hawaii - day seven

Why can't I start every single day like this?

Here we are on our seventh day in Hawaii and this place just keeps getting better and better.  Look at this picture.  No words.  (Okay, of course I have words, because I always have words.)  Oh my goodness!  This divine place is called Anaeho’omalu Bay, say that three times.  Or don't.  You can just refer to it as A Bay.  I learned that from the guy who rented me some snorkel gear.  I'm sure he saw this gleaming white girl and didn't even want to bother with the name.  A Bay it is.  Tim and I found this cute little place on one of our early morning runs.  We're sort of kicking ourselves that we didn't find this gem earlier in the week because we were in love.       

Here is trooper Annie lugging her stroller through the sand.  Luckily she's got a diet coke in her hand to keep her going. 

Snorkel nerds...

But the picture of me below is totally cool, no nerdyness whatsoever.  Why would someone ever post this picture of themselves, you ask?  This was right before a moment that changed my life forever.  The moment that I jumped in the ocean and almost had a panic attack because I couldn't get used to breathing through my mouth realized I was part mermaid.  After figuring out how to breath through my mouth ONLY I immediately fell in love with snorkeling.  I really wanted to spend all day here and was so mad that we only had one hour before we had to head out on our adventure day.  I seriously considered kissing Akaka Falls and the Volcano goodbye and staying at the Beach, but I knew I would regret it.

Just to make sure we are clear, snorkeling was amazing.  As soon as you put your face in the water it feels like you've entered a whole new world.  (Cue the Little Mermaid music).  I loved it.  It was fun to see the sea turtles swimming underneath and we watched one swim to the surface to get a little fresh air.  The fish schools swimming all around you. The beautiful coral reef.  It was awesome!   

After my amazing adventure snorkeling, we got ready for the day and headed out on an adventure to see the other side of the Island.  I'm pretty sure it's mandatory that you take lots of pictures of the gorgeous scenery.  It's breathtaking!  Over there is Waipi'o Valley.  We didn't actually drive into the valley, but we wish we would have had time. The view from over here was amazing. Jordan would be so disappointed if I didn't document his favorite part of the trip, which was stopping to eat lunch and Malasadas at TEX Drive-In.  I loved my BLT more than the donuts, but don't tell Jordan that!   

Tim thought he was so clever taking a picture of Melissa breaking the rules right next to the posted sign!

This is Umauma Falls (or just below it).  We needed to hike further up the hill for the really awesome falls, but we didn't realize this until we got back to the car.  Oh well...we headed onto another amazing waterfall.

Our next destination was Akaka Falls.  The world famous 424 foot water fall.  The surrounding tropical gardens around the falls were incredible!

After Akaka Falls we had another long drive in the car to get to Volcano National Park.  We were so excited to finally get there.  We left the resort at 10:30 am and didn't get to the Volcano until 3:30 pm.  It was a long trek.  We were so excited to see this amazing Volcano Park especially since it was currently erupting.

You can see the smoke coming from the crater (I hope that's the right terminology.  Rader would be so disappointed if it wasn't.)  This sight is eerily familiar to us.  It looks like one of our Herriman Wildfires.

It was fun to walk through and do some silly posing in the Lava Tube.  My favorite part about the Lava Tube's was walking around outside of them.  The birds were so loud.  It was truly so beautiful, but seemed surreal as if someone was playing some really loud ambient music.  I now know where the theme parks get their music from!

We also walked around and saw the steam vents.  Accompanied with more awesome posing!

We had heard that the Volcano was really cool at night.  We were getting antsy to get back to the resort.  Annie and the baby stayed back at the resort and I think we all felt anxious to get back to her.  Plus, we'd been driving all day and Jordan really wanted to make it back to Tex's for some more Malasadas before they closed for the evening.  However, we ran into a ranger named Rader and he convinced us that we just had to stay and see the volcano when it lights up the entire crater and looks like a "glowing amphitheater."  Rader did a really great presentation about Volcano's, but as the sun began to set it was getting super cold.  Like Utah cold.  We only had little sweaters and were starting to freeze our buns off.  We knew that we needed to stay, but we barely had the desire to do so.  Even after Rader's dramatic speech about how the first time he saw the Volcano he cried.  We waited in the car with the heater on until Melissa gave us notice, "it's dark enough."  We all jumped out of the van.  Snapped a picture of the "glowing amphitheater" and hopped back in the car.  We are so lame!  There was a line of cars waiting for our coveted parking spot.  If we would have stayed for another hour I'm sure it would have been 10x more amazing, but we were all tired and hungry.  Rader would be so disappointed in us.

When we got to the nearest town, Hilo, we stopped at Cafe 100 which we found in the guidebook.  It said that it was the best local spot.  Cheap food and lots of it.  Oh boy were they right.  This is what Josh ordered and ate.  Fried spam, little weenies, a fried egg and chili over rice plus a nice coleslaw salad on the sad.  The rest of our orders were similar...mine was chicken, egg, gravy over rice.  We really, really, really must have been hungry because I ate half of mine before I even realized how disgusting it was.  I also made Tim walk me to the bathroom and wait outside the door.  It was a little scary there.  The locals seemed to stare at us like we were crazy tourists.  (Oh wait, I guess we were.)

We took the long trek back to our resort and found Annie all rested after her fun day alone with baby Hallie.  This really was a crazy adventurous day.  Glad we did it.  Happy that I don't ever have to do it again kind of a thing?!

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