Naples: Day 1

September 4, 2018

Yesterday was our first full day in Naples. We started the day with complimentary buffet breakfast, and I was not prepared for that at all. I was expecting one of those “continental” breakfasts that have stale muffins, single serve cereals, and make your own waffle stations. NOPE. Italy is stepping up the game! So much fruit, breads and pastries, eggs, bacon, salami, salads, coffees, juices. Ahh I was in heaven. It’s a great way to start the day.

Next we came back to our hotel room so that I could practice the presentation I have to present at the Cities on Volcanoes 10 conference. After a little bit of practicing and tweaking slides, we decided we should go out and explore something. The only problem is that there is so much to explore, we couldn’t decide on what to do or where to go! We finally decided on the National Museum of Archaeology.

It was about a 20 minute walk from our hotel, and I have to be honest, I was on edge a little at first. Everyone we’ve talked to about Italy has said the crime rate is astronomical and to be on your game the whole time. Since this was our first time really walking around, I was a little nervous. Everything went smoothly, however, and we got to the museum!

A lot of the exhibits were in Italian with very minimal English translations, probably so that you are forced to buy the audio headset thing or pay for a tour guide. Instead Taylor and I walked around and used the Google Translate app to try to decipher what the placards were saying. In the end, we were really just there to appreciate the rich history and culture of Italy, and I think with more information we would’ve been completely bombarded with too many facts. Here are some Instagram screenshots and pictures of our day:

This is the front of the museum. The buildings alone in Italy are beautiful and old, and full of so much geology 😉 Taylor and I have been nerding out on walls, columns and street tiles!

When you’re boyfriends Instagram handle is “botobikes” you know he’s gonna be interested in the boto history of Pompei!

Scale model of Pompei (1:100). Really opened my eyes to what we’ll be in for when we visit Pompei!

A sleepy guy who understands PhD life….

Each tile piece was colored by baking the glass with different materials (yellow from sulfur, blue from cobalt, etc.). I love the attention to detail and amazing patterns!

Many, many marble pieces and some of them were huge (Taylor for scale)! All I could think was “do you know how expensive marble like this would cost in Hawaii?!”

A little plant shop on the way back to our hotel had a little piece of home! I also thought they had some lauaʻe but communicating with the owner was hard and when I asked him what it was, he said “felce” which translates to fern….

This mushroom and prosciutto margherita pizza was amazing, and it was only 4.50! The drink was also 4.50 because it came from the mini fridge….

And then we had dinner on the rooftop at the restaurant again because there was a little more practice needed! Now we are off to the conference…but first, coffee!!




In the last 24 hours….

September 3, 2018

Woke up in Italy and still in complete shock. Taylor and I are in Italy. Last night after we checked in to our hotel, we went to the hotel restaurant for dinner which is situated on the hotel room (our hotel is only like 6 floors). I wish I had pictures, but it was so dark I couldn’t even really read the menu!! But I can’t complain. I’m in Italy!!

Taylor has Gnocchi of course, and I had Melanzano (I think that’s what it was called?). And of course for dessert we had gelato and Taylors favorite, panna cotta.

Right now it is like 7:45A and we just woke up. I wanted to write this short one so that from now on the posts will be like “Day X”, so this is just a recap of the last part of traveling to Naples. Right now we’ll get ready to head upstairs to the restaurant again and check out their complimentary buffet breakfast, with I think a view of Vesuvius? It has to have a view, the restaurant is called Vesuvio!!!

A hui hou! Ciao!



Almost there!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

We are currently sitting in my homeland country of Germany (well, one homeland country) while waiting to go to Taylors homeland country of Italy. I have to say, I’m really digging these European airports. They’re so big and roomy, and I especially like that they have smoking lounges. I don’t know if you know this, but traveling with a smoker is hard! Constantly wondering how long the TSA lines will be on the way back into the airport, for some mini excursion out of the airport that takes less than 30 minutes.

I also really like Lufthansa Airlines! They’re amazingly nice people, and during our Denver to Munich flight we had two meals! It was almost 10 hours of fly time, so I guess it makes sense that you’d want dinner and breakfast within that time frame (it was a red-eye), but I’m so used to the American flag companies that don’t have complimentary meals. I also find it so cute how they make sure families with children get food first, so that the kids can have time to eat! It’s nice to see such thoughtfulness during a time where everyone is basically annoyed 24-7.

I also really like how high-tech these airlines have become. My one gripe is that I can’t use AirPods or Bluetooth headphones with the tv things on the back of the seats. One day, my dream will come true. I guess I’m just so used to the inter-Island flights that only last about 1 hour, so there’s no need for any fancy shmancy entertainment or food options. It’s been a loonnngggg time since I’ve flown on a flight that was more than 5 hours!

Anyways, we have a few more hours to kill so for now I’ll just people watch! I’m thinking I’ll be extremely tired by the time we get to our hotel in Naples, so I’m hoping that we aren’t too jet-lagged during the first few days!

A hui hou!



Italy here we come!

Saturday, August 1, 2018

We are about 3 hours into our 8 hour layover here in Denver, and I’ve already driven Taylor nuts. This is the first time, for both of us, traveling internationally with multiple connecting flights. From Hawaii to Italy, we basically have to go around the world, and that’s not fun. In my head, doing two red eye flights would be great, because then we could just sleep and pass the time quickly. WRONG. I forgot how annoying it is to fly: uncomfortable seats, having to pee, loud sounds, all of it. But it’s the sacrifice we make to experience new places, taste different cultures…

We are flying to Italy for the Cities on Volcanoes 10 conference. I will be presenting on behalf of my advisor who was unable to make it. The conference is in Naples, and in case you didn’t put two and two together: the conference is held in cities with a volcano which is why Naples was chosen…for Mount Vesuvius! We are super excited to adventure around and experience the rich history and culture of Italy, it definitely will be different from Hawaii!! These two local kids don’t know what they got themselves into…

anyways, I’m going to try to upload quick snippets here and there when I can. For now, here’s a picture of the sunrise from our landing airplane in Denver!

And here is a picture of me taking this picture:

Until next time! A hui hou! 🤙🏼



Starting Year 2 of Data Collection!

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

We are back in Kona, starting our second year of sampling! We started our trip off with a community meeting to provide updates on our project: data so far, where we have been, who we have collaborated, etc. All attendees seemed very excited to hear about our project, and the researchers on the project are excited to share their work so far! In my opinion, it would be great if we could have a community every visit that way we can spend more time talking story! Once-a-year updates means everyone has to try to jam everything they’ve done in this year into a short talk…but I really love to hear the input from folks who live here! They live and breath the stuff we are researching, so who better to ask for help and input than those amazing observers?

Today was the first day of all team sampling, with Sheree and Ku’i running around with the Hawaii Department of Water Supply, while Kiana and I headed up to the Kīholo aquifer for rain sampling! Apparently it hasn’t rained much in Kona, because there was hardly any water in my rain buckets, but that’s ok! We have enough for chemical analyses and that’s what matters!

If you were wondering, all is well here in Kona. Hurricane Hector is no where in sight *knock on wood*, but if he’s the reason the skies have cleared in Kona then he was a blessing! The past few times I’ve come to Kona, it has been extremely voggy….today is the first day with skies so clear I almost forgot I was in Kona!

Our trip has only begun! Stay tuned for more! (Tomorrow I’ll try to upload pictures!)