Day 11: Kekaha Kai

We’re nearing the end of our stay. Tomorrow we jump on an airplane and head back home. There’s time for one last beach before we go, though…

Today we went to Kehaha Kai State Park and spent the morning playing around in Mahai’ula Bay. Though there was a somewhat-paved road most all the way to the beach, we did have to hoof it about a half-mile through some old pahoehoe lava.

The water here was not quite as clear as we’d grown accustomed to. The slight cloudiness near shore is caused by fresh water. Apparently the area is littered with fresh-water springs. Rain filters down through the lava and later bubbles back up under the sea. Since we weren’t snorkeling it didn’t bother us a bit nor did the sea turtles seem to mind as we spotted a few.

After the beach fun had ended and everyone had had their naps (one does a lot of napping in paradise, I’ve found) we had some delicious Hilo Homemade ice cream. We’d heard people raving about Tropical Dreams ice cream but hadn’t found a convenient place to sample it.

As it turns out Hilo Homemade is only a “premium” ice cream while Tropical Dreams is a “superpremium.” We were slumming it, I guess.

For as long as I can remember I’ve had blackeyed peas and greens on New Years Day. In Southern tradition the peas are for luck and the greens for money. It seems to have worked well for us in the past so I wasn’t about to let a little thing like being 3600 miles from home stand in the way of tradition.

Though I was easily able to secure everything I needed for the beans (yes, they have hamhocks in Hawaii) I wasn’t able to find any greens. Neither mustard nor collard nor turnip greens were anywhere to be found.

Given the large Japanese population in Hawaii, though, I was able to find a suitable stand-in: kombu. I’m hoping that this substitute might still bring me riches, even if it is in Yen.

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