I'm on the "wrong" side of Hawaii Big Island: often rainy, no posh resorts, no ocean sunsets, vulnerable to tsunamis. Rich.
This morning I lay in bed watching the sun rise over the Pacific.
A rising sun does not have the easy drama of an ocean sunset. But I can't say a setting sun is better than a rising sun. This rising sun meant I had a full day ahead of me to potter around Hilo on Hawaii's Big Island.
As I waited for the hotel elevator, I empathized with two of the staff about how difficult it must be for them to do their jobs.
The old building is being remodeled. Most of the floors are blocked off as workers gut the interior. Construction dust encroaches on public areas.
They were excited about the work getting completed. The beds were to be replaced with platform beds, which will mean they will no longer have to drag beds to clean under them. A colleague is in a back brace.
I walked from the hotel and towards town in glorious sunshine with none of the annual 127 inches of rain.
Observatories glistened in the sunlight, 14,000 feet up massive Mauna Kea.
Later, locals will be gathering in the park to my right for Sunday activities and barbecues. A beautiful meeting place on Hilo Bay.
At Just Cruisin' Coffee I ordered breakfast. An old man came in and sat without ordering. He spent several minutes giggling at his phone, presumably riding the free WiFi. He then decided he had to show me the screen.
It was a photo of a model in what appeared to be a satin cocktail dress fit for a runway. He explained the dress was a pair of basketball shorts, expertly draped.
Satisfied with my reaction, he resumed his giggling pursuit of unlikely couture.
I headed out to wander around Hilo. Some would say the town has seen better days. I feel tourist-driven Waikiki, and Lahaina (Maui) have seen better days. The locals may disagree with me and each other.
Today, I potter around old Hawaii among people living their regular lives