Blue July #Squares: Surf’s Up in Hilo

Boogie Boarder

I caught these young surfers shredding waves on Hilo Bay last January. Three boys and one girl surf and boogie board on a warm winter’s day. It was a school holiday; the temps were warm and who wouldn’t surf if they could?

four surfers ride the waves

Even more amazing was how they managed to dodge the large lava rock formations found all around the Big Island of Hawaii.

Boogie Boarder

Inspired by Sue’s Journaling in July challenge, I’ve managed to journal some thoughts on this week’s prompts.

July 9 My Favorite Place

I have been blessed to travel to destination places like the Hawaiian Islands and to various areas of Yosemite National Park. Within the last 10 years, thanks to my adventurous, globe-trotting husband, I have also traveled to Mexico and countless places in the West. Plans for more road trips and abroad also include Europe and South America.

Although Yosemite’s high country, Tuolumne Meadows, feels like my own backyard after over 25 visits in my life, my emotional attachment to Hawaii developed in my teenage years, spurred future plans for travel to the islands.

I was obsessed with Hawaii for years.

It wasn’t until my mid-forties that I visited Honolulu and Waikiki on the island of Oahu, and this first visit was everything I thought it would be. The soft tradewinds, the colors of the sunsets, and the astounding varieties of blues of the ocean were sensations and sights I could only previously imagine.

Two trips to Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2018 and 2019 found me in love with the laid-back lifestyle, riots of tropical flowers, and the impossible greens and stunning blues, all within the shadow of the looming, active volcanoes Mauna Loa and Kilauea.

SUPing the waves

Surprisingly, I have not yet found the right spot to stand-up paddle on the Hilo side, due to the shore being made up of volcanic rock formations. But like the man SUP-ing in the photo, it’s just a matter of time.

I shared a post about this in 2018 after I spent my first week in Hilo. My New Favorite Place.

Join Becky B’s quarterly photography challenges with your own square photographs!

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Thursday’s Hilo #Doors with a View

Hilo Bay View

While on the Big island of Hawaii this week, I looked for a variety of interesting subjects to photograph. I hadn’t posted a Thursday Doors post in quite a while and hoped to find some special doors here in Hilo.

Although there are some beautiful homes, their doors are nothing special…here are the only two I saw on one of my walks.

Hilo Front Doors
Best looking doors in the neighborhood.

A modest Colonial hosts some happy dogs.

Hilo Home door with dog
Modest Colonial Style

You know why their doors are nothing special? Because I believe folks focus on what is viewed from outside their doors!

Like this view of Hilo Bay from where these two houses are located.

Hilo Bay View
Looking across to the other side of Hilo Bay.

I probably would have “no worries” about how my door might look to a passerby when I could watch the surfers all day.

Hilo Bay Surfers
Surfs up on Hilo Bay

And who would be looking at the doors anyway?

Any interesting doors in your part of the world? Check out Norm’s weekly feature Thursday Doors!

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False Alarms and the Silence of Leisure Spaces

The silence of nature is very real...

The silence of nature is very real...

In early January, my husband and I spent a glorious week in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The Silence of Leisure Spaces

We spent several days exploring the nearby beaches and waterfalls just enjoying the sounds of nature.

Hilo Surfers

We sat and ate our lunch in silence and simply enjoyed the show the surfers and boogie-boarders put on.

To sit in silence at the shore, watch the waves and hear the surf, is to appreciate the very breath and heartbeat of the earth. – Doe Zantamata

A look at a spot near Rainbow Falls. We did a lot of walking to various locations, taking in the “noises” of leisure.

leisure is a form of silence contemplated in the form of a waterfall

“Leisure is a form of silence, not noiselessness. It is the silence of contemplation such as occurs when we let our minds rest on a rosebud, a child at play, a divine mystery, or a waterfall.” – Fulton J Sheen

Our first night we were greeted by the sublime and not-so-silent sounds of Coqui tree frogs whistling through the night. Here is a short YouTube clip of their sound. The Coqui frogs are an invasive species on the Big Island and many folks are irritated at their nocturnal noise. Strangely, we could sleep to their sweet serenade.


Though we had a TV in our room, we chose to play Hawaiian music on our Spotify app. Imagine no news, politics or ridiculousness for 6 days!

A Not-So-Silent Alarm

Many readers have asked me if we were in Hawaii when the false missile alarm sounded. Yes, we were. We were heading to breakfast in Hilo before we drove to Kona to catch our flight back to San Diego.

The alarm burst through on millions of mobile phones ending in deadly silence as shocked people read “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

Umm, we’re on an island, how do we take shelter?

I had left my purse and phone in the car to run back to our room at the B&B and didn’t hear the first alarm. My hubby looked at me oddly and said “Something’s happening. I’m afraid to tell you…it’s on your phone.” I looked at the alert, feeling strangely detached and simply said, “it’s bullsh*t!” I immediately googled “missile threat Hawaii” and nothing came up, convincing me that this was fake.

All I could think about was, we’re flying off this island in 6 hours, and what’s for breakfast? We went to one restaurant which abruptly closed due to the missile. That was aggravating. You might as well go into eternity on a full stomach.

Not to be deterred, we drove further down the street to Ken’s House of Pancakes for their specialty macadamia nut pancakes. My hubby asked the waitress for the “Missile Special” and she howled with laughter! Looking around the place, most of the diners didn’t seem upset or worried that their lives were about to end.

As we waited for our orders, the silence was broken again as the klaxon alarm blared once more on everyone’s phones. This time telling us it was a false alarm. Almost in unison, diners looked at their phones, put them down and continued eating.

Talk about “no worries” mentality!

My bucket list item of visiting the Big Island for the first time with my husband was not going to end with us kicking the actual bucket that day. We enjoyed our breakfast and drove over to the Kona side and went on with the rest of our day.

Do you enjoy the silence that nature or leisure can offer to you?

Silence is the theme for the WordPress Weekly photo challenge.

Mahalo for reading!

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Mandatory Board Meeting

Board meeting

Board meeting

While vacationing in Baja Sur, Mexico, we visited Vela Windsports in Los Barrilles. On the beach was this configuration of surfboards.

Nothing says Harmony like a beach board meeting. I would volunteer to be the chairperson of this meeting.

Before I retired from the daily grind, it seemed there were endless meetings. My least favorites were having to present something at the City Council meetings that lasted well into the night.

Now my answer is this:

Sorry, couldn’t make it…had a mandatory board meeting.

Harmony at its finest!

Sorry, couldn’t make it…had a mandatory board meeting.