About the project

Day 3. I have yet to brush my hair. Sea salt, an unavoidable substitute for hairspray.

Early start. Got to Bears Coffee Shop in old town Hilo 8am. Fruit and yogurt breakfast is always a must-have here. After 2 hours on wifi, I walked over to the Hilo farmers market (which happens only Wed. and Sat.) Cruised the market for a bit, picking myself up some lilikoi/ginger juice and Thai tofu wraps. The food and flower selections were on point, but the craft vendors were slacking. Then out of nowhere I hear, “Rochelle?!” There stood Emilio, the little brother to one of my best friends growing up. What a treat to randomly run into someone who was once so close after so long gone. The sun came out full force. We headed to Richardson’s Beach. It was just how I remembered, gritty black sand mixed with pine needles. It unusually mellow for a blue sky day. Ended up sighting the only celebrity on the Big Island, BJ Penn. Nice guy! Hit up Hilo Homemade Ice Cream on the way back to downtown and got the mac nut ice cream, seriously amazing.

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Holly arrived at 4:30. To give her a feel of Hilo town we drove around Banyan Drive then headed to my favorite local spot, Ocean Sushi (order the Big Island roll with special sauce). We heard about a night market taking place at Uncle Roberts in Kalapana, Wednesdays 6-9pm. Our curiosity had us commit to the 32 mile drive down into deep Puna. Amazing live hawaiian music and many food vendors mixed with local arts and crafts consumed us. It was crazy packed for being so far from town. There was even a tiki bar with kava and jello shots. Emilio met up with us. We grabbed the only empty bench space left and posted up, sipping Coronas and listening to the locals jam. The dance floor was filled with seniors so it took 2 Coronas and 2 moonshine jello shots to get us off our butts and groove.

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I threw a few bucks into the tip jar as the band packed up. With nothing else going on in Puna after 9pm we opted for home. Passing at least 6 hitchhikers we journeyed back to Paradise Park. “Welcome to the Big Island, Holly.” She simply smiled.