Thursday, January 7, 2016

Vacation Day 3

Christmas Day 2015!  We haven't been away for Christmas day before, so it was a little different.  Our kids are old enough, though, and we talked about it before hand, and they were fine with waiting to open their presents from Santa when they got home to Boston.  That made things much easier.

So this day we planned on going to Byodo-In Temple and doing a hike.

The Byodo-In Temple is located at the base of the Ko'olau Mountains (the ride there was spectacular), in the Valley of the Temples memorial park.  It was built in 1968 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.

It is a non-practicing Buddhist temple.  The grounds were amazing.  We had a really good time looking around and it was a good choice for this day.  Very peaceful there.

Once we finished at the temple, we had a little lunch and then went on our hike.  This hike I found online as a good hike for families.  We hiked to LuLu Mahu falls.

To say this water fall is off the beaten path would be an understatement.  This was the hardest hike we as a family have ever done.  It was muddy, and we had to cross over the creek several times and through rocks, and climb rock walls, and narrow paths, and through a thick bamboo forest to get there.  But it was worth it.  The water fall was over 50 feet tall, and there was a swimming hole at the bottom to cool off.  We were proud of ourselves.

The hike and temple took most of the day, so decided to just grab pizza for dinner and head back to the condo to relax.  We cleaned up, ate, and played a board game.

Overall it was a great Christmas day.  Enjoy the pictures:

This is a mountain near the condo.  We were surrounded on three sides by them:

 This one was so high, it was under cloud cover the whole time:
 Byodo-In Temple

 They had this huge bell you could ring - made a magnificent sound:

 Bell up close:
 Budda in the garden:
 Inside the temple:
 Lighting candles:

 This black swan had a nest near the water by the temple:
 There were chickens roaming free everywhere in Hawaii.  I liked the hair on this one:
 We got some feed and fed the birds and the fish:

 Finley loved when the birds jumped in her hand:

 Biggest smile she had the entire trip:
 Area of bamboo near the temple.  The kids were impressed on how thick and study it was, and yet it was hallow:

 Cemetery on the grounds:
 Mountains near the temple:

 On the drive to LuLu Falls, there were a few lookout points.  We stopped at one:

 The start of our hike toward the halls.  Happily skipping along:
Crossing over an area of water:
 Getting started through the bamboo forest - it was thick.  Good thing we had step by step directions with us on how to get there - the path was very unclear:
 Once we got through the bamboo, it opened to this huge field.  It was like a scene from the Sound of Music:

 We crossed the field to a set of stairs and up we went:
 At the top of the hill was this.  No idea what it used to be used for, but it definitely had a keep out sign for a good reason.  This land was government land long ago, so it must have done something:
 Walking the path to get to the next set of woods that would lead to the falls.  Easy part is definitely over:
 There is a 10 foot drop off to the right there.  Finley was not thrilled with this part.  But she did great:
 Doing our first cross across the creek bed.  We got pretty wet - the rocks were slippery:

 Figuring out how to get across a deeper part:

 We had to climb a lot of rocks:

 This climb was especially tricky

 But we made it!
 And we got our reward.  The pictures just don't do it justice:

 The water was COLD
 But we were pretty hot:

 Mat, Finley and Cainan decided to put their head under the falls:

 Now that they were officially wet, they went for a swim:

 Heading back.

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