The Big Island of Hawaii

For our anniversary earlier this month, we took Eliza, age 12, and Harmony, age 10, to the Big Island of Hawaii for a beautiful week of adventures.  We were able to go thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law and some friends who helped with my energetic little boys.  Benji, who will be 4 this summer, is mellow and sweet, while Gideon, at 18 months, is into everything and doesn't stop moving.  It's fitting that our last one be a bit of a challenge. Heaven forbid I get cocky in my parenting.

We went snorkeling, saw beautiful sunrises and sunsets, a luau, and took a horseback ride through the Wai'ipo Valley.  Eliza and Harmony had their first ride in an airplane.  They earned the money for half of their flight and activities and were wide-eyed all week.

The event with the most impact on me, was meeting a photographer who lived in Leilani Estates and experienced the lava's destruction last year.  Lots of new fissures opened up on the east end of the island.  Over the course of a few months, 700 homes were lost. Half of his neighborhood was lost. He compared it to Katrina and said they are still in recovery mode. He said it was exactly a year ago when he heard a sound like a hundred 747s taking off and then crashing. The air was blue and smoky, full of dangerous chemicals, and a 40 foot mountain was created overnight. He was evacuated along with the rest of his neighborhood. He lived out of his car for six months before he went back. His home was on the last street still intact. He gave us directions to see Fissure 8 and the devastation it wrought.  He also said that now he thinks that he didn't experience a tragedy, he witnessed a miracle.  Lots of homes were lost, but no lives.

We followed his directions to his neighborhood.  I didn't expect the overpowering feeling of awe and horror we would feel as we drove to the end of the road which was covered in piles and piles of lava. From the road, we could see the cone and fissure 8, which was the largest fissure and through which lava shot up in the air.  We also drove around to where some smaller fissures had opened up. We saw burned out estates, dead trees, lava, and parts of the ground that were still steaming. We saw powerlines that had been shoved down by the lava and lay in tatters on top of the lava.

Fissure 8 created that cone.
 Below is a video of what Fissure 8 looked like last year.  Unbelievable!

I have found through the years that I can either take a baby on a trip or my nice camera.  Since my babies were all at home, I had plenty of opportunities to take photos of the stunning landscapes.

Polula Lookout

I had a hard time focusing on our luau because THIS was the sunset going on at the same time!  I was glad I had brought my tripod.  It was the best sunset of our entire trip.

I did get to see a lot of the dancing once the sky finished its performance

This tree is not covered in  vines -- those are flowers that will turn into huge cannonball fruit that smells like skunk.  I had never heard of a cannonball tree, but it is pretty amazing!

The Kona temple at sunset

Macadamia nuts covered in chocolate?  Yes, please!
Volcanoes National Park

The top of Kileau 


Diane said…
Your pictures are stunning!
Marilyn said…
These pictures are so great! And I love that you got to take a couple kids along. It always seems so special to travel with just one or two of the kids, and what awesome memories they got to make with you! This makes me want to visit Hawaii someday!

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