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Saturday, Oct. 29

In the morning we walked to nearby Kehena beach. It took some time to find the steep rocky path down. There was one woman swimming, but it looked too scary for us, with big waves and lots of craggy sharp lava surrounding the small black-sand beach. The blocky vertical cliffs looked like some spray-painted foam movie set.

We drove back to Hilo for the farmer's market, then had lunch at a pleasant Japanese place called Miyo's. I got the soba and sashima, Sara got tempura and sashimi, and both were great.

Sara's family never visits any place without a trip to the local botanical gardens. We overshot the Tropical botanical gardens north of Hilo and had to backtrack along a narrow ocean-side road to get there. It was scenic but somewhat intimidating for people that ordinarily never drive.

I'm not really a nature lover, but even I found the botanical gardens interesting thanks just to the sheer strangeness of the plants, some of which would have looked completely in place in a movie set on, say, Venus.

The gardens also had some macaws. I wondered why one kept saying "Oh no!" before noticing the plaque explaining he and his partner were named after the bay (Onomea) which the gardens were built on.

We found Larry and family again at the gardens, after we visited Rainbow falls in Hilo, we saw them ambling around Hilo's japanese garden. At that point is was almost embarassing--did they think we were following them?--but we had a nice talk with them. It turns out his son and daughter work at General Dynamics (previously Veridian, previously ERIM) in Ann Arbor.

By then it was dark, so we drove back and had another dinner in our weird little octagonal hut.