S: The Big Island, Hawaii February 2011
BC: The best vacations are when we are all together!
FC: The Big Island, Hawaii
1: We left Seattle bright and early. After a quick stop in San Francisco, we changed planes and saw that Mike Rowe from the Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch, also boarded our plane (We were pretty excited about that, but didn't want to be rude and snap a bunch of pictures! Kelsey really wanted to meet him but we just settled for a smile as we passed him in first class on our way back to our seats.... way at the back of the plane! As we flew into Kona, I looked out the window to see whales breaching in the ocean. It was so cool! We arrived in Hawaii early enough in the day to start site seeing right off the bat! | San Francisco | Kona, HI
2: Kekaha State Park It's only a couple of miles to the beach, but the road through the lava field is crazy rough! This had to be hands down the roughest road we have ever driven on. It took close to 45 minutes to get to the beach from the highway. It's amazing that the car's suspension stayed in tact! It was slow going, but what a unique drive.
3: We were not quite prepared for a day at the beach since we had just gotten off the airplane, but the beach was beautiful! We walked in the water, played on the beach and then went to explore the lava field.
8: Exploring this beach was really fun. The old lava flows made such interesting patterns and places to find some sea critters! | Can you spot the crab?
9: fish in the tide pools | The tropical plants reclaim the beach from the old lava flows | Pahoehoe lava
10: Jason explores everything! Even into the small collapsed lava domes and partial tubes.
11: Jason stands on a small lava dome that cooled and never broke. | Dean helps Kelsey walk over the rough terrain | It's HOT out here! The black rock just soaks up the heat!
15: We had fun exploring the old lava flow. Jason was climbing in, around and up onto everything he could find! And he had to leave his mark - a sign of his latest love! :-) Kelsey found a bunch of white rocks all around and started making her own sign. Now everyone knows the Jarmans were in Hawaii!
16: When we arrived at the resort we quickly learned that they had reserved the wrong room for us (too small!). We were moved to the correct room further out in the resort, but it was fun to walk around and see all the interesting landscapes.
18: Our Home away from Home | The view from our balcony looked out over the golf course... and a herd of goats!?! | I guess it's cheaper than hiring a landscaper to mow!
19: Can you see Kelsey at the top of the waterfall? There was a neat path behind the waterfall too. A fun place hide!
20: The Lagoon | Kelsey made a new friend at breakfast. The little birds kept landing on the backs of our chairs looking for scraps. They took food right from our fingers.
21: The lagoon was really cool! Not too deep, perfect for our younger snorkelers! It was a little murky, but since it was open to the ocean there were a lot of turtles and fish to see.
22: Where the lagoon fresh water met the ocean salt water, the water got really foggy. It was so strange. I kept thinking something was wrong with my mask! | Kelsey stayed in the water as long as she could. It was a little cool that day. Dean was so good to stay next to her showing her all the sea life. | Jason jumped in and took off! It took a while to find him on the far side of the lagoon.
23: There were turtles everywhere lazily swimming in the water. | I know... you're not supposed to touch them... just can't help it! | Humuhumunukunukuapua`a The Hawaii State Fish
24: Lunch Time | At the little restaurant by the lagoon, we were able to watch the dolphins play while we had our lunch. It was horrendously expensive to swim with the dolphins here so we were content to watch others instead | The resort grounds were beautiful. Full of gardens and art every where you looked, even this amazing coy pond.
27: Add Luau family Pic here
28: Before the Luau starts they offer traditional Polynesian juggling to try ... It's not so easy!
29: After a few mishaps! (hit in the face, eye, or other sensitive areas!) and a little help, Kelsey and Jason get the hang of it!
31: Mmmm! Sunset dinner! Roasted Pig and lots of other tasty traditional Hawaiian foods and a few very American ones :-)
34: Jason chose the warrior's sleeve while Kelsey and I liked the flowers!
35: Tattoos | Not a permanent tattoo, just a permanent pen! :-) They lasted a couple days.
37: A L O H A
38: A Day at the Pool
39: Jason plays in the mist and waterfalls while Kelsey and I take care of the sunscreen! | Dean, Jason and Kelsey play a little two on one! Jason is on the defense!
40: Driving down the Hamakua Coast highway. Destination Hilo and many stops in between!
41: Stop #1 Waipi'o Valley In 1946 the most devastating Tsunami in Hawaiian history hit this beach and destroyed the fishing village that sat in this valley. Ancient burial caves are located in the sides of the steep cliffs on either side of the valley. Many kings were buried there. It is felt that because of their mana (divine power), no harm will come to those who live in the valley. In fact, despite great devastation in the 1946 tsunami and the 1979 flood, no one actually died in those events. | Valley of the Kings The Waipio Valley is often referred to as the "Valley of the Kings" because it was once the home to many of the rulers of Hawaii. According to oral histories as few as 4000 or as many as 10,000 people lived in Waipio during the times before the arrival of Captain Cook in 1778. Waipio was the most fertile and productive valley on the Big Island of Hawaii.
42: Stop #2 | Photo Op! This was just a really pretty place to take a picture. What a view!
43: Stop #3 | The next stop on our scenic journey was Akaka Falls. A 442 foot waterfall and a nice walk in the lush forest!
44: Meet our little friends! | The Hawaiian forest is so big, but so fun to find the small creatures hidden in the leaves.
45: Huge trees, large leaves and bright, beautiful, fragrant flowers.
48: Stop #4 | Photo Op! that turned into a little hike | Always nice to see Dean following the rules... or not!
49: The trail off the highway led to a secluded little beach and a botanical garden. We spent a little time at the beach and let Kelsey take pictures of all the flowers and plants along the way while Jason explored the nooks and crannies. He was not happy when the waves rushed up and soaked him while he was in the little cave!.
50: Hawaii from Kelsey's perspective
52: Stop #5 Mt. Kilauea and the Jagger Museum | It was fairly cool outside... | the steam vents helped warm us up! | Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983. PELE - Goddess of Fire. Described as "She-Who-Shapes-The-Sacred-Land" in ancient Hawaiian chants, the volcano goddess, Pele, was passionate, volatile, and capricious. In modern times, Pele has become the most visible of all the old gods and goddesses. She was among the first voyagers to sail to Hawai'i, pursued, legends say, by her angry older sister, Na-maka-o-kaha'i because Pele had seduced her husband. Pele landed first on Kaua'i, but every time she thrust her o'o (digging stick) into the earth to dig a pit for her home, Na-maka-o-kaha'i, goddess of water and the sea, would flood the pits.
53: Even Na-maka-o-kaha'i could not send the ocean's waves high enough on Mauna Loa to drown Pele's fires, so Pele established her home on its slopes. Here, she welcomed her brothers. A cliff on nearby Kilauea Mountain is sacred to her eldest brother, Ka-moho-ali'i, king of the sharks and the keeper of the gourd that held the water of life, which gave him the power to revive the dead. Out of respect for this brother, to this day, Pele never allows clouds of volcanic steam to touch his cliff. Of all her siblings, Pele favored her youngest sister Hi'iaka, the most. Pele, Hi'iaka and another sister, Laka, goddess of hula, were all patronesses of the dance, but Hi'iaka was said to have hatched from an egg that Pele kept warm during the long canoe ride to Hawai'i by transporting it in her armpit. After Hi'iaka grew to womanhood on the Big Island, Pele traveled in spirit form to the north shore of Kaua'i to witness a dance performance at a pahula, or dance platform, that still exists near Ke'e Beach. Here she manifested herself as a desirable young woman, and quickly fell in love with a handsome young chief named Lohi'au. She dallied with Lohi'au for several days, but eventually her spirit had to return to her sleeping body on the Big Island. Upon awakening, Pele sent Hi'iaka to convince Lohi'au to come to her. The sisters extracted vows from each other: Hi'iaka promised not to encourage Lohi'au should he become attracted to her and in return, Pele promised to contain her fires and lava flows so as not to burn a grove of flowering ohi'a trees where Hi'iaka danced with her friend Hopoe. On Kaua'i, Hi'iaka found that Lohi'au had died of grief after Pele disappeared, but the graceful younger sister was able to restore his spirit to his body, bringing him back to life. Together, the two of them began the journey to the Big Island, but Pele's suspicious nature got the best of her. Because forty days had passed since Hi'iaka had set out on her assigned mission, Pele decided she had been betrayed, and so sent a flood of lava into Hi'iaka's 'ohi'a-lehua grove, killing Hopoe in the process. When Hi'iaka saw the smoldering trees and her dancing friend entombed in lava, she flung herself into the arms of Lohi'au. In retribution, Pele set lose another stream of lava, which killed the mortal Lohi'au, but Hi'iaka, a goddess, could not be destroyed. The legend has a happy ending, however, as yet another brother of Pele's, Kane-milo-hai, reached out and caught Lohi'au's spirit when he saw it floating past his canoe. He restored the spirit to Lohi'au's body, and once again, the chief was brought back to life. Hi'iaka and Lohi'au returned to Kaua'i to live contentedly. To this day, tales of Pele's power and peculiarities continue. Whispered encounters with Pele include those of drivers who pick up an old woman dressed all in white accompanied by a little dog on roads in Kilauea National Park, only to look in the mirror to find the back seat empty.
54: A large portion of the Chain of Craters Road was off limits due to volcanic activity. We could not see a lot but were told it was due to the gases emitted by the volcano. The most active lava flows could only be seen from the ocean. | Steam escapes from the Halema'uma'u crater within the Kilauea Caldera.
55: Inside a lava tube... | It is REALLY dark! | We didn't exactly come prepared to going exploring a cave. We had the lights from our cell phones to guide us a little way in. The tube was huge and went for quite a long way, but the darkness surrounding us after we passed the lights was so encompassing that we got a little freaked out. Dean was ready to explore while the rest of us decided we just weren't quite equipped for that kind of adventure!
56: Our last stop of the day was once a nice residential neighborhood. Only weeks before the homes had to be evacuated as the slow moving lava took over. As the sun sank below the horizon and the rain started to fall, we could see a few items the lava left behind, an old dishwasher, part of a car, a road sign. We could see where some groups decided to hike onto the cold lava field to try and get a closer look at the active lava. We decided to stay at the end of the road behind the barriers and watch the "sparks" light up as the darkness fell. Not quite the excitement of the more fiery explosions, but fascinating non the less.
57: After a long day of driving, we headed back to our condo. Rather than drive around on the coast highway, we took the highway that goes right through the island, over the mountain. It was a fine drive until we started getting close to the top, then the construction signs appeared and the asphalt was gone and we were driving on a gravel road. I was sure we were going to find a detour sign sending is back down the mountain the way we came. For a long time there was not another car to be seen and there were no lights illuminating the "highway". I had never been so glad to see a paved road as I was that night! But that was not the end of it! When we got back to our room we noticed we had a new friend in residence! Biggest spider I have ever seen in my life outside a zoo! Spread out it was as big as Dean's hand. I admit - I jumped on a chair! That bugger was fast and he jumps! I didn't want him running over my feet. Dean went after it with a broom first and finally captured it with a container. Ick!! We were told it was a Cane Spider and that they are harmless, but yuck!!! I hope to never see another!
58: Snorkeling | Unicorn Fish | Trumpet Fish | Yellow Tang | Racoon Butterfly Fish | Parrot Fish | Black Triggerfish
59: Moorish Idol | Whitespotted Puffer | Yellowtail Coris
60: Turtles | There were turtles all over the beach just outside of Kona. It was really cool to see so many.
62: Dinner in Kona at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Factory
65: Hang Loose