Mom & Gale Go To The Big Island

Lauren and I surprised the ladies with a day trip to the Big Island of Hawaii! A quick 40 minute flight to Kona. Our trip started in Kona and we drove the southern route to Hilo. Aren't they cute with their matching tote bags. First stop was to rearrange some coral graffiti. This time we honored Father's Day. I did the "D" on the right and Lauren did the "D" on the left.
Picture of Mom and Gale making their way across the lava rock.
Our flight from Honolulu was very early. We made our way to Kona and had breakfast seaside. This picture is taken in town where the swimming portion of the Iron Man competition takes place.
Lauren and I made sure we stopped for Donkey Balls, a Big Island candy which included a whole macadamia nut covered in chocolate.
They had many different varieties of balls including: salty balls, blue balls, flaky balls, dirty balls, half ass balls and dingle berries.
Here we are at a Kona coffee farm. Enjoying a few free samples of coffee.
We enjoyed a tour and learned all about how coffee is processed. We even tasted the fruit of a ripe coffee bean. Very sweet!
Stopped by the painted church that Lauren and I previously discovered on our first trip to the Big Island.
Black Sand Beach. There were 3 turtles on the beach that day. The travel book says they like to use this beach to nest.
Can I buy a vowel? I'd like "O".
Here we are with 2 of the turtles. A Japanese tour guide yelled at us because she thought we were too close, but we were clearly 10 to 15 feet away from the turtles. I told her what's up! And then proceeded to go on turtle patrol, found a few tourists actually touching the turtles. I informed them that sea turtles are a threatened species and shouldn't be harassed in any way.
There isn't a lot on the highway from Kona to the volcano. So we had a creative lunch in the car after raiding a grocery store. We enjoyed many free samples from the bakery. Lemon cake was a favorite among the group. Then we made our way to the Volcano National Park.
Me at the active crater. I took a picture of Lauren where I made the steam look like it was coming out her ear! Hahaha!
Me standing in the steam from a steam vent. It was pretty hot and it was like standing in a sauna.
Heading down into the rain forest to walk through a lava tube.
Gale, Mom and Lauren at the entrance of the lava tube.
That's me inside the tube holding up the ceiling to let my family and friends through before it collapses. Can't you see the lava coming down the tube behind me? Just kidding!
We drove through several lava fields from flows in the 1980s and early 1990s. Then we drove from the top of the ridge around 3000 feet in elevation down to sea level. You could look up at the side of the volcano and see where the lava spilled over the top and then flowed to the ocean. In this picture the road is closed because clearly the lava is covering the road.
Lauren and I hiked out to the road sign that reads "Road Closed" that is surrounded by lava rock.
After hiking back to the car we hurried into Hilo to catch our plane back to Honolulu. It was a busy full day, but always an adventure in Hawaii. Everyone was happy to have their juice cup on the flight home. This was the end of their trip. The ladies flew out early the next morning. I think it took them a couple days at home to recover from all the FUN they had in Hawaii. I'm glad I could show them a locals Hawaii and not just the touristy Hawaii. Thanks for coming to visit!

Day 6: North Shore

Two loving sisters! Now those are the real sisters I know! We spent the day on the north shore.
This is Gale on turtle beach. We were lucky enough to see two sea turtles sunning on the beach.
Mom feeding the giant koi at the Dole Plantation. We actually paid for fish food in honor of Dad.
Baby Pineapple
Two nuts in that bunch of pineapples! The ladies enjoyed some pineapple ice cream while perusing the gift shop.
Quiet day on Pipeline. Winter is the surfing season. So right now as we head into summer the waves are small and only a few surfers out.
Stopped for shaved ice before taking a scenic drive back home. Sorry no pictures from shaved ice, the lighting was not optimal and the pictures turned out very dark.


Day 5: Family Day

My Great Aunt Martha and two more of my aunt's from my dad's family happened to be in town for their vacation. We picked up my Aunt Martha and headed out for some scenic driving. And in case you're wondering...no we did not use Winnie for the scenic driving. Started with the Tantalus drive. Gale, Martha, and Lynn with Diamond Head in the background. Aunt Martha and I chatting while taking in the view. Turned out to be a lovely day and the trade winds had returned to the island...good-bye humidity.
Next stop was at the blowhole and Enchanted beach. Martha, Me and Gale watching for sea turtles.
Later we had a family reunion dinner. From left around the table: Martha, Patricia, Sandra, Gale, Lynn, Me.
We had a lovely dinner a restaurant in the Moana Surfrider. We celebrated a late birthday for me and an early birthday for my Aunt Sandra.
Little family photo shoot in the hotel. Mom hopes to have a bride stand on this staircase. Hope she isn't holding her breath. It was so nice to spend the evening with family I don't get to see very often.

Day 4: Tours & Luau

We started off Day 4 with breakfast at the Farmer's Market which included grilled corn on the cob, fried green tomatoes and zucchini and other tasty bites. First stop after breakfast was to 'Iolani Palace. One of 3 royal palaces on US land. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the palace and we had to wear little booties to protect the wood floors. I really enjoyed learning more about the country and present statehood of Hawaii. The Hawaiians were considered one of the most royal families in the world because they could trace their ancestry back farther than anyone else.
I love me a tour! The restoration was very well done. The palace actually served as the state capitol until 1969.
Next we headed over to Pearl Harbor to visit the USS Missouri.
I really wish I could have taken my dad on this ship. It was pretty impressive.
That's me in the black tank top and Mom is to the right. Gives you a little perspective as to how big those guns are.
A closer picture at the base of the guns.
This is the spot where War World II ended, the place on deck where the treaty was signed.
After our day of tours, we headed to a luau. There were many activities to participate in before the food was served. Gale is braiding a bracelet made from leaves with flowers tucked into the braid.
We all made one! If you are single you wear it on the right arm and if you're taken you wear it on the left.
If you look closely you can see Gale is making a lei by threading flowers onto a long needle. She really enjoyed all the activities. We moved on to see how they cook the pig for the luau and eventually got to eat dinner and watch some hula dancing.

Day 3: Waikiki Beach

The day started with a breakfast buffet at Duke's. And then we promptly moved ourselves to the beach. There had been much debate from my Aunt Gale about taking a ride in the outrigger canoe. She wanted to know how big the waves were, what did we have to do, will I lose my glasses, do I have to wear a bathing suit. The questions just kept coming. She was told she had no choice, she would be going and she would like it! I'm proud to say that Gale survived the outrigger canoe ride and lives to tell others about her adventure. She was even lucky enough to just ride. Mom, Lauren, and myself did the hard work. That's why Mom's showing off her muscles in the picture above. The ladies walked the streets of Waikiki for shopping while the younger ladies enjoyed some beach time. Everyone was rewarded with a booze cruise. Pass the mai tais around! Our friend Natalie met us for the booze cruise. That's Diamond Head in the background.
A little mother daughter time.
To my great surprise both Mom and Gale jumped off the side of the boat when the time came. They helped make waves in the ocean. That's Mom front and center and Gale is just to the right above the "O". Apparently the trouble I have climbing back on the boat runs in the family.
After getting cleaned up from the beach we headed to Jimmy Bufett's for dinner. A regular bunch of parrot heads.
We started out with a mountain of nachos. Mother like daughter!
We took a stroll over to the beach after dinner and watched the sunset.
After the sunset we watched fireworks from the Hilton Hawaiian Village. I had never seen them before and I have to admit I was pretty impressed.