After Punalu'u Beach, (click here if you missed PART ONE), we headed onward towards the volcano. Jun and I are both wine lovers so the Big Island's only winery, (the Volcano Winery), was a must. Dad wanted more Grandad/Reise time, (and he's not a wine drinker either), so Jun and I got to enjoy wine tastings together. I'm not a fan of sweet wine, so Jun ended up getting most of my tastings as well as his own. By the time we were done, it was obvious that my light-weight husband was feeling VERY GOOD. We got two bottles to go and headed towards the volcano, now with two kids in the car. :)
|Tucked away down a country back road, the |
Volcano Winery had a lot of charm.
|Cheers! (This picture makes my arm look HUGE... I swear|
Jun's arms are 5x's bigger than mine). ;)
|Our "pourer", (there's got to be a better name... John Andrews|
help me out here), was fantastic. She loves to hike, so she
gave us the "local's" scoop on where to go.
|AFTER the tastings. ;)|
Once at the park, we did as much as we could without running out of daylight. The lava flow was "inaccessible", but we still enjoyed all there was to see.
|The steam vents from the volcano made a|
neat photo for capturing sun rays.
|There's something eery about watching sulphuric|
steam coming out of the ground.
|One of the still active craters.|
|My favorite people!|
|You'll have to look closely to understand this picture.|
The green dot towards the bottom right is a tree. That
diagonal line towards the top is a trail with people walking
on it. We want to do this "Kilauea Iki" trail when we go back.
Thai Thai was a restaraunt recommended to us by the nice winery ladies. They said if we asked for our food to be hot, it would come out THAI HOT, (which is how Jun and I both really like it). I usually have to say that I don't want my food "white girl spicy", but with some real "feel the burn on my lips" heat. They were right; this place knows how to make some delicious SPICY Thai food with fresh ingredients and they have a really nice wait staff.
|A young boy, (the owner's son?), came out of nowhere and gave|
Reise a basket full of toys to play with. And it really shocked
me that they use real orchids to garnish their beverages.
|Someone was happy with her toys!|
|My mouth is watering and burning at the|
same time just looking at this.
Jun and I still had a wine buzz, (with the continuation of wine drinking at Thai Thai), when we decided we wanted to end the evening with a hike, and let me tell you, there is no better way to hike. Reise was sleeping in the truck and Dad just wanted to hang out, so Jun and I basically RAN the 1.5 mile nature bird trail the nice wine lady had told us about.
|Almost all the birds on the trail were not the|
least bit afraid of us.
|I wasn't sure if it was a mystical looking trail because I was|
a bit tipsy, but now looking back at the photos, it was
indeed a very beautiful trail.
|"WE WERE RUN-ANG!" (In my best Forrest Gump voice).|
And I was running taking this picture... It turned out trippy!
|These pheasants wanted to fight, so I did what any|
compassionate animal lover would do... I ran at them
squawking and flapping my arms like a moron. It worked!
|We made it back out to the road just in time to see the sun|
setting down the mountainside.
Guess who takes too many pictures? ME! I took these pictures around our cottage the next morning. We were surrounded by fruit trees, beautiful plant life, peacocks, and a semi-stray cat that REALLY loved Jun and also loved to join us for our morning coffee.
|A typical view out of our front window.|
|The entrance to the cottage.|
|Our new friend enjoying coffee with us. :)|
|Seriously the BIGGEST lemons I have ever seen.|
They were the size of a baby's head, (not Reise's,
but an average sized baby's head). ;)
|Tropical Christmas- A hibiscus growing beside a poinsettia.|
|Macadamia nuts on the tree.|
|This cat would climb on Jun's leg, (only Jun's). HE TOTALLY|
FREAKED OUT the first time it happened and exclaimed,
"I DON'T LIKE CATS!". But as you can see, he came around.
|I think we'll name you Captain Cookie Monster.|
|I don't think they knew I was taking a picture.|
She is definitely a "mini-Daddy". :)
|Reise and the cat had many stare downs. I think|
the cat was just jealous Reise was on Jun's leg.
|Peacocks roam the property freely.|
My dear close friend, Genelle, recently graduated from WVU as a Physical Therapist. She told me she had put in multiple applications, even to Hawaii, but she didn't seem hopeful on landing paradise her first go around. Good things happen to beautiful people and BAM: my pen-pal and friend of over 8 years is now living her dream on the Big Island. Seeing her was one of the things I was most looking forward too since it had been THREE YEARS! (We pen and ink each other all year long, but I hadn't seen her since she came to visit me on Maui in 2010).
We met up at her place and then went to meet with some of her friends who were slack-lining over the ocean in a sea cave. You know that I WAS TOTALLY down to get in on that action, but after some very sketchy directions involving finding un-obvious trails and hidden hammock bags, we finally came to a cave that was uncertain if a human could pass through, let alone it being preposterous to try with a baby. It was a totally cool place though with bizarre scenery and we never would have seen it had we not been taken on a sea cave hunt.
|Hiking it in. :)|
|These caves were cool, but not very tall/wide and I know the|
thin lining of rock that is it's ceiling had my Dad
more than a little concerned.
|G scoping out the scene.|
|Seriously... I envy/admire those back/shoulder|
muscles. My Hawaii sista is also a rock-climber!
We then drove to a sweet little beach that you have to do a short drive/ hike in to past fields of dried up swirly black lava flow. She also introduced us to another PT friend of hers, Thomas, who we really enjoyed hanging out with too!
|The beach babe mermaids!|
|We snorkeled around and then walked to the private beach|
at the far end.
|Private beach with a boat wreck.|
|G cut her foot while snorkeling... and one of|
the many reasons I love her so is that she has
such a fun-loving sense of humor. My Dad gave
her his clean sock to help stop the bleeding and
she rocked it like a reverse Michael Jackson!
|Candid sock capture. ;)|
After a nice swim and walk and catching up, we went and got some food back at the Marina we had gone to the first day, (this time at a different restaurant though).
|Where's my food?!|
|Dad trying poke, (raw fish), for the first time. I never|
thought I would see the day!
|HA, that face! After chewing he said, "It|
doesn't have much of a taste". I think the
thought of it is always the hardest part
when trying something new.
|We caught a beautiful sunset over the|
marina from where we were seated.
The trip isn't over yet, but I just made you look at a boo-koo of photos and read too many captions, so I will save an insanely gorgeous hike to sea cliffs and a valley AND a beach, the best food we had on the trip, and historic landmarks, (plus more family photos of course), for Part 3.
As always, let me know you stopped by, (either on Facebook or here), and what your favorite pictures or stories were.
Bear Hugs and Aloha,