Monday, January 11, 2016

Vacation Day 7

December 29th - today we went to the Big Island of Hawaii.  We wanted the kids to see active volcanoes, so we flew over to that Island for the day.  We took a Circle Tour on a bus because it is the quickest way to see the whole island in a short amount of time.

It was a ridiculously early start to our day - we had to get up at 2:30 in the morning and leave for the airport at 3am.  We did try and go to bed early the night before, but it was still very ugly.  Our flight was at 5am.  It was a 45 minute flight.

We were picked up from the airport by the tour and get on our way around 7am.  (they fed us breakfast first, which helped).  The tour was nice, but Mat and I decided it would have been better for us to rent a car and do only the things we wanted to do.  We forgot how many "tourist traps" are on these Circle Tours - where they drop you in a store because they have a deal with them.  That was a pain, but overall, we saw what we wanted to see.

The tour included:  Kona Coffee plant, Black Sand Beach, Thurston Lava Tube, Volcano National Park, Rainbow falls, Fern Tree Jungle, Kilauea Iki Crater.

The Big Island has 11 of the 13 types of weather all on one island.  One side of the island is very dry (it was in drought conditions for 4 years) and the other side is very wet.  The dry side only gets about 3 inches of rain a day, and the other - 225 inches.  Hawaii also has an active volcano.  Usually you are able to go and see the slow flowing lava up close, but it has been errupting for the last 8 years, so tourist were not allowed close.  That was a little disappointing, but we did get to see it from afar.

The kids had a good time.  There was down time on the bus while we just drove from point to point where we were able to sleep.  We didn't get home that night until after 10pm, and we were pretty exhausted.

Enjoy the pictures

One of the folks on the tour gave Finley some flowers

 We stopped at the Kona Coffee Museum
 Arlington and Cainan catching a nap
 The landscape on the dry side of the island
 View of the ocean from the bus
 We stopped at the famous Black Sand Beach.  Kids thought it was really cool
 Lava rock on the Black Sand beach

 Black sand up close

 The lava rock around the ocean

 Turtle on her nest on the beach.  No worries - we couldn't even get close to her - she was well protected
 Finley wanting to use the camera:

 Lava stone on the beach
 We went into the JAggar Museum while we were at the Volcano park.   We learned that the white and yellow colored lava is the hottest and the deep red is actually the coolest.  (if you call 1200 degrees cool)
 View of the volcano and crater that are still active

 This is Pele - 

 We thought this sign was funny.  It isn't bad enough people bring selfie sticks -now they bring drone cameras
 Having lunch at the Volcano National Park
 I had Macadamia Nut encrusted Mahi.  It was delicious
 Views of the volcano while we ate
 Cainan loves turtles, and since we saw one on the beach, he wanted to get a stuffed animal
 overall landscape around the volcano
 Where we had lunch

 off to the Lava Tube.  These were formed a long time ago - this is how the lava flowed out into the ocean

 Fern Jungle.  As you can see - we are on the wet side of the island now

 Another crater

 While riding along, Finley fashioned her candy cane into a shiv
 These are on all the islands - they are whistles to alert people of a tsunami
 They had a huge tsunami in the 40s, and this clock stands at the time it hit

 Ended our trip back on the dry side of the island.  It is amazing that an island that is 93 miles long and 50 miles wide has such different terrains

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