Hilo is the second largest city in Hawai'i. It is located on the Big Island, whose nickname is the Orchid Island, which is a bit off the beaten tourism track.
Hilo offers a glimpse at a more authentic Hawaiian lifestyle than that of the state's beach resorts. One of its loveliest attractions is Liluokalani Gardens.
Arriving in Hilo, I was taken to a lovely new hotel that had just opened. Called the Orchid Island Inn (or was it the Orchid Island Hotel?), it was built atop black lava.
While it was located at the ocean's edge, there was no beach to speak of, much to my disappointment. As I was exploring the property, I was accosted by a very personable young lady with red hair. After introducing herself, she explained that she was a tour guide with a group of tourists from Chicago.
“I've got several young people just your age, but there's a shortage of boys,” she explained.
“You seem to be alone. Would you like to join us? There's room on the tour bus for one more. And I can pull some strings and get you admitted to the luau tomorrow night – no charge.
For More on the Orchid Island Hotel
It has been so many years that I wasn't even sure if the Orchid Island still existed. When I did an on line search for the hotel, I couldn't find it. But I did find this very interesting blog post from a website called "Tiki Architecture". I took one look, and said, "Yes! That is the hotel I stayed at more than 40 years ago!"
To Be Continued
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Copyright: Michael Taylor Pictured: Liluokalani Gardens, Hilo, Hawaii Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Hawaiian Tourism Authority