Hawaii: Part 4 (The Hilo Area)

If you've missed it here are parts 1, 2, and 3 of our Hawaii trip.  Now, one of the best things about eloping (especially when you are shy, shut-ins who don't like parties like myself and Antoine) is that after the ceremony you don't have to go to big party and never sit down and never eat anything, while squeezed into a dress or stuffed into a suit.  When you elope you can do whatever the hell you want to do after the ceremony...just the two of you!  After our ceremony we got showers because we had both been sweating like crazy (hello, Hawaiian sun!) and then we got dressed in some more comfortable clothes and headed off to the Hilo.  Hilo is the largest city on the big island, though it still has a small Hawaii feel to it, and it's about a hour drive from the Waipio Valley, down a very pretty coastal road.  Our first stop was to get a late lunch at Cafe Pesto, one of the big island's best restaurants.  It was very delicious, especially the bananas foster!

After Cafe Pesto we headed to the Akaka Falls State Park, just a little north of Hilo.  It's a nice little park with a paved trail loop down to the falls and through the lush forest.  It's a pretty easy hike, though it's a bit steep in parts and does have stairs on the way back.
The Akaka Falls.  I love how the waterfall is surrounded by green except at the very bottom where you can see the dark rock. 
I'm a sucker for moss, what can I say!
This tree was super spooky!  I was ready for some creature to come busting out of it.  Doesn't it remind you of something from Lost?

And I had no idea stray cats where everywhere in Hawaii!?  Stray cats and feral chickens!  These are a bunch of younger cats that were hanging out in the Akaka Falls parking lot.
Look at the face on that calico, cute and grumpy at the same time!

After the Akaka Falls we stopped at Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park, just as the sun was going down.  It was a nice little park where a bunch of people were camping since it was memorial day weekend.
This is one of my favorite shots of the bunch...I love the sky and the rough sea on one side of the rocks and the quiet pools on the other side.

The following day, on Monday, after we headed down to the Waipio Valley beach for a bit and then checked out of the B&B (insert sad face here) we headed back down the coast towards Hilo again.  This time we stopped at the Kolekole Beach Park, just off the highway.  It's basically a lush little park with a very rocky beach and little cove where the waves come crashing in like crazy.
There were enormous palm trees all over the park that were probably some of the biggest I've seen.
A couple people were surfing, which was pretty fun to watch!

After maneuvering the rocky, tree limb-filled beach we took a short walk around the green, shaded part of the park.
I love how this moss is growing in little bumpy clumps!
This is where they keep the raptors...apparently it's been a while since they got any new ones...or they broke out and they're roaming around!  Ahhhh! (Sorry, Jurassic Park humor is a must in Hawaii.  Right?!)

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Stay tuned next time for more Hawaii photos.  Hint: flowers, flowers and more flowers.

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