Chris and Campbell spent the day at the Orchid Show and the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens; I spent the day bloodying myself on sharp lava in Southwest Kahuku. ...Well, okay, there was only a little blood. And afterwards we stopped at Punalu‘u Bakery (the Southernmost Bakery in the United States!) and sampled their sweetbread, and I bought pineapple ice cream, iced Ka‘u coffee (I can vouch for Ka‘u coffee, it is FANTASTIC), kukui nut oil chapstick, and organic dark chocolate with pineapple, lime, curry, and KAVA in it. So, yes, I have now consumed kava. (How has it taken me 25 years of living in Hawai‘i to do so?)
After work I abruptly abducted my French coworker Laurèen; she'll be staying with us all weekend. She took one of the Blues classes this evening; had a blast. Then she, Chris, Campbell, Mom, and I piled into a rental car (the Previa's brakes are on the fritz) and drove up to Hale Pohaku, the astronomy dorms and visitor center at 9000 feet up Mauna Kea. We wrapped ourselves in fleece and down and wool and drank hot apple cider and hot chocolate, and climbed to the top of a nearby cinder cone to stargaze, forming a ring with our heads on each other's stomachs. We had a stunning view of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai in the moonlight, and the eruption was visible as an orange glow on the horizon. The moon sank into the vog and turned yellow, then red, and then the stars really came out. We identified a few constellations (and made up a few of our own– The Chris Dipper and The Skunk are favorites), and saw about a gazillion and a half meteors. Many of them had trails and were green or red in color; we would sometimes see several a minute, sometimes even three in ten seconds. We started to get cold/get tired/have to pee, and we left a little after midnight with Jupiter rising in the east.
Tomorrow: Hilo Farmer's Market, full afternoon of Blues classes, dance party at Don's.