Hawaii 2015

Every 3 years, we get a week at a resort on Keahou Bay (Big Island). This year, we overlapped with my parents, staying on their sofa for a second week. We also spent a few days in Volcano at a bed and breakfast we like.

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The blow–hole at Kona Coast Resort, where we’re staying.

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Beach at Pololu.

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The area is prone to flash floods, but we were lucky to be there in dry weather.

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We saw many lean–tos and other ad hoc shelters, presumably where people decided to spend the night.

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People also liked to build hammocks and things from junk that lands on the beach.

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It’s amazing to see how different the trees are in this area from other parts of the island (mostly conifers here).

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Facebook wants me to tag this guy, but I never got his name. (Not sure he even has a FB account...)

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On a lark, we decided to head up the trail on the opposite side of the valley, just to see where it led and if we might get some views.

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The trail ended up being a little treacherous at times.

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Where’s Elizabeth?

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The grasses were a beautiful color, too.

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This is what it looked like at the top — not much to see, really, but we felt like we’d gotten a great workout at least!

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This is one of the veiws heading back down, as we decided not to proceed to the next valley. (We still needed to climb back out of the first one on the other side!)

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At "The Pine Tree" — one of our favorite local eateries.

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This was taken the following day at The Coffee Shack, a lovely little restaurant on stilts with a fantastic view.

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Here is one of its frequent guests.

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And another.

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This is a local fish shop we ate at, and they had just caught a marlin.

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Eliz made friends with an escaped polar bear.

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A very knotty tree.

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Hapuna Beach
We found this perfect beach with white sand, shade trees, and snorkeling.

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We’ll definitely be back to this place!

Eliz even spotted an octopus, a rare find (here in camoflage).

At some point, our friend decided we could see him, and gave up his cover.

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Getting a good wave photo.

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And this was it.

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An arch rock not too far from the condos where we’re staying.

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A different arch rock, also nearby.

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Sunset by the waves.

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Eliz took this shot over the rocks.

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On Saturday, we drove out to Volcano to a B&B we had stayed at on our last visit and loved.

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Here’s a more readable photo of the little house we’re in.

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They have a lovely garden, and surrounding fruit trees.

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With flowers everywhere...

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That afternoon, we went into Volcano National Park to see the smoldering caldera.

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And were treated to a rainbow, which posed with us.

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It was actually a double–rainbow at some points.

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Here is the caldera at sunset.

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After sunset, the glow becomes much more visible, and crowds of people stood in the misty rain to admire it.

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Thai Thai
Cold and hungry, we went to our favorite Thai restaraunt in the area (Thai Thai) and had a lovely meal.

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The next day, Eliz found this old growth forest we had to check out.

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Lots of interesting flora.

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And some pretty tall trees!

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The pheasants that roamed the park were none too shy.

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Even checking out Eliz and her cell phone at one point, until she felt the need to retreat.

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I loved the bark on some of these tall ones.

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This was a super–long slug Eliz spotted.

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This is one of the "tree molds" just outside the park, which forms when a tree is surrounded by lava before being destroyed.

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Some new tree roots were dipping into one of them.

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For lunch, we went to the Volcano House, which boasts great views of the caldera. This day, all we saw were gray fog out the window.

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But the food was quite tasty!

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An unusual–looking fern in formation.

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Eliz took this macro shot of the stem branches.

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And this close–up of a "fiddle–head."

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Near the art gallery, they have this authentic–looking thatch hut, that’s kind of falling apart.

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To get out of the damp and cold, we drove down the "Chain of Craters" road towards the sea.

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We watched the sunset from a lava field not far above the ocean.

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We also wanted to check out a few petroglyphs we had missed our last trip.

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This is one of the "ahu" or cairns used to mark trails across the lava beds.

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One could easily imagine getting lost out here after sunset.

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Sunset, and Eliz is still wandering about...

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Right after sunset, we continued down to the shoreline, which is basically a cliff where the lava has broken off.

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Here is the famous lava arch, which is about 90 feet high.

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The following day, we hiked down to the caldera trail, which we had done before in much hotter weather.

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We needed our rain gear this day.

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It started out pleasant, and the light mist we felt crossing was welcome while the sun was out.

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It’s such a surreal terrain.

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This is the site were there was a lava spout in 1959.

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Life will prevail.

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A short trail (maybe 800 feet) takes you to a lookout of the adjacent crater. I haden’t realized before that they were so near one another.

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Cafe Ono
Afterwards, we sat down for some Kona coffee at a place in Volcano to dry off and relax a bit.

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On our way back from Volcano, we stopped at the run–down little town of Milolii.

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Many residents have cisterns on the Big Island, but most are in better shape than these...

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The town’s church.

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The Canoe Club here seems fairly active, and we saw signs posted everywhere to pick up your trash.

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This must be one of the retired canoes.

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And a slightly newer one.

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The bay had a small sandy beach, and many tide pools.

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The day after our return, we went with my parents back to Beach 69 (Hapuna State Park).

Zebra Urchin

Bluefin Trevally
I brought my underwater camera to take photos this time. These guys were two feet long, each.

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That evening, we went out to the Big Island Grill, a favorite eatery that is famous for its desserts.

The day before we flew home, we went kayaking just south of where we were staying.

It cost us $40 for a two–person kayak, which is a pretty good price.

We ran across a retired professor of veterinary medicine (UC Davis) who had caught a 30 lb. mahi–mahi, and he asked us to take his picture for his wife back on the Mainland.

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In the afternoon, we went for a final snorkel in the neighboring Kahaluu Beach Park.

Spotted Puffer

Peacock Flounder
I found and chased a flounder for a bit.

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Peacock Flounder

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The final evening, Mom wanted to see the Kona Coffee parade in downtown Kailua–Kona.

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These were the mistresses of ceremony.

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Alaskan Airlines was the big sponser, and had their name on everything.

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This was a woman who took our picture earlier and spent some time chatting with us before the parade.

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Afterwards, we took my folks to *our* favorite new place, TK’s Noodle House, which we just discovered on this trip.

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This was the fried calamari, which my mother declared to be the best she had tasted.

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The final morning, we went for a short walk and checked out the tidepools right by the golf course adjacent to our resort.

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Page created Nov 15 2015 3:13:23p