December 2008 Log

A photo diary of life in Hilo Hawaii







Mauna Kea Snow

According to the National Weather service East Hawaii had a record 9.84 inches of rainfall at Hilo Airport the day after Christmas. That breaks the old rainfall record for the same day, December 26, of 3.56 inches, set in 1961.

Mauna Kea was covered with a thick blanket of snow as seen from this photo taken by the JAC CAM. A lot of people are up on the mountain building snowmen and sledding.


A huge storm moved in on Christmas Day and has resulted in nonstop rain with lots of lightening and thunder. Much of the east side of Hawaii is under flash floods. We ventured out in the rain the day after Christmas to stock up on food since everything was closed on Christmas day.

The canals were filled with rushing water.

Hilo water overflow

The streets were flooded early in the day.

Wet Hilo streets


A cruise ship arrived early Chrsitmas Eve morning.

Hilo Christmas Eve Cruise ship

Hilo's famous Ken's pancake house was packed.

Hilo Kens Pancake House

Christmas is fairly low key in Hilo. There are not a lot of decorations around town. Houses that do decorate use water proof decorations.

Hilo Xmas decoration


Car Crush Hilo

A Hilo Chevy dealer pulled a strange stunt that got national coverage by crushing "Asian" cars. Here is more about it on our blog.


The weather has been really nice with some cloudcover this first part of December. This is a view of Mauna Kea across Hilo Bay on December 19.

Hilo Dec 2008

Folks were even swimming off Coconut Island.

Coconut Island Hilo


Christmas fun in Hilo

If you are begining to think that living in Hilo involves a lot of partying, you are right. It is so different than when we were in Silicon Valley and everyone was too busy working to have fun and socialize. Today we had a huge Christmas party at our pool that lasted over 2 hours. Everyone brought mountains of home cooked food and presents. We sang carols, swapped presents, played games and basically had a blast.

Potluck in Hawaii

Here are some of the great deserts.

Hawaii Sweets

This is a delicious desert made of pineapple, celery, cucumber, macnuts, mayo and cottage cheese. I would never have thought of that combination!

Hilo desert

These pineapple and jello treats were so pretty and delicious. They were made in the pineapple can - after pouring out the contents, the can is washed and sprayed with pam, a package of jello is made in the can and the pineapples inserted. After it is hardened in the refrigerator, it is cut into bitesize pieces.

Hilo desert



Hilo's overcast skies cleared up today and Mauna Kea showed itself all decorated in a beautiful blanket of snow.

Mauna Kea Snow above Hilo


Hilo airport overcast

The trade winds are blowing less now that winter has arrived. Sometimes the air is completely still causing the town to fill with fumes from the Pu'u O'o vents nearby. But the Kona winds coming from the South also blow. When the Kona winds blow, Hilo feels like a different place because the humidity rockets upwards and the trees creak as they sway a different direction from what they are used to.

In this picture coming from the airport, Mauna Kea is completely missing in the haze.

Mauna Kea missing in the haze

And across Hilo Bay the clouds cover the sun.

Hilo overcast

This is a view heading toward downtown Hilo on Kamehameha Avenue.

Hilo overcast

Oahu has been flooded with the latest storm coming up from the South while Hilo has only had occational rain. More on Hilo's vog season.

The overcast sky isn't dampening the Christmas spirit in Hilo.

Hilo mall at Xmas


Hawaii is big into parades and craft fairs and Hilo is no exception. This month has been a blur of fairs with people bringing their home made gifts for the rest of us to buy for Christmas presents. The fairs have been in county facilities, the mall, and more are coming up.

Hilo Craft fair

I am finding myself drawn to the homemade jewelry, T-shirts, cups, towels and endlessly creative and pretty items that people have made locally. It is a nice change from the standard Hawaiian mac nuts and Kona coffee. Here are some examples of gifts I have found.

This is Ono salt - locally made by Mauna Kea seasoning salts and with a really cute package for $2 each.

Hilo Ono salt

A glass and metal necklace. $20

Hilo necklace

These are hand towels sewed with Zigzane patterns and put into a gift can. $5 a can.

Hilo hand towels

More on unique shops in Hilo.


We were invited to our first baby luau in Hilo. First birthdays are very important in Hawaii and huge parties called Baby Luaus are held in their honor. Everyone invited brings massive quanities of food and sweets. While we ate and talked story and cooed over the baby, the music played.

Hilo Baby Luau

Baby Luau entertainment

Hilo Baby Luau

Hilo Baby Luau


Previous November 2008 Hilo Log posts

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