have a moment to sit down and think. Think about our trip and realize what a wonderful time we had! I’ve been going through pictures all week and remembering and have such cool things in mind for a Hawaii scrapbook….I took almost 1000 pictures so I won’t be posting all of them! ha!
Here are some wonderful highlights….
- Waking up to the beautiful sunrise every morning at about 6:15. Feeling AWAKE and stepping out onto the Lanai (Balcony) and seeing the beauty around…
- Swimming in the hot ponds that are heated by lava tubes. The water (fed by the ocean and with a natural lava rock bottom) is heated to a warm 90-95 degrees!
- Snorkeling in the tide pools in that area. Beautiful fish although I got scared out of the water by some jellyfish and then Russell swam with a sea-turtle!
- The Black Rock Cafe. Yummy. Yum. Yum. It is about the only restaurant in Pahoa, HI (about seven miles from where we were staying) and we ate breakfast there almost everyday.
- Kona Coffee.
- Volcano National Park. We drove out there and my camera ran out of BATTERY! Ugh! But, we hiked out over the lava for about an hour and a half to try and get as close to the flow as possible. Just two weeks prior, the "bench" (a sort of floating, unstable land that is created when lava pours into the ocean) broke off into the ocean and so we couldn’t get closer than about 1/2 mile. I fell on the lava and have a nice scar on my arm to remember the occasion. We met some people from Austin, TX who were wandering around in the darkness because their flashlights had run out of battery and we hiked with them back to the road. It was dark. Dark. Dark. Dark. No lights. No reference points except for two blinking lights leading you back to the road – each about a mile apart. No vegetation. Just black lava and black sky and millions and millions of stars. Incredible.
- Driving and Hiking to Green Sand Beach…where the sand is really green and there were hardly any people there. Making friends with a cute little dog named Ziggy and his dog friend that barked at all the waves…
- Driving all the way around the island in Colby’s Toyota and being treated (and looking) like locals because we were a bit wild looking after a week of roughing it in the rainforest.
- No running water and no showers for several days at a time….unless you went swimming or found an outside shower at a beach.
- Understanding why so many people have dreadlocks on the island. Salt water and sun and no conditioner for a couple of days and I could have had awesome dreads by this time!!
- Watching the sunset from atop Mauna Kea – the worlds tallest volcano – above the clouds! And then watching the stars come out and taking pictures with my tripod and freezing and thinking I was at the top of the Pacific Ocean…feeling very exposed and awestruck.
- Attending the Hilo Orchid Society Orchid Show. Hilo is the orchid capital and there are orchid farms everywhere! These are not the orchids we see for sale at Home Depot and your local nursery. There are hundreds of varietys and types and they grow wild! Our friend Colby works at an orchid farm (Kalapana Tropicals) and snagged us the tickets.
- Wearing my swimsuit everyday
- Going to the markets in Kona, HI and Hilo, HI. Seeing all the beautiful tropical flowers and fruits for sale and cool jewelry and handwoven bags and people. (Um….real people – not handwoven ones! ha!)
- Russell putting a Plumeria by the bed every morning for me to wear in my hair. The air smelling like flowers everywhere you go…
- Hiking out to the new black sand beach that is forming on our first morning there.
- Having a wild Hawaiian pig barbecue with some of Colby’s neighbors
- Being humbled by the resourcefulness of the people on the island. They are so totally self-sufficient. Living off the land, catching rainwater, sleeping and living in the wild. Makes me feel very materialistic…
- Picking Guava fruit off the trees wherever we were driving for a little fruit snack. Yum. (especially the "strawberry" guava)
- Everything was "goin’ off" – the waves were "goin’ off", the guava fruit was "goin’ off", the roosters and coqui frogs were "goin’ off" – a term Russell and I noticed people saying a lot and have incorporated into our daily language…i.e. "Man, Harry is goin’ off! (Translation: Harry is really barking!) or "That sunset is goin’ off! (Translation: What a beautiful sunset!) or "The times we had were goin’ off! (Translation: We had an awesome time!!)
May you carry the Aloha spirit wherever you go…