Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hawaii Part 3

This is the final chapter of our Hawaiian vacation. I've been dragging my feet with this post because once I post it, our trip is officially over and I'm not ready for that yet.

Thursday (4/14/11) we drove around the entire island making pit stops to see many things. This was one of my favorite days. I enjoy spending time outside and it's even better when you are some place as beautiful as Hawaii!

Our first stop was Waipi'o Valley. This valley is only a mile wide and is surrounded by 2000 feet high cliffs. It was a beautiful view.


My Mom and Dad.

James and I.

We were able to see this valley a few days earlier on our Helicopter tour. Here's the picture I took that day.


After looking at the valley, we headed down the road to find some waterfalls. We were able to see quite a few waterfalls off of the main road, but we followed the signs to see a couple of the bigger waterfalls further into the jungle. We had to walk a ways, but once we got there, it was well worth it!







Once we were done with the waterfalls, we headed into Hilo for lunch and to stop at my parent's favorite cookie store- Big Island Cookies. (sorry no pictures)

Next we went into Volcano National Park. We were running short on time so we didn't get to see as much as we would have liked to. (Interesting fact: the Big Island doesn't have street lights and because of the black lava rock everywhere, once the sun sets, it's pitch dark. We were hoping to get back to our resort before it got too dark.)

We were able to walk through Thurston Lava Tube, which is a tunnel formed from a lava flow 550+ years ago.

We also saw the Kilauea Caldera. Volcanoes are very fascinating to me. I will never be able to learn enough or see enough about them.


I demanded to touch a black sand beach before we left the island. We stopped at Punalu'u Beach. According to a little old lady at the beach, this is the only black sand beach you can drive to, all the others you have to hike to get to them. A few months ago, when Japan had the big earthquake, a tsunami struck this beach carrying away a lot of the black sand.

Proof that my toes were in the pacific ocean while standing on a black sand beach.




The turtles loved this beach too.



I was so sad to leave. On one of the last days we were on this island, we found out about a green sand beach. In order to get to this beach you have to go to the southern most tip of the island, off road, and then hike 3 miles in. We have already planned another trip to Hawaii so we can experience this beach.

On Friday (4/15/11), we jumped on a charter flight to the island of Ohau. Sadly, I didn't take many pictures of the last few days there.

We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. This is the hotel me and my family stayed in when we were moving away from Hawaii. We checked in and then James and I walked down Waikiki for old times sake. It was a blast to reminisce about our previous trip there. We put our feet in the ocean and did some shopping. Out of no where, a sudden downpour came. We were miles away from our hotel so we just enjoyed it. As we were walking through the International Market, a little old lady offered to sell us an umbrella, but at that point we were already soaked through.


Friday night we had dinner at our friend's house. I hadn't seen any of them since we moved away 20 years ago. It was so much fun to reconnect! I even got to try sushi and salmon for the first time...not bad at all! They told us about a shaved ice place that puts a syrup in their ice to make it finer. James is a huge shaved ice lover and for some reason Clovis doesn't have shaved ice, so we drove all over looking for this place. Everyone was very satisfied and had a second serving, even I liked it and I'm not a shaved ice fan.


The menu was very different. They put all kinds of different things in it.


There you have it, our trip in a nutshell. I'm so glad we were able to go! We already have 2 more trips planned there. YAY!