This area is on the west side of the big island. We visited two historical parks, lounged about the hotel pool (we were going to go snorkeling, but there was a tsunami warning so all the beaches were closed), went snorkeling the next day, poked around a number of interesting art galleries and shops, and saw a palace and the first church established in Hawaii.
Cathy is terribly upset with me for not previously revealing that snorkeling is her favorite thing in the world. Andres is much less pleased with it, and tends to flail. A sea turtle swam under me! I didn't see it until it was right there (you're not supposed to bother them), and I hope my subsequent shrieking and pointing didn't disturb it too much. We've seen a lot of other sea turtles, too, mostly hanging around just offshore as we've been walking along looking at tidepools and things.
Part 2: Macadamia Meadows
Yesterday, we collected Brooks from the airport and headed south to a little bed and breakfast / macadamia nut farm. It's a very pleasant place. It was raining when we got in yesterday, so we mostly lounged about and read. We discovered that the little green geckos that live everywhere bark at sunset.
Today, we had breakfast with the very talkative proprietor and two other guests, then got a brief tour of the macadamia nut orchard. We picked up lots of nuts while we were out, and got to try fresh, unprocessed macadamia nuts, which taste rather different from the dried kind you get everywhere but a macadamia nut farm (a little almondy or coconutty, depending on how moist they are).
Then we headed out to the Green Sands Beach, which was very difficult to get to. We took the car down a horrible pitted one-lane road, then parked it and walked another couple miles over a series of rocky, braided off-road vehicle ruts, then climbed down this giant pile of slightly-fused-together sand to a tiny cove where the waves tried very hard to kill anything living that might have the temerity to approach the waterline. Some idiots went swimming and boogie-boarding. (We know they survived because on the way back they tore past us in their erosion-mobile, kicking up giant clouds of red dust.) Upon return, we all took showers and decided not to do anything else today.
Tomorrow: to Volcano!