The sun still shines in Hawaii in February. And it's hot.
I got this lovely burn from our beach trip yesterday. I wasn't very smart.... was I?
Today, snorkeling was on the agenda. I was so excited!! We got to the agency that was taking us out on the water, paid the fees and headed out to the ocean. Right away, we saw whale spray, but the whale was heading somewhere in a hurry and didn't have time to jump out of the water like yesterday, so we gave up watching him and headed to the first stop -- The Place of Refuge which is the site where we went the first day.
There was a LOT of wind, Trade Winds I guess, which made the surf extremely choppy. While we were en route to the bay, I had a blast, but as soon as the boat stopped to let people out of the water it hit -- the nausea. Oh My Word!!! Obviously, I'm highly susceptible to sea sickness. I put on my flippers, my mask and my breathing tube and bravely got in the water as quickly as I could, to see if I could negate the effects of the sickness, but alas... it only made it worse. Not only was I sick, but now I was panicking as I'm bobbing up and down in HUGE (to me) waves with sea water washing over me. I have never had a snorkel breathing tube in my mouth before, so when the water washed over me, I bit down on the tube, which cut the air off -- then I panicked because I couldn't breathe! I tried to put my feet behind me so I could put my face in the water and look at the beautiful fishies people said were there, but I wasn't confident enough to get to that point. So I went back to the boat, a defeated woman.
A defeated woman who was completely sick to her stomach.
Thank heavens I packed a tube of Club crackers so I started eating them to see if I could get my stomach to settle down. I closed my eyes, put my head down and tried to pretend I was on terra firma. I found that with my eyes closed, I was able to make the sea sickness settle down a notch, so I sat still, rode the waves and waited until the rest of our party came back to the boat.
A horrific ride to another bay, Captain Cook's Inlet, followed. It was 15 minutes of pure Hell. The back of my throat was tingling and I started to feel like this was it.... my first motion sickness vomit since I was a little girl!! I held on, however, and kept myself from purging. Whew!
This bay was very protected and completely calm. But my stomach was a mess, so I ended up staying in the boat, while Max and the others went out and had a marvelous time looking at all the wonderful things the sea has to offer. We were there for about an hour, which helped me tremendously!! After the first 1/2 hour or so, I was finally able to open my eyes while my head was down. Then cautiously, I was able to put my head up. Finally, at the end of our time visiting that bay, I was 95% better. Good enough to make it home.
What a blast! As the boat returned us back to the home docks, I really enjoyed the sea spray in my face, riding the waves up and down and up and down... The captain said that they were only 4 or 5 foot swells, but they seemed pretty big. It was the perfect roller coaster ride! Most people in our group were very unhappy, but since I had had such a miserable time the previous two hours, I was determined to enjoy the 1/2 hour ride home.
Which I did. I was sopping wet without actually getting back in the water. It was worth it! No regrets!
Later in the afternoon, we were on our way to the grocery store, when we noticed a white spire with a gold statue on top. Could it be? Does Kona really have a Temple?
The answer, my friend, is YES!!! We were so thrilled to find that out! We drove by, but it was closed. :(
Still, we enjoyed a few moments on the grounds and took some great photos. While we were there, the stake president pulled up to the Stake Center that adjoins the Temple and began talking to us. (I just have to add: the people here are extremely friendly. I think I've come across one -- only one -- grumpy local.) After talking to him for a minute, we found out that he knew "Pam's" mission president! (Pam is Max's boss' wife that we're staying in the condo with.) He invited us in to the meeting house to help her find her president's phone number and after talking with him some more, I found out that his is the house that Buck and The Senora came to visit when they came to the Big Island in September.
It was funny: we were chatting in his office and he was telling us where his kids served their missions. One served in Italy, in Rome, and was there approximately the same time as The Senora. Well, of course I had to mention her name, and he reported that they stayed at his house just a few short months ago!
Isn't it amazing how, as members of the Church, we are all tied together?
Of course I shouted, "But they are my former Beehives. THEY ARE MY GIRLS!!!" And immediately called Buck so they could talk on the phone for a few minutes. It was a wonderful moment.
I pushed my luck by downloading so many pictures today. I'm glad it worked.
This is just a picture of the view from our lanai (fancy Hawaiian talk for balcony or deck) of the sunset tonight. Gorgeous, eh?