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  • Writer's picture Jana

Day Trippers. Another fantastic day of exploration around this magical island.

Garin (with a little help from me on timing) planned another fantastic day of exploration. Some of the places, Garin and I had visited on our last trip in 2019, and some were new. The day trip was a nice departure from our days of leisure (I used that term loosely given that I am a single parent traveling with four kids) at the pool and beach.

Please come along with us on our wondrous day of exploration.

Our first stop was at the Waipio Valley lookout. Garin and I visited here the last time we were on the island and were excited to share this breathtaking view with the other kids, who were too small at the time to take along.

Okay Mom, here we go with the matching shirts and portraits again!

After leaving the cliffside, we stopped at this quaint local fruit stand to pick up some sustenance for the road, including fresh mangos and pineapple. Everything we bought was freshly picked off their farm that very morning.

Next we stopped for at Tex's, for a beloved island treat, Malasadas, which Portuguese fried donuts filled with various delicious fillings to choose from. They are served hot and really hit the spot on a long road trip.

We then arrived at the Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Gardens, which Garin and I also visited on our last trip. It another memorable and special place that we wanted to share with the other kids.

The crew was excited to start exploring this magical place.

We saw some jaw-dropping local botanical specimens.

Catheirne and Miles came upon this charming wishing well.

The vegetation was so lush that despite the fact that it was a rather warm day, it felt cool as we walked around.

A rare shot of all five of us.

The gardens run right along the ocean, so there are some magnificent views with waves crashing against the rocks, somewhat reminiscent Big Sur, California.

More portraits, Mom?

My favorite twins!

A rare moment of congeniality between the boys. Boy-moms, you know what I'm talking about!

A little respite on a bench under some palms before making our way up the steep hill to the exit where we then headed to Hilo.

For lunch we ate at a well-known "dive" in Hilo that features an island favorite - Loco Moco. Loco Moco is a scoop of Asian-style rice, topped with a hamburger patty, topped with rich brown gravy and crowned with a fried egg, over-easy. Sounds weird? Think again! Everyone devoured their lunches in seconds flat.

Next stop was Big Island Candies where they make their homemade confections onsite for all to see. It was an absolutely magical place. They even gave out samples!

Our last stop in Hilo was the Pacific Tsunami Museum. Yes, there is actually a museum (housed in a historic bank building dating back to the early 1900's) dedicated entirely to Tsunamis. Who knew? Garin did, of course. It was really fascinating and filled with riveting first person accounts of survival, as well an endless array of information on these these beastly waves.

After our 90 minute drive back from Hilo through lots of rain and inclement weather, we came upon these wild island goats (of which there are many) right near our condo. We had to stop and photograph them as they nibbled on grass and plants. They were definitely on Hawaiian time, as they blocked traffic in both directions. But no one seemed to mind for obvious reasons.

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