Yesterday started WAY too early! We needed to get up at 2:00am to catch a 5:15 flight over to the big island. It was well worth it though! Since it was too early to check into our new hotel, we made the two hour drive over to the other side of the island. First we stopped at Punaluu Beach Park, the black sand beach. I’ve never seen anything like that! The rocks and sand are all black, and the water is bright bright blue! It’s incredible! We spent about an hour there exploring and taking pictures. We saw two sets of huge sea turtles sunning themselves on the beach. They are soooo cute! There were also black crabs scurrying around on the black rocks – not quite as cute, but very cool!
Sea Turtles on the black sand beach
Then we headed over to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. What an awesome sight! We could see Mauna Loa volcano in the distance, and drove up to the top of Kilauea, the current activee volcano. We got to drive around the crater and see the lava formations from past eruptions. 1983 was the last time it erupted from the top, but lava has been flowing out from underground lava tubes ever since. There is steam venting out from the ground in several places in and around the crater. Kind of gave me an uneasy feeling! The crater is completely barren on one side, and like a rainforest on the other side. After circling the crater, we went on a 1/3 mile hike through an old empty lava tube on the rainforest side. Tomorrow we are going back at night, so that we can see the lava as it spills out into the ocean.
An old volcano crater
Alex standing in a crater
We spent a few hours at the volcano park, had lunch there, and then headed back to the hotel. The new hotel is great! It’s not nearly as fancy as the Hilton was on Oahu, but our rooms are huge (condos), and we are SO close to the ocean! Sitting out on the balcony is like heaven, and we slept with the patio door open a bit so we could listen to the waves crashing.
This morning we all slept in since we had such a little bit of sleep the night before. It was really nice just having some “down time” today. The kids all swam for awhile in the morning and then we went into town for some lunch and a little shopping. We needed to buy yet another suitcase since we got hit with another overweight fee on the flight here.
We made it back to our hotel just in time to watch the sunset from our balcony – beautiful! The hotel has a grill, so tonight Scott grilled hamburgers for our dinner. I think we’re about to watch a movie now, so I’m off to grab a spot on the couch!
Till next time,