Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Big Island- Thursday

Yes, I have so many pictures that I have to break it into days.  Sorry.

So.  We went on a five day vacation to the Big Island, or Hawaii Island.  When you're looking at the chain of islands, the Big Island is...the big one.  On the bottom.  It's HUGE, and the home of the only active volcano in America.

I learned that last bit on Good Luck Charlie, so I'm not certain of its accuracy.

We stayed at Kilauea Military Camp, in the Volcanoes National Park.  I put in the link for anyone who wants to look into it- I can't say enough great things.  We were almost literally IN the volcano.  We were WAY the hell up in the mountains, so it was in the low sixties.  We had to use the heaters pretty much around the clock, but especially at night.  We had a three bedroom, two bathroom cottage, with 'full' kitchen.  I'm using air quotes because it didn't have a dishwasher, but that's it.  Two twin beds in one room, and a queen in each of the other two.  Plus a pack and play.  And a whirlpool tub for Scott.  Oh, and even though they didn't have a dishwasher, whoever came in to change the sheets and towels ALSO washed the dishes.  So really, it wasn't an issue.  We stopped at Wal Mart as soon as we got off the plane and stocked up on milk and peanut butter and snacks, because it's a thirty minute drive up the mountain, and there's NOTHING up there.  That's not true, there's a general store on the camp, but it's a little pricey, and has a limited selection.
Also on the camp is a bowling alley with bowling alley food, a cafeteria with the best coffee I've ever drank, a game room with a mini starbucks, the general store, and two laundry mats.  No washers in the cabins.  I packed every single thing we own though, so we were good.

All right.  We got there Wednesday night and we saw the glow, but I wasn't sure what it was that we were seeing, so I didn't take a picture.  It was just this orange glow off in the distance while we were driving in.  We fell asleep as soon as we got in, and started Thursday bright and early.

And it was gorgeous.

Now.  We all know my knowledge comes from TV and movies.  So when I think volcano, I think of this.

You know? But the Kilauea volcano is a caldera.  I didn't get a chance to read all the plaques (which sucks, because I LOVE that) but what I gather is that the pointy volcano erupts, and then it's hollow in there.  So it collapses into a caldera (which may or may not be different than a cauldron) and you end up with what we saw...a big hole in the ground.  That sort of looks like a meteor might have landed.
 And there's LAVA in there!! LAVA!! So it's hot, and it steams up!! It was AWESOME.  All over the park, there's just these holes in the ground with HOT as hell steam pouring out!!

Now.  You know I'm into the Jurassic Park look, all green and rain foresty, lush and wet and alive.  Well, Volcanoes National Park has a few of those spots tucked in, but for the most part, it's this post-nuclear-apocolyspe wasteland.  Something about plants and trees having a hard time growing when lava keeps flowing all over the place burning everything up and covering the land in black rocks.  Who knew, right?

But in the midst of all this rock and desolation, there were all kinds of plants.

It was weird.  Very very weird.  To me, at least.

So we looked around the park, briefly, then started down the mountain to Hilo for lunch.  This is two minutes after we backed out of our parking spot. (We rented a van.  You cannot go to the Big Island and not rent a car, so if you're too cheap for that, I suggest maybe Maui or one of the smaller islands.)

After an AMAZING lunch at Cafe Pesto, we headed off to find the waterfalls.  I was NOT disappointed this time :)

Look at the size of this fucking tree!!!

I'm probably going to get this wrong, but going by the timestamps, I think this is Rainbow Falls.  I think.  Does it really matter? If you go to the Big Island, you want to go see ALL the waterfalls, it's not like you'll plan your hikes from my post.  If you do, you're a moron.  I'm making half this shit up as I go.

And for my Favorite Shot of the Day...

I haven't shot with my 55-200mm lens in forever, and I forgot how much I really love it.  It only gets down to f4, but if you're zoomed all the way in to 200, you still get an awesome shot, you know?  I doubt I could have got such great blur even with my 50mm, which goes all the way to 1.8, so whatever.  

In other news, I want a wide angle lens.  If anyone is interested in buying me fancy presents, that's what I'm looking for.  My stellar husband just got me the Kelly Moore Libby in orange, and now I need even more fancy camera shit to stick in it. If you're looking for a camera bag, I love this bag more than at least half of my children.  

This was a close second for My Favorite Shot of the Day.  Aren't they just cute? Let's not talk about the fact that Nick's lost twenty pounds in five weeks and I've lost half a pound in seven months, okay?

I can't get this picture lightened up properly!!! I guess that's why it's more important to know how to take a good pic than to know how to post process, huh?

All right, what's next...

How about my super cute son's super cute hiney?  Bear in mind, we haven't worn jeans in two and a half years now.  SO CUTE!!! I could have DIED.

This is either Akaka Falls, or Kahuna Falls.  They were on the same hike.  I guess, I don't really remember.

Here's what I do remember.  This waterfall was WAY the hell up in the sky.  It musta been twenty miles high.  For reals.  And there were people chilling out at the tippy top!!!  Inches away from their deaths!!!



So after all that exploring, we headed back to the camp for dinner at the bowling alley and a low key night of baths, tv, and bed.  We like to walk on the wild side.

After we were all settled and comfy, we raced to the car in the mid fifty degree weather, bundled up, and went out to see this view.
It was worth the cold.  Easy.

If I can get some more editing done, I'll have the rest of our vacation up tomorrow.  But it's the first day of summer, Nick is going back to work, and this double dose of zoloft is still leaving me pretty tired and foggy, so we'll see.


  1. You are cracking my up with your commentary. Thanks for that!
    Also the big island looks amazing... can't wait to see a REAL. LIVE. VOLCANO!
    Also Daisy is ginormous and adorable!

  2. Picture of Ava with the pink jacket on and all that volcano lava steam (or whatever the hell you said that was.. I read. I swear. Bad memory at 19, sue me).. MODEL. I'm obsessed with her. In the not creepy way. :)