Hawaii Vacation 2009


May 2009 we took a little vacation to the "Big Island", Hawaii. Stayed with my aunt and uncle and ran around the island in their little "guest" Miata with the advice of the "blue book" Big Island Revealed. In addition to seeing the sites, we learned lots of history and interesting facts.
After a long 15 hour trip on Friday, May 22, we landed in the late afternoon. My uncle greeted us with a lei and soon after getting to their house, we went to sleep!
Sabbath morning we headed to church and potluck. Yummy! Flowers everywhere! In the afternoon we went to "the lighthouse" where my cousin surfs, hiked down to the beach and saw a Hawaiian monk seal resting on the beach.

Then we drove to the Pololu Valley Lookout the end of 270 - and hiked down to the black sand Polulu Beach. Gorgeous creation! In this picture you can get a sense of how high we started. Down to the beach & back up!
Sunday we took the University of Hawaii Tour up to Mauna Kea. Meet at the "halfway stop" at 9500 ft and then 4WD up to the top - almost 14000 ft. "Top of the world, looking down on creation..." Brrr it was cold! See the snow?!
Monday, Memorial Day, we saw Akaka and Kahuna Falls on the way to snorkeling. A nice easy little walk.
The "blue book" said to stop and get icecream, so of course we did! Who could resist? Funny that the little shop advertises that they are a "Big Island Revealed" stop! (Woodshop Gallery & Cafe)
We snorkeled at the Kapoho Tidepools, a great place for beginners. Had fun with a new underwater camera. This is probably the best picture we took.
After snorkeling we had a little picnic at Ahalanui State Park. We tried to drive a little further down the road and see the lava flow but it was closed due to acid rain. Then we drove back to the end of the 130 road and hiked down to the new black sand beach - I think it's the new Kaimu Black Sand Beach. Due to local people planting palm trees, the area is beginning to green again. The clouds are "vog" - volcanic fog.
Tuesday we meandered down Hilo direction again. We stopped at the Laupahoehoe point and got some pictures. Visited two gardens- World Botanical Gardens with the Umauma Falls.

Then to Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens with the Onomea Falls falls. The gardens were quite different in style and layout. So many amazing flowers! How many ways could God think of to make a flower?! Such creativity!
Lots of peace lilies!
A garden of orchids.
Wednesday morning we made a trip over to the Macademia Nut Visitor Center and watched them making popcorn mac nut crunch. Bought some unique flavors for family & friends. The highlight of Wednesday was an evening Kalapana Lava Boat tour. Within 100 feet of the lava meeting the ocean. The one tour we paid for, and soooo worth it. Incredible awe of fire meeting water! The boat was small, with 7 passengers, so it felt like you joined a family on their fishing boat. Awesome! Note the rocks floating in the water.

Thursday we drove down to the Volcano National Park. Would have been better if we had seen this first. It was really voggy and lots of places were blocked off. We saw the output of the Halema'uma'u Crater but not as close as the ocean view.
We had a lot of fun in the Thurston Lava Tube playing with lighting and taking pictures. We also explored probably about half of the DARK untamed end. Very dark but cool!
Friday we were tired of driving around, so we stayed home, rested, and made cinnamon rolls for Friday night. Yumm. Sabbath we went to church again. I got drafted into calling for the offering, but the church was small and it was fun to participate. We were welcomed with a lei of plumeria. Mmmm. Love the smell of plumeria!
In the afternoon, my uncle took us on a steep 4WD drive down into Waipi'o Valley. Beautiful, remote, exquisite!

Sunday I was on a mission to get up early and see dolphins before we flew out in the evening. We tried Kealakekua or the Captain Cook Monument area but there weren't any dolphins there and it would have been a long swim for snorkeling.
So we went a little south to Pu'uhoua o Honaunau to see the city of refuge. When we parked I could see the dolphins! It was incredible.
We swam and snorkeled with them for an hour and a half. An experience of a lifetime!
A taste of heaven! So breath-taking to be so close to such amazing creatures in the wild!

So sad to have to pack up and go home and back to work! What an amazing restful experience! We are so grateful to Uncle Dale and Aunty Patsy for hosting us for a most excellent vacation!

This pic is of a tree I particularly enjoyed... the jackaranda tree.


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Last Updated September 20, 2011

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