  It was amazing how quickly the landscape changed volcanic to grasslands with lots of horses and cattle.  The Waimea Valley is charming.  Continued on to our destination Hale Kai B and B in Hilo.

The B & B is small with beautiful gardens, great ocean views and a well worn pool area.
 On the suggestion of the B&B owner we ate at Hilo Bay Cafe.  The food was very good, M had the Blue burger with local beef and fries, I had a mushroom pot pie with local greens.

Back at the B&B we took some photos and then feel asleep listening to the ocean outside our window and the coqui frogs.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


We just got back from our trip to the Big Island.  I wrote a lot while I was there and over the next few days will enter it here.  For now I will share a name picture that I did for Grace.