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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Na'alehu, Hawaii

The base for our Hawai'ian dream was in Na'alehu, which is located near the southernmost tip of Hawai'i and also the southernmost tip of the United States.
Our friends live in Discovery Harbor...a gorgeous development based on an award-winning golf course overlooking the ocean. Everywhere you look, there are amazing views.

I spent a grand total of about 30 minutes over several days sunbathing with SPF 30 sunscreen in this beautiful backyard....and I am very tanned! (I don't burn- it's that Frenchie in me. Thanks, Dad)
We went to explore the local area and I know, BIG SURPRISE, I checked out the local Catholic Church.


I wept when I saw it was also a 'Sacred Heart'. (I work at Sacred Heart in Klamath Falls, OR-coincidence?? I think not!) It was founded by the order of priests from 'Sacre Coeur' from France who went to Hawai'i in 1827.
I met a wonderful lady who runs the food bank who told me the history of this tiny but beautiful Church! They have a Statue to honor St. Damien Joseph de Veuster of Moloka'i...the famous American civil war veteran who went to serve those who suffered from leprosy and died when he contracted the disease himself.

Rich and Aarah have a beautiful back yard and they grow pretty much anything they want...that the bugs and 'vog' let them harvest. More about 'vog' later...the bugs apparently, are legend. Rich has the yard sprayed on a regular basis to keep the really evil little bastards at bay (see the centipede photo) but the other plants have to be protected in cages that looks sort of like our chicken coops. Yep, chicken coops for the veggies. We did really enjoy the fruits of their labors- home grown super sweet pineapple, lemons, oranges and incredible tomatoes and basil.

They have neighbors that trade enormous avocados (seriously 10 inches in diameter and delicious) and macadamia nuts for pineapple and citrus. Kevin and I both picked a small but incredibly sweet pineapple, and harvested the ugly green shells for mac nuts (as they say in the Islands) to eat fresh, nutty and tasty nuts!
Oh, yah, Rich and Aarah bought a couple of cases of Longboard specialties beers..a locally brewed but nationally known delicious Island beer...hence, the beer Kevin is holding with the pineapple. The green hull is what the mac nut is encased in when it falls from the tree. You can't pick them green- they aren't ready.
We also visited one of the local ranches. Southern Hawai'i is known (as is Waimea in the area north west of Kailua-Kona) for their ranching and raising of longhorn cattle. Who knew?
 We spent that first day at one of the most beautiful places in the world- South Point, or Ka Lae.
This is where the first people who ever came to Hawai'i moored their boats and stepped foot on dry land. It's a very wild area, with very high winds that usually don't die down, EVER.

This is also known as the southernmost tip of the United States.
I can't tell you what an amazing experience this was for me! The ocean was endless! It was wild! It was...powerful. I actually saw the holes bored into the lava by the first people on Hawai'i to secure their boats.
Here is me getting my hair blown sideways!
We ended that night in a very solemn way- looking at an amazingly full moon.
The 'vog' was not so bad that night so it looked clear and calm.
"I see the moon, and the moon sees me. God bless the moon, and God bless me. Amen."
I'm not sure who wrote it, but it was very appropriate that night.

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