Sunday, February 22, 2015

Big Island {part 4}

Waking up to this view is a great way to start the day!

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Along with a malasada! :)

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We started out on our drive to Volcanoes National Park fairly early to make the most of the day. We loaded up the jeep and we were off to the other side of the island.

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We started at the visitor center to figure out what we wanted to do at the park 

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and then grabbed a quick lunch at a restaurant right in the park called The Volcano House (which had great views overlooking an active crater) to figure out our plan of attack for the day.

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We decided on hiking the Mauna Ulu Trail which crosses massive lava fields and has spectacular views. This was a 5 mile trek plus a wrong turn in the beginning which brought us of course.

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Once we figured out the markings we were good! :)

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This is the lava landscape from the 1969-1974 Mauna Ulu flow.

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Amazing panoramic views after a 1/4 mile very steep climb.

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This hike was one of our highlights of the entire trip!

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Next we went over to the Thurston Lava Tube and walked through.

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More incredible views from the drive down the Chain of Craters Road.

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The Holei Sea Arch.

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We went up the Jaggar Museum to see the lava flow.

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Volcanoes National Park is so huge and is comparable in size to the entire island of Oahu! Needless to say, we only covered a small portion of it but would definitely love to go back some day to explore more!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Big Island Hawaii {part 3}

On Tuesday, February 10th we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary! Pete had made a slide show of pictures from our 25 years of marriage- pictures of us, our family, vacations, houses, pets, special milestones- it was really sweet and fun to look back at all that we have done and have accomplished!

We decided to spend the day exploring the island and seeing the sights. We headed north on the island with our first stop being for breakfast at the Hawaiian Style Cafe in Waimea. This is a spot popular with the locals and came recommended to us.

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You know it is good when it is filled with locals and not many tourists.

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The pancakes were the size of a dinner plate.

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Now it was time for some sightseeing. Pete said he had found a "shortcut" to our first stop and we ended up on this crazy, bumpy, narrow dirt road…

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that continued to just get more narrow and more bumpy! We were seriously only able to drive a couple MPH in a jeep- that's how crazy it was! Pete finally agreed to turn around and take the "real" route. :)

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We went to Waipio Valley- a scenic overlook with breathtaking views.

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Next we continued our drive to the Akaka Falls State Park.

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These pictures don't do this justice- but more amazing views!

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A bottle of champagne waiting for us back in our room before we headed out for dinner.

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Dinner was at a restaurant at our resort- the Kumuela Provision Company. We had reservations for a table on the patio overlooking the ocean but because of the rain we had a nice table with a view overlooking the pool.

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It was a perfect day and a perfect way to celebrate 25 years of marriage!

The next day we were out the door early for another day of adventure.

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We went on some beautiful scenic roads  to the Polulu Valley look out. Words just can't describe these views!

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A stop for breakfast at the much recommended Tex Drive In where we couldn't wait to try the malasadas; which are a Portuguesse confection that are very popular in Hawaii. We sampled the bavarian cream and the guava! So good!

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We then drove over to Hilo for a helicopter tour.

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We flew right around and over an active volcano!

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The helicopter ride was one of my favorite things I have ever done! Truly a bucket list experience!

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Another perfect day in paradise.