"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind... We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith." -- Margaret D. Nadauld

Thursday, February 11, 2010

There Is Too Much -- Let Me Sum Up

I realize Max and I have been home from our tropical getaway for almost a week, but I really need to sum up the rest of our trip! I'll try to keep it brief... and I'm trying hard to remember details. Let me tell you, "Living The Aloha Life," tends to make the brain soft and slightly addled! Sheesh.

(First of all, for my worried reader, I want you to rest easy knowing that my sea sickness passed and I feel completely fine! I know it was weighing on your mind... )

The day after the disastrous snorkeling trip was much better! We, along with our condo roommates/car sharing couple (we'll call them Jim and Pam), decided to jump in the car and head to the other side of the island -- the more tropical side. There was a lot there that we still wanted to see. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed visiting the Orchid farm and the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Plant on our previous jaunt to the Hilo side, but I also wanted to see more water falls (in the DAYLIGHT) and more tropical vegetation. That day, the rest of our party were staying at the condo and resting by the pool, so we felt like it would be acceptable for us to head out and GO!!

I was the first driver of the day, and it was very frustrating. I am used to the calm, slightly idiotic drivers of Florin. I'm not sure if I was in "Local's Traffic" or in "Tourist Traffic" but it was a lot more aggressive and less forgiving than what I'm used to! I won't go into details, but let me say there were a couple white knuckle moments. No, there wasn't an accident, (thank heavens) but I think the big truck that tried to run me off the road was disappointed that I had mad driving skills and avoided the collision!

Our first stop was Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots, which kind of confused me. Knowing that we were in a geo-thermal area (active volcanoes), and as familiar as I am with the Yellowstone area, I thought we were going to see some geysers of some sort. Nope. And to tell you the truth, I don't know why the falls or the pools were named what they were named. What I am sure of, is that they were beautiful! As we got out of the car, we grabbed our cameras. Some annoying people who were getting back into their car, looked at us then looked at each other and said -- really loudly -- "Maybe we should tell them they don't need their cameras!" Then they gave a hearty laugh, jumped in the car and drove off. We stood, scratching our heads for about 2 seconds, slung our cameras over our shoulders and headed off.

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Rainbow Falls

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Boiling Pots

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More Boiling Pots

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(I think this photo is PeePee Falls, which was another great stop on our journey!)

Maybe the loud people couldn't appreciate beauty, but we were really glad we took our cameras down to the falls with us!

We also went back to Akaka Falls. It was pretty cool to see it in the dark and listen to the Koki Frogs, but we really wanted to see it in daylight.

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I lived in western Oregon for a few years and there were ferns in the beautiful, lush forests there. Those ferns can't hold a candle to these behemoths!!


Here are some more sights from our day:

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The cross ways branches were from one banyan tree. That thing was HUGE!!

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I don't remember taking this picture and I don't even remember where we were when we took it, but I absolutely love it!

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For me, these cliffs are the epitome of Hawaii. We didn't know this was what we were going to see when we drove to the parking lot. We were all thrilled and marvelled at the beauty!!

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This was a scary, little used state park. Not sure if there was a drug deal going down when we got there, but we scared them off... or into hiding.

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Jim and Max try to decide where to go next! (Jim is the administrator one of the hospitals Max works at.)

This day (Thurs.) was the last full day we had with everyone. Everyone was scheduled to fly home in the early afternoon on Friday and we were scheduled to fly home on the red eye.

Friday morning was spent packing and we went to the Farmer's Market one last time. It was a great place to pick up some souvenirs for reasonable prices! We wish we could have brought home some of the wonderful fresh fruit that was being sold there, but 1) we didn't have room in our bags and 2) we definitely didn't want to deal with the agricultural inspections at the airport!!

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After bidding adieu to Jim and Pam, Max and I decided there was one part of the island we hadn't yet seen -- the southern part of the island. We were warned that the road was full of harrowing twists and turns and that it would be extremely difficult to go anywhere and make it back to the airport in time for our flight and.... we ignored the advice. Our reasoning: when we went to Maui (in '06), on our last day, we actually drove the Hiway to Hana and back and made it in time to catch our flight. If we can do that, we can drive to the southern part of the Big Island and make it back in time!! But to be safe, we set a destination time -- wherever we were at 4:00, we would turn back and head for home.

Using Do-wanda -- the handy GPS -- we set our destination as a black sand beach, put the pedal to the metal and scurried down the coast line. It was a gorgeous drive and -- dare I say? -- one of our favorite parts of the island. Yes, there were tourists here, but it was far away from the big resorts of Kona. This was real Hawaii. "You mean little grass shack in Hawaii, Hawaii?" (Quote from The Jeffersons) Yes, Florence!! We saw beautiful countryside, cute little quaint towns, even an LDS church or two.

And we were thrilled to make it to the black sand beach by 4:10.

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We didn't stay long, due to time restrictions, but we stayed long enough to bury our toes in the coarse sand, snap a few photos and wish that we could take some of the sand home. Alas, it's against the law! So we left it there!

We did stop one more time on the way home. And, Mom, you'll find this part interesting... we stopped at a state park that bears your maiden name!! Cool, eh? I wonder what its history is....?

Needless to say, we made it back to the condo and our luggage in plenty of time. We tried to eat some of our left-over food before getting on the airplane. They don't feed you anymore on planes, and I'm too cheap to buy their expensive, bland tasting food.

The flights home were fairly uneventful. I tried my hardest to sleep, which is a feat. Sleeping in public and sitting up is not easy... but I listened to Mozart on my iPod (thanks Red for the Amadeus soundtrack!) and was able to doze for a couple hours. But let me tell you, every time we hit a pocket of turbulence, I was wide awake, sure that we were going to live a true life Lost episode! I decided I don't like flying over large bodies of water. {{shrug}}

The final landing, as we came into SLC, gave us a second of panic. We were on final approach. We were right above the runway. The landing gear had been lowered and we were bracing for touchdown. All of a sudden, the plane wobbled back and forth. It was very pronounced. And it wasn't my dramatic imagination that it was not normal. Someone gave a small scream and even Max's --my fearless pilot -- eyes got big. The little girl sitting in front of us said, "That was cool, mommy!" and I said, "What in the heck....?" and the mom looked back at me with big scared eyes.

Obviously the story has a happy ending. I guess weebles wobble, but the plane will land anyway. Thankfully.

I won't go into the horror of our luggage story. If you follow me on Facebook, you will know what a horriffic ordeal that was. Also, the car was dead in the parking lot and the gas light was on once we got it started. But, the good news is that it was all something we were able to take care of and after downing one more Diet Coke and Mt. Dew, we were able to drive the few hours it took to get us home.

Happily we were reunited with our children.... the first thing out of Inigo's mouth was, "What did you bring me?"

And our tropical adventure is completed. It was wonderful and such a great blessing that we were able to go.

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This is the small church that we attended on Sunday!

6 comments:

Yvonne said...

I love your recap. Glad you took your camera to the falls--some people just don't see the beauty, eh ; ) I love the foliage and the smells of Hawaii.

It's always scary to drive in a touristy area--people don't have a lot of patience.

So glad you had such a wonderful time.

The words out of Indigo's mouth were the same that always came out of my children when we would get home.

Roger and Barbara said...

Look up the "maiden name" State Park on Google. Beautiful little spot, sorry you missed it.

Mom

Roger and Barbara said...

whoop! I misread! sorry!
Mom

Kristi said...

What a fabulous trip. I think I would like to go someday...but the flying over giant bodies of water makes me a little nervous, too. I'm glad you had a great time!

Connie said...

What beautiful pictures! The plane ride doesn't sound like much fun but that's a small price to pay to visit paradise!
Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

thorkgal said...

I hope you saved some good stuff for S.O.S. Welcome home dear friend.