Hawaii - part 3

October 16th
Kip and Ali took us around Volcano NP, showing us some of the highlights. 
The Hawaii state bird, the Nene goose.   They are endangered, so Kip made sure to tell us we had to stay away from them. 
 Walked thru one of the lava tubes.
Kip has worked in the park for years and Ali is a plant biologist there, so it was fun to have our own personal tour guides that were so knowledgeable about everything.  In Hawaii, especially on the big island (where she supposedly resides), mythology tells about Pele, the goddess of fire.  This is called Pele's hair.  You can find it in a certain tree and it feel just like hair.   Ali showed us which plants were edible and said you're supposed to show respect to Pele by tossing the first berry to the ground for her.
 I can't remember the names of all these craters and volcanoes, but they're massive and cool.  A few months ago, this crater was filling up with lava (just down by that steam)!! Ali said she would come over at night and watch it glow and bubble.  Crazy cool!!
 Kip showing us one of his previous work projects (he doesn't work in Volcano NP anymore).

 Inside one of the lava tubes.
 The cutest root ever.
 Love the look of these ferns.  Again, so fun to have Ali there to tell us about everything that grows there, which ones are native, harmful, edible, etc. 
 Another crater.

 Went on a hike (a small portion of it) called the Circle of Craters.  You can hike forever now that the lava is so far out, but the kids were struggling to stay on the trail (looks like an awesome place to roam, but it's actually a little dangerous) and there are random pits everywhere.  I was sure they were going to fall in one and never be seen again.
 Amazing how plants can grow in these conditions.

 One of the edible berry bushes that Grant took full advantage of.  Pretty tasty.
 Sign buried by lava.
 Can't remember what Kip called this lava formation, but it's where a tree used to be.  You can see how the lava went around the trunk of the tree.
It started to rain, so we had lunch and then went back to our little cabin.  We stayed at a military KMC in Volcano NP.  The cabin had 2 rooms, so grandma and grandpa got to be with us. The base had a cafeteria, theatre, bowling alley, park.  Fun place to stay and it's literally 5 minutes from the craters.
We had monsoonal rain storms come through, and crazy thunderstorms.  After the rain slowed down grandma and Ava were ready to do something!
 We found the bowling alley and played 1 game.
 Grandma was pretty proud of her 100+ score (we had the bumpers up). :)
That night we had dinner at the cafeteria and watched a hula show.  
 After dinner we went back to the crater to see the lava glow.   This is the same spot as the 4th picture from the top.  In the day you can only see the steam, because the lava is too far down in the crater, but at night the lava glow is visible.  Pretty neat.
 October 17
Walked around the KMC for awhile, then went to Kip's to say goodbye.  Went a different way back to Kona, so we could see some different sites.  Stopped at Panaluu beach (black sand beach).  Ava was in dire need of a bathroom, and these cool trees and Lilly ponds were near some port-a-potties.
 Looks like you could walk on those lilies.

 Amazing the temperature differences on this island. Volcano is quite chilly and then this beach, which is only an hour away, was quite hot. 
Can you spot the turtle in the water?
 Saw some big turtles vegging out on the sand.

 My mom collecting all the golf balls in the rocks for my kids. 
 Drove to the southern most tip of the US, called South point, but couldn't find the road that led to the beach, so we turned around and drove back to the main road.  Had lunch at the southern most restaurant in the US, Hana Hou, had amazing fish tacos.
Made it back to Kona and checked into the Marriott.  Grandma and grandpa had to fly out in a couple hours so they watched the kids play at the beach before heading to the airport.  We're so glad they decided to come with us on this trip.  We don't get much grandma and grandpa time, so having them for a week with undivided attention is pretty great.  We learned this when we went on a cruise with grandma and grandpa Carrier a couple years ago too.
All these kids need is sand and water and they are happy for hours!!!

These 3 were the loudest and lasted the longest at the beach.   I finally made them transfer to the pool because I couldn't see them in the water anymore.
Shakes by the pool.  They have the hardest life!!

October 18
Had breakfast across the street from the hotel, came back and did some laundry, watched cartoons (it was Sunday, so trying to keep their minds off playing in the ocean was a chore), and went to Sacrament meeting at the church by the temple.  We went to the Kona temple and found some people from Utah that took our picture for us.   Walked back to the main road in Kona and walked thru the street fair.  My phone rang and it was the airline telling me our flight was delayed until tomorrow (we were supposed to fly out that night).  I frantically went back to the hotel to figure out what to do next.  Started calling everyone and finally just booked another night at the hotel we were already in (the airline wanted me to pack up, take a taxi to the airport, wait in line for a voucher and then take another taxi to the hotel they chose for the night - with the 3 kids by myself -  I don't think so!). 
The only souvenirs I got on this trip were these glass fish I found at the street fair on the last day.  Blue one I gave to my mom, and I kept the yellow one.
The kids didn't want to eat out again, so we got cup of noodles from the ABC store at the hotel for dinner and watched America's funniest home videos until bedtime.  The next morning we went to the airport and flew home.  The airline couldn't get us back to Sacramento for another day, so they had to fly us into San Francisco (dumb).  Adam came to San Fran and picked us up, and we made it home around 10 pm on Monday.   
We had such a great time in Hawaii!!! 

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