Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sunday February 17--Hilo

After sailing all night we arrived in Hilo. Roger served his mission here so he and Evelyn got their own car and went to his old ward and checked out his old haunts while we younger kids went our own way.

We first hit up Volcanoes National Park. You can drive around the rim of the crater and look inside it--which is massive. There were high levels of toxic gases that day so there were signs everywhere saying you can't get out of your car and to put your A/C on recirc and to be careful, blah blah blah. We didn't heed their warnings, and hopped out to walk on the lava rocks anyway. We survived without any major side effects. The burning in our lungs faded eventually....

We saw steam vents, lava tubes, and all around crazy volcano stuff. Weird to think that the islands were formed from them.

It was a bummer that there was no real volcanic activity. I think they should at least have big fake dinosaurs around for effect.

Past VNP is a black sand beach we wanted to check out. I'm glad we went b/c it was super cool. We even saw some turtles on the beach--bonus!

Next stop: Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory. There was a lame-o blame-o self guided tour, whcih consisted of mostly broken monitors playing while you peer into the dirty windows of the plant, which was closed, conveniently. But the gift shop was abundant in free samples, which we munched on happily, having skipped lunch. After buying up stores of nuts like chipmunks, we were on our way to our next location. Jack in the Box!

We were running out of time, so we went to two waterfalls, Rainbow Falls and Akaka Falls. Both very pretty, but Akaka was much more impressive in terms of height.

That night on the ship they were playing "Family Fued." Being the game addict that I am, I put all of our names in the bucket for a chance to play, despite the gripes I heard from EVERYONE ELSE. Well, wouldn't you know it, everyone in our group gets called up to play. EXCEPT ME. Figures. So I sit and watch, and try and mouth answers to Derrick. Their team winds up winning, going home with stylish yellow plastic tote bags.

Next stop: Maui!

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