The Craft Closet



Where Have I Been???

Previous to this week, I was on a posting hiatus.  It wasn’t an intentional one, but it just happened.  To start off, on January 11th, one of our doggies, Boots, got lost.  He found us 10 days later.  Needless to say, our focus was on getting our dog back, and, by some miracle and some very helpful callers and fellow pet owners, we were able to do this.  He was a little scratched up but alive and well.  Here’s a picture of him with our daughter, Nikka:

Boots and Nikka

After the excitement of getting Boots back and getting him acclimated to home again, our life returned to normal.  Then, we were off to the Big Island of Hawaii this past weekend.  We arrived in Hilo on Friday night and departed on Sunday night.  Though the weather wasn’t all that great, it was a fun trip with renewed experiences.  Below are some pictures we took:

Nikka showing off our great view

We stayed at the Hilo Hawaiian and sprung for an oceanview room.  From our room, you could see Hilo town, Hilo Bay and the summit of Mauna Kea.  Below are some pictures of the views:

Back of Hotel and Pool

Summit of Mauna Kea from hotel room at 12X zoom

If you’re contemplating visiting Hilo on the Big Island, below are some fun things to do:

Panaewa Zoo-It's free and even has a White Tiger

Rainbow Falls

Akaka Falls

Akaka Falls

The Summit of Mauna Kea is an awesome sight to see and is a must do when on the Big Island in my opinion.  Unfortunately, if you rent a car, most rental car companies will not allow you drive their 4-wheel drive vehicles to the summit; however, you can rent from Harper’s in Hilo or Kona and they allow their 4-wheel drive vehicles to be driven to the summit.  On the way to the summit, you go above the clouds, and you can see the top of Mauna Loa across the way.  At the top of the summit, you can see all the observatories.  During the winter, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to play in the snow.  This is probably the only place in our tropical state that you can have a snow experience.  Here’s some pics of our Mauna Kea visits:

Nikka posing in front of one of the Observatories

Snowy Observatory

Above the clouds

Now, my favorite part, places to eat at when on the Big Island, especially in Hilo:

Ken's Pancake House

Ken’s is a local favorite.  There is something to eat for every meal of the day, and it’s open 24 hours.  Here’s a sampling of what we tried:

Pork Chops

Taco Salad from Ken's

Pancake Sandwich

This above was our breakfast.  Isn’t it great?   Another great place to eat at is Nori’s…totally loved it!!!  Below are some of the fabulous dishes we tried:

Teri Beef

My brother-in-law recommended we try the teri beef because he thinks it’s the best, and he’s right.  It IS the best ever!!!

Fried Saimin

The fried saimin was okay.  I prefer Leeward Drive-In’s or Jurison’s Inn, but you gotta try the fried saimin when you go someplace new.  That’s my rule.

Other recommended places to eat at are Kuhio Grille.  The cottage fries and fried rice are soooooo ono as well as the saimin.  Can’t get enough of that stuff!  Also, when in Hilo, you gotta go to Hilo Lunch Shop for warabi salad, nori chicken, potato/mac salad and tsukemono.  These are the absolute best!!!  I’m totally making myself hungry thinking about these dishes…aren’t you getting hungry?  We’ve also enjoyed eat at Seaside Restaurant and Aquafarm.  They farm their own fish that they use in their dishes.  It’s a quaint little restaurant with delicious seafood dishes.  It’s definitely pricier than most of the local eateries but worth every penny.  One place we tried recently was The Manago Hotel Restaurant located on the Kona side of the island.  It looks like a building on the side of the highway with hardwood floors so it’s easy to miss.  But, if you do, you have to turn around and try their pork chops with gravy and onions, of course.  These pork chops were the best I ever had.  The pork was very moist and tender, which can be difficult to achieve, and the gravy was fabulous.  Their panko fried ono with miso dipping sauce is also great.  It’s a must eat at eatery when passing through Kona.

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