Thursday, December 28, 2017

Leaving Winter Behind

It took more than 24 hours, but we did manage to leave winter behind for a while. On Sunday morning the 24th we left home to drive to Michigan City, where we leave our car and catch a bus to O'Hare. The weather report said snow would be starting about the time we were planning to get on the bus, and indeed it was snowing by the time we got there and parked. The 8:20 bus was cancelled; there were several others waiting and a load of people were brought from South Bend. We did catch the 9:20 bus and the driver was excellent. It snowed all the way to the airport. Our flight was delayed, but not by much. When we got to Seattle it was nearly 6:00 PM, dark and snowy. They don't get much snow in Seattle, but they did have a white Christmas this year. We had planned to spend the evening visiting with a friend, but after talking with her we realized none of us were going to out on the slippery roads. The restaurant attached to our hotel was closed, so we tromped through the snow (in our sandals!) to the next hotel on the street and had a nice dinner.

In the morning the hotel shuttle took us to the airport. Our flight was delayed (no surprise). It took a good hour to deice the wings, which were covered with about an inch of snow. We flew to Maui and had about 20 minutes to transfer to our plane to Hilo. We were really glad that our luggage made the transfer, too!

We took a taxi to our hotel, the Wild Ginger Inn and Hostel. It was a bit funky, but served well. There were no restaurants or groceries open (after all, it was Christmas afternoon). The very kind woman at the front desk offered us a plate of leftovers from the Christmas lunch they had served. She showed up at our room with two enormous plates of ham, beef stew, and a Filipino noodle dish.

Tuesday morning we had a nice continental breakfast then waited around until Anjali and Domingos arrived. They had spent two nights on the Kailua-Kona side of the island, then came to Hilo and picked up our rental minivan. We went to lunch at a good fish and chips place, then went to the Pacific Tsunami Museum. We learned a lot about tsunamis, and why Hilo is particularly vulnerable to them.

Quilt on the museum wall

After a stop at a coffee shop, we went to the airport to pick up Dirk and Tracy. Our rental house is in the countryside near Pahoa, about 45 minutes south of Hilo. It is beautiful, three bedrooms and a lovely large lanai. Below is the sunrise this morning, taken from our bedroom.

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