Yesterday was an incredible day. We left the hotel around 9:45 after a lovely breakfast...served outside with birds flitting around the whole time...they have some WONDERFUL pecan sweet rolls! Lots of fresh fruit, different Hawai'an foods, juices, etc. Keith and Karen (my gold executives at Watkins) took their three associates here along with one of the spouses, and headed out on Hawai'i's highway. Of the 13 different climates in the world, 11 of them are represented here on the big Island. We went from black, ugly lava rock to dry and arid desert with cacti to lush green where we made our first stop, Waipio Lookout. After a small but steep hike to the lookout and lots of oohs and aahs, we headed back on our way. Lots of smaller towns along the way...in a way, it reminded me of driving along Coast Highway in SoCal..brought back lots of memories along with the reminder of how much I miss it!
We were headed to Hilo for lunch but made a stop at Akaka Falls first -- another hike, well worth it, took us to see these incredible falls. God's creation is just so amazing! We were in the rainforest part and the lush vegetation, the huge ferns...it is just so hard to describe!
We then headed towards Hilo where we stopped for lunch at a great place called Cafe Pesto and some quick shopping at a few quaint little stores. (Honey, I didn't spend too much money, honest! And I got you a really cool Hawai'ian shirt!)
After that, we piled back in and went to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Wow! We spent some time at the Visitors Center then off to a lava tube, a hole in the earth created by the hot lava to flow into the ocean. It appeared dormant :) It was about 10-12' under ground. After the Lava Tube we went to see the steam vents not too far from two of the active volcanoes...steam just shooting up all over from under ground! And then it was off to see Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano. We didn't take the five mile walk to the edge of the volcano, I don't think it was open due to some of the gasses in the air..plus, we were pretty wiped, at least I was! After this amazing site, we headed back to Waikaloa and the hotel, stopping at the Queen's shops for supper at Macaroni Grill. What a wonderful day! And now, off to another incredible, albeit quieter day, followed by luau tonight!