Well, I did it again. I managed to snag a fantastic boondoggle: depositions in Hawaii! Jesse and I have been to all of the major Hawaiian islands with the exception of the Island of Hawaii (the Big Island), so we jumped at the chance to turn my Island of Hawaii depositions into a vacation. Jesse arrived right when my work there ended, and we relaxed the first night he was here at our hotel (Waikoloa Beach Marriott) on the sunny Kohala coast.
We spent the next couple days on the east side of the island. Unfortunately, that trip wasn't quite as sunny. Instead, it poured during our stop at Akaka Falls, but we had a good attitude about it!
Fortunately, it was a lot drier and sunnier by the time we made it to Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. We saw Burmese rubies,
cool vine flower things,
flowers shaped like hearts,
and super-creepy roots.
That night, we went to the Jaggar Museum at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see the glow from the Halema'uma'u crater.
We stayed the night at a little B&B in Volcano, and then stopped by the crater the next morning as well. As you can see, it just looks like steam during the day.
Our height differential makes for ah-mazing selfies!
We walked on old lava flows,
explored a lava tube,
looked at a sea arch,
and saw some pretty powerful waves crash against the cliff walls.
By far the most important thing we did at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, however, was find lava trees. We hiked for miles and miles to find these darn things. We went down the wrong trail (after which I swore I was going to die of exhaustion and hunger and proceeded to eat 3/4 of an entire banana loaf that we bought at the fantastic Hilo farmer's market) and then found the right one and went all the way to the end of it and then crossed some lava fields before we finally, finally, saw them. See?
This next picture helps you see the trunk of a tree at the bottom, the top of which was entirely burnt and engulfed by lava. Soooo worth it!
We also explored some bigger lava tubes just outside of Hilo at Kaumana Caves Park.
After that, we drove back to the west side of the island and returned to our original hotel, where we cleaned up and enjoyed a nice dinner by the beach and a pretty sunset.
That was it for the first couple days we spent in Hawaii. Stay tuned for pictures from the rest of our trip!