Friday, May 25, 2007

Akaka Falls

The last thing we did before jumping on our flight, was head over to Akaka Falls State Park. It was an absolutely beautiful waterfall!

Excuse the "puffy and pregnant" face...sadly, it just happens...

The Helicopter Tour

Rusty was really disappointed that he didn't get to see any lava. So for his Father's Day present to himself, he got to go on a helicopter tour of Mauna Kea. He's working on a video for it, so that will come shortly. Here's some pictures in the meantime:

The Helicopter:

If we had done the hike, this is where it would have been along.

Lava Steam:

The big lava pit:

Some guy still lives in his house amidst all these lava fields:

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Kona Hawaii

I was so surprised to realize that that most of the Big Island is farm land. People actually have yards there! It's just so different from Oahu (and especially Honolulu) that it made me really homesick!! I am so sick of the big city!!

*Trivial information: Oahu holds 75% of all of Hawaii's population. Most of that is probably in Honolulu and the surrounding cities.

We spent our third (and last full day) driving across the island to Kona. It's a huge island! It took a couple of hours just to get to the other side, on Oahu you could drive around the entire island in less time.

Kona, Hawaii Temple:

Hapuna Beach Park:

This beach is one of the most famous in the world. Honestly, it looked just like most of the other beaches I have been to. And my favorite is still Waimea Bay. It was still nice though, and we took a long relaxing break from all the hikes we did the day before. And heck! There weren't any naked guys!!

Here's Ashlyn's nice new tan!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Volcanoes National Park

Once Ashlyn had a decent nap and Rust and I recovered from seeing naked men raking, we headed to Volcanoes National Park. This is definitely the reason why we came to the Big Island. We were really excited to see some lava! Although it turned out that it's a bad time for lava. Once the park ranger found out that we were planning on hiking out to the lava with a baby and another on the way, she began her long lecture about how dangerous the hike is. Four years ago, you could drive to the lava, but now it's just a slow trickle into the ocean. It's really rocky and uneven footing, with no guarantees that the lava rock below you won't break and drop you into a hole. And since it's such a long hike and you have to see the lava when it's getting dark, the hike back would be in pitch black with no markings. It was a convincing speach, but all she really had to say that it was a 6 hour hike with NO BATHROOMS! (and of course, no bushes or anything like that).

We didn't do the hike, but we did hike down to where the hike would begin. This is where, four years ago, the lava covered the road and was flowing into the ocean.

We also hiked the lava tube. I don't know the exact geology behind the place, but the lava flowed underground here, so it's like a big tunnel.

Here are some petroglyphs we also hiked out to.

After all that hiking, it was definitely a LOST night. So we went back to our hotel and watched the most amazing season finale ever!!

The "New" Beach

You can always count on Mapquest to take you somewhere the most roundabout way and get you completely lost. Kehana Beach Park was no exception. We struggled to find it, and Ashlyn spent an hour in the car screaming, but there was no way we were going to miss out on our first ever black sand beach. We finally stopped some guy on the road to ask him where it was. He said, "Oh the new beach..." then proceeded to give us some directions. I decided to cut mapquest some slack, since it was a "new" beach afterall. There was a little hike down to the beach, but the view was breathtaking! I loved the black cliffs that surrounded the ocean, and the white water contrasted so well with the black sand.

Although not technically sand, it looked and felt just like it. Sand comes from coral, the black sand here is made from the lava rocks that surround the island. We brought a big jar of it home with us.

This beach was the definite highlight and my favorite part of our vacation! There was only one major drawback...I will have burned in my mind forever the images of old naked men doing yoga. Apparently, Kehana beach park is not a "new" beach, but a "nude" beach. Needless to say, we did not stay as long as we originally planned.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mauna Kea Observatory

We took off that night to visit the Mauna Kea Visitors Center and Observatory. It was crazy! We didn't take any of our own pictures because it was much too dark. I pulled these off of the internet. The visitors center was only 26 miles from our hotel, but it was steep climb in the dark. I watched the temperature gauge drop from 84 degrees to a frigid 48 degrees within that distance!! We didn't know exactly what to expect, and I'm sorry to say that we were the only ones wearing shorts and flip flops. Atleast I bundled up Ashlyn in some warm clothes, Rust and I just don't own any!! It could have been worse though...there's actually snow and snowboarding up there in the winter.

I've never seen more stars in my life with just the naked eye. They had some amazing telescopes though, I saw the rings of Saturn and the moon very clearly. We also saw Venus and Jupiter. I think our favorite part though was the freeze dried ice cream (it was dry and crunchy, but tasted just like Neapolitan) and getting back into our warm car when we were done.

I was also really happy to finally see the Southern Cross. Hawaii is the only place in the northern hemisphere where you can actually see it. It's the "pole" star to mark the southern direction.

Our First Day

Our first day on the island was pretty low key, probably because we were so exhausted from our early flight. We couldn't check into our hotel until 3:00, so we just hung out on the grounds around the hotel and on Coconut Island. Naniloa Volcanoes Resort had a pretty nice pool that Ashlyn loved.

This is Ashlyn still in her pajamas on Coconut Island. Rusty was taking a much-needed nap.

We spent a lot of down time on Coconut Island. Here is Rusty and Ashlyn playing in the water. It was a tiny island (maybe about an acre) with a little foot bridge to it.

We also went to Rainbow Falls and Pe'epe'e (pay-aypay-ay) Falls. Rainbow Falls was pretty lame, I've seen better pictures of it. I guess it hasn't rained in Hilo for awhile. Some other tourists were blaiming it on Global Warming (*insert rolled eyes here). It was still pretty though.

Rainbow Falls:
Pe'epe'e Falls:
The pools below Pe'epe'e Falls, Rust and I decided that if we were going to live somewhere, it would be right here. The picture just doesn't do it justice!

This is our view from the hotel. Rust and I have never been on a "real" vacation, so it was a lot of fun to actually stay in a hotel. You can see a cruise ship in the distance, we almost did that instead. But we didn't know Ashlyn would be charged the full adult price.

Flying to the Big Island

Our flight to the Big Island was WAY too early. We left at 5:00 in the morning and took the bus to the airport. Ashlyn was surprisingly wide awake and happy the entire morning, and had a lot of fun playing tug-o-war with Rusty and her favorite stuffed Monkey while we waited for our flight.

I've never been on a plane so small! We actually walked out onto the tarmac to get on the plane, there was only one flight attendant and it seated about 30-35 people. We were the first ones on the plane, so we got prime seats. Way in the back (I guess we never got over the juvenile idea that sitting in the back of the bus is cool) and on the left side so we could see all the islands as we flew over. Here's a picture of Molokai and Maui. I loved the mountains on Maui! Molakai was pretty flat.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...