Absolutely No Place Like Hilo

By:  Jenn K

I had so much fun yesterday that I forgot to take pictures.  Disappointed, yes, but the fact that it was an amazing afternoon, spent with good friends, that will never be duplicated – I have no regrets.

After a delicious lunch at Leung’s, my friend Tracie and I met up with our friend Pam and Pam’s daughter, Kailey.  We planned on getting dessert from Wilsons Ice Shave since Tracie is visiting from San Diego.  What better obligatory treat when in Hilo?

Like any other day, Wilsons was the happening joint!  (I often see a line out their door whenever I pass by, which makes me smile.  The support of local business is so important especially in our special, little town.)  Despite the line and crowded benches outside, we waited our turn.  All the while laughing and enjoying our time together because even through sweat and possible sunburn, we know how to have fun!

After about 30+ minutes, the crowd dispersed and we made it inside where all who was ahead of us was an older gentleman, wearing a classic green Fiascos polo shirt, ordering two ice shaves for himself and a friend who was waiting outside.  He was so funny.  We observed as he patiently waited his turn then, after a sincere apology by the Wilsons crew for the wait, heard him jokingly comment about how long it took, “If I had to go back to work, I’d be fired”.  We all burst out laughing because he expressed exactly what we were thinking!

As this was my first time to Wilsons since it moved to its current location on Mamo Street, I wasn’t familiar with the ice shave sizes, and neither were Pam and Tracie.  Thankfully, “uncle” ordered a keiki and a medium which could qualify as a large in some parts.  It was decided that keiki would be an appropriate size for us:  Rainbow for Kailey, strawberry with li hing mui powder for me, lilikoi & coconut for Tracie, and blue vanilla for Pam.

We went outside and decided to get a photo under the popular Wilsons sign, while holding our primary colored ice shaves.  A most appropriate thing to do!  We took our places and Kailey used her one-handed photog skill to take the perfect shot.  I don’t know very many people – if any at all – who can do that without blur.

Immediately following, “uncle” asked us if we came from the boat.  Meaning, were we part of the visitors who traveled here via cruise ship.  We laughed and exclaimed that we are proud Hilo girls!  He was surprised, saying he had never seen such pretty girls around town.  What a guy!  Such a crack up!  His friend shook his head and they both walked to their car.  Tracie playfully suggested that he watch that guy and to stay out of trouble, while we said our goodbyes.

As we settled into our seats on the now empty bench, we heard a car horn which made us look up.  It was our new friend, making sure he got our attention one last time before he drove off!  We couldn’t stop laughing!  We were truly reminded that we can talk to strangers without fear, find humor in those whom others may find creepy, and enjoy standing in a long line of fellow humans and still end up feeling good about it.  That, to us, is Hilo.  You can’t beat that.



  1. I’m so happy to see the words “ice shave” used over and over again. It is both validating, and comforting to know I am not alone when defending my use of the words!! Wish I could have been there. I probably served uncle many drinks when I worked at fiascos!


  2. Jenn,
    Your words are true to the bone, and most of all sincere and heartfelt about our Hilo. You are absolutely right about the safety of conversation, the “laid back” patience of waiting 30 minutes for “ice shave” (which by the way the Honolulu folk here say backwards), and spending time with with childhood friends that already share so much precious memories with each other.
    Jason Moses


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