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FrogPrincesse in the Big Island 2024

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24 minutes ago, FrogPrincesse said:

Day 3 (Thursday)


We started the day with a nourishing breakfast of (island) eggs & bacon, supplemented by POG (which tends to be very sweet; we liked Sun Tropics a little better than the classic Meadow Gold, although they are very similar) and toast with lilikoi (passion fruit) butter from Liko Lehua (which is located in Hilo). We also had fresh papaya and apple bananas which are more aromatic and creamy than the (Cavendish) bananas we get on the mainland.


Hawaiian breakfast items


We decided to go see ‘Akaka Falls that day, which are located north of Hilo and an hour drive from where we were staying at. I didn’t take pictures of the falls but they are spectacular, 300+ foot falls. The trails around the falls are very lush and beautiful, although they were partially closed for renovations during our visit. One of the native fish (o’opu, a type of goby) is apparently able to climb up these very steep and tall falls by using a little  suction cup on their bellies, which is quite a feat!


Akaka Falls


After our visit, we drove back to the charming little village of Honomu. On our way, we passed a goat farm, Honomu Goat Dairy, which was unfortunately closed that day. In Honomu, we spent some time with a very friendly blind cat who needed a lot of attention, in a store that had a beautiful selection of vintage glass objects, and finally at Mr Ed’s Bakery which I had never had a chance to visit before, although it’s been in business since 2000. I wasn’t so much interested in the breads; it was the collection of homemade jam that wowed me. As a home jam maker myself, I couldn’t help but marvel at the huge selection of jams (over 150 varieties) made in small batches using the local fruit (you can read more about it here – essentially, he uses whatever fruit his neighbors bring him and isn’t afraid to experiment!). We were handed lots of samples and left with a few jars: the poha berry mentioned in the article, lychee for my daughter, and mango lilikoi for my husband. I would have bought more if I didn’t already have a pantry full of jams at home! The creativity of this was inspiring (this is only part of the collection!). 😊


Mr Ed's Bakery


Mr Ed’s Bakery



I have never seen such an amazing collections of jams! I love anything passion fruit but the fresh fruits and even the frozen puree are rare to non-existant where we live, which makes it all the more desireable.


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Next up was the tropical botanical garden in Onomea Bay. Now Hawaii has some pretty fantastic botanical gardens, but this one takes the cake so to speak. The garden started as a 17-acre plot of land that was purchased in the 1970s by a family that slowly transformed it into their own version of the garden of Eden, preserving the natural beauty as much as possible, and creating trails with a machete through the (already beautiful and lush) existing vegetation to reveal a tiered waterfall, and adding an insane collection of orchids and other tropical plants to the mix (everything grows in Hawaii!). The trails eventually lead to a rugged beach of black rocks which is beautiful in its own right. I could have spent countless hours there exploring and marveling at all the plants. So much beauty!


Hawaii tropical botanical garden


Hawaii tropical botanical garden




















Afterwards, we stopped at Papa’aloa Country Store and Cafe for a late lunch based on the recommendation of our friends. I liked the little store that was selling a lot of local food items, but our lunch of kalua pork tacos was quite underwhelming, and my lilikoi lychee drink a poor choice unless you love sugar and artificial flavors. The ginger beer was a bit better.


Papa’aloa Country Store and Cafe







On the way home we drove down to Laupahoehoe Point, a village located at the end of a ravine that was tragically obliterated during a tsunami in 1946. That place is beautiful but has a very eerie vibe to it. They decided to not reconstruct the village after the tsunami, unlike Hilo, which was rebuilt post tsunami.


Laupahoehoe Point




One more stop at Rebecca’s to restock on produce, and we were back home. That night we weren’t very hungry and were happy to snack on leftover poke and fruit.







Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, MaryIsobel said:

I have never seen such an amazing collections of jams! I love anything passion fruit but the fresh fruits and even the frozen puree are rare to non-existant where we live, which makes it all the more desireable.


I had never seen anything like it either. And I loved the philosophy of not wanting to let anything go into waste, and transforming it into delicious jams! There are so many types of fruit in Hawaii that aren't available commercially, it makes for some very unique jams for sure. 

Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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