It seemed like the coqui frogs had a curfew of around 3am as I drifted in and out of sleep until then. Still, I got up at around 530 and we packed up and checked out of the Dolphin Bay Hotel. We had enjoyed our previous day in Hilo and we weren't quite done yet.
There's still a sleepiness to Hilo Town and many places are closed on Sundays. Still, I couldn't help but stop by Kawamoto Store, which holds typical Okazuya hours, opening at 6am and closing around noon....and they were open on Sunday to boot! Places like Kawamoto's holds a special place in my heart.....I basically grew up eating the most common and traditional Okazuya fare.
You basically say how many "bento" you like and then choose your items. All the classics were present and accounted for, shoyu chicken, maki sushi, "cone sushi" (what we call inari sushi back home), stuff like that. We put together a small bento to snack on later.......
There's something about places like this that are timeless......
784 Kilauea Ave
Hilo, HI 96720
Tues-Sat 600am - 1230pm
Sun 600am - 1200pm
We then headed off to our breakfast destination; Kuhio Grille.
Located to the side of Prince Kuhio Plaza, this place has been around since the 90's and is probably most well known for the 1pound laulau, which I don't remember being that great, but that was a while ago. Since it was about 615 in the morning, no laulau for us, we were here for breakfast.
Not much going on this early in the morning, just us and a couple of tables of older folks......who else gets up so early on a Sunday, right?
Still recalling how much She enjoyed "my" Japanese Breakfast at Teshima's, the Missus ordered KG Combo #3 ($10.99), with brown rice, ugh.....
This was just passable, the egg was nice and runny, but the fish was rather dry, and the miso soup was on the weak side.
Not wanting to fall back into a food coma; I went with the Loco Bowl ($6.99):
This was not bad, the egg was done right, though I could have done with a bit more crisp edges. The rice was decent, perhaps slightly on the dry side. The gravy was average, mainly salty. About that burger....well, it had that nice, old school char, seems like this griddle has some seasoning to it. The flavor was decent, the texture was very old school.......something I appreciated. The Missus had a taste and agreed.
111 E Puainako St
Hilo, HI 96720
Sat-Thurs 600am - 10pm
Fri 600am - 11pm
After breakfast we headed over to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. We've been here many times and we love coming here. We actually had a late honeymoon at Volcano House all those years ago. There's basically one place we head to, which I'll get into later. A portion of Crater Rim Drive was closed because of fumes, so the Missus was a bit disappointed.
But the steam vents were going strong.
Halema'uma'u Crater, which is located in the larger Kilauea Crater wasn't nearly this active the last time we visited. No wonder there were all the sulfur dioxide gas warnings!
We saw several offerings to Pele as we walked around the crater..
It was quite a sight.....
There are many things to see here, the Thurston Lava Tube, great hiking trails (when they are open). The Iliahi (Sandalwood) Trail is one we've enjoyed several times. Or you can just drive down Chain of Craters Road and marvel at all the old lava flows. Each one is different.
With all due respect ot the wonders of Volcanoes National Park, the Missus and I have one tradition whenever we visit. And even the passing rain showers didn't stop us. We always drive to the end of Chain of Craters Road, park, it used to be that you'd park just a couple of yards from the flow, but now you walk about a half mile or so. I always take a photo of the Missus at the point where the lava is covering the road.
When we look back at the older photos, we've noticed that the flow has moved and even though things might seem the same when the picture is taken; looking at the photos all lined up reveals that nature never stays still. For us, this is a nice timeline of sorts....the Missus on the lava flow, moving, maybe at an imperceptible speed, but nevertheless, still slowly moving.
Mission accomplished, we headed back up the road and the back way to Kona. After a short "bento break" of course.
In the past, it always seemed that the Missus enjoyed Kona more. But like that lava slowly creeping forward, it seems that Hilo had won Her over after all these years. We'll spend more time in Hilo next time.