Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Big Island Retreat

Maybe I should start calling this blog anythingtoeatonthebigisland. I'm so caught up with the BI's great eating places. Earlier last month I had one day's notice to join our church's, Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay's, Timesetters' retreat to the BI. Of course I said YES.

We were advised to bring one carry-on for the weekend which proved to be challenging but ultimately quite doable. I went with these time-honored packing tips: making sure every bottom went with several tops, bringing the smallest possible amount of each cosmetic or lotion, bringing clothing that could serve dual purposes like a windbreaker that is also water repellent.

We had a wonderful time staying at the Kilauea Military Camp which is quite comfortable with it's own dining room, coffee cafe and a sundries and souvenirs store. Not to mention their bowling alley, tennis courts, etc. It's right in the Volcano National Park so we spent one evening at the Glow (the orange glow reflected onto a large fume above Halema'uma'u Crater). Jaggar Museum Lookout, where we shivered as we watched the Glow, is just 10 min. from KMC. It was great to be able to wake up early and walk through the park listening to birdsong before all the buses arrived.

I digress. We hit the two most important can't-miss Hilo places on my list: Ken's for grilled mahi and Kuhio Grill for locomoco. At KG's we were stuffed from a huge lunch when Iris in our group innocently asked just to "see" the dessert menu. Well, the people at KG's are no dummies! They brought out their dessert TRAY. And it worked well on us, we ordered 5 desserts between the 6 of us.

Omiyage stops: Two Ladies Kitchen for the best mochi and the KTA at Puainako for locally made cookies and jam. It happens that I'm working with the owner of Two Ladies, Nora, to develop some cream-based mochi. We also picked up heavy duty bentos at Hiro's Place, just down from KTA in the strip mall, to eat at Lapahoehoe Point.

I enjoyed being in a spacious van and not having to drive for a change. I went with the flow and did several things I'd never done before like going up to the Onizuka Visitor's Center on the flank of Mauna Kea.

Even more important than the food was the fact that while I already knew 10 of the retreatgoers I ended up making 20 new friends. God is Good.

Note: Wanda Adams is starting a new food blog. Find her at