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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Andrew ruined my birthday. (or, everything sounds better on a ukelele.)

Celebrating my birthday on the Big Island of Hawaii.

When I pictured spending my 32nd birthday in Hawaii, I kind of imagined tanning on the beach, swimming in the ocean, eating raw fish, drinking fruity cocktails, and making out with a bleach blonde surfer.

Instead, the night ended at 9:30pm passing out on a too-hard mattress and watching Food Network and HGTV. I’d spent most of the day in the car, and nothing in the small town we were sleeping in was open past 9pm.

But let’s forget about that part, shall we?

Because, in the grand scheme of things, my birthday was kind of pretty awesome.


The day started out in Kona with a giant cafe mocha and a pork and pineapple omelette with crispy herbed potatoes accompanied by a soundtrack of pop hits played on a ukelele. And, let me tell you, everything sounds better on a ukelele (in my humble opinion, at least).

And then Jen, Andrew, and I piled into the car for a road trip around the island: stopping at the very southernmost tip of the the USA (and the southernmost bakery in the USA) and a black sand beach (again, I really don’t think there are any swimmin’ beaches on the Big Island). We ended the night exploring the island’s big ole volcano, taking a small hike, and watching the lava boil.

We dined on Thai food, because I’m pretty sure Thai Thai was the only restaurant in town. And ate Kona coffee ice cream. And drank a Singha. Because, come on, they had Singha. Which is totally my favorite Thai beer.

And that, my friends, is good enough for me.

Pork and pineapple omelet breakfast on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Giant mocha at breakfast on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Everything sounds better on a ukelele.

The southernmost point in the USA on the Big Island in Hawaii.

The southernmost point in the USA on the Big Island in Hawaii.

The southernmost point in the USA on the Big Island in Hawaii.

The southernmost point in the USA on the Big Island in Hawaii.

The southernmost point in the USA on the Big Island in Hawaii.

The southernmost point in the USA on the Big Island in Hawaii.

The southernmost point in the USA on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Punalu'u - the southernmost bakery in the USA on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Singha beer at a Thai restaurant on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Asian tilapia at a Thai restaurant on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Kona coffee ice cream at a Thai restaurant on the Big Island in Hawaii.

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1 Comment
  • Andy Y
    January 28, 2013 at 10:11 am

    If you’ve never heard of Jake Shimabukuro, go look him up on YouTube. He’s an unbelievable ukulele player!!!

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