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Being from Hawaii, I don’t worry much about natural disasters. Whether it be earthquakes, tsunamis, lava flows or the every few decades hurricane. Lately, it seems every time I call my brother or cousin who live on the Big Island (Hawaii), it’s to ask them about a natural disaster. Last month there were two hurricanes heading their way and now it’s a change in the lava flow which is heading directly for the area of Puna (specifically the town of Pahoa) where my brother’s family lives. Kilauea volcano has been erupting since 1983 so the islanders will no doubt take it in stride and know everything will work out as it should.

Volcano Lava Flow river
Lava River

Caution sign at the Volcanoes National Park
Not for the faint of heart or health

Volcano Lava flow 1994
Lava Flow

Overlapping lava flows
Overlapping Lava flows

Crater at Kilauea
Lava Crater

Lava reaching the ocean
Lava Reaching the Ocean

Lava walking
Walking on the Lava

Offerings for Pele
Offerings to the goddess of fire, Pele

Beautiful drive coming from Kalapna area
Beautiful drive in the Pahoa area ~ hope it’s not affected by the current lava flow

Rock at Puako
Puako Beach, Big Island, Hawaii

Another gorgeous sunset at the Mauna Kea
Another gorgeous sunset at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

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Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Big Island Hawaii

Throw Back Thursday on Kauna’oa Bay, Hawaii in 1994. Good times, great memories.

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Hawaii: Smuggled Lava?

A Big Island legend is if you take lava off the island, Pele (the Fire Goddess) will be angry and you’ll have bad luck until you return it. There used to be a display at the Volcanoes National Park Center where letters and returned lava were displayed on a board. People wrote letters begging the park rangers to return the lava so the bad luck would go away. I’m not an overly superstitious person BUT I’ve never been tempted to take lava off the island.

John, on the other hand, always teases me that he’s going to sneak some lava back.

Since we’ve been back from Hawaii, we’ve had a strange week. On Wednesday, I overslept AND had set the alarm incorrectly so poor FG missed her bus, then my mom’s dog died, and Favorite Girl had to go to the emergency room to have x-rays taken after a cheerleading accident. There were other things happening which were just “off”.

I finally called John on Friday from work, when yet another thing went wrong, and asked “This is serious, are you sure you didn’t bring any lava back?”

He promised me he didn’t but did mention the women in front of him getting on the plane had a big chunk of lava. Hmmm…

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Hawaii: Home Again

We’re back in New York. As much as I love to travel, it always feels so good to be back in my own home. And one day, that home will be on the beach!

Even though we had a great flight without delays, I don’t do well on “red-eye” flights and this one was no exception. Thankfully, we’ve got tomorrow off and can recover.

Don’t know if I mentioned that my mom made the trip to Hawaii with us. John has always been her favorite but even more so now ~ not only was he OK with his mother in-law traveling with us but he gave her his upgrade miles so she could sit in First Class and have the extra leg room. That’s why I married the man ~ he’s a great guy!!

We like to list our top favorite things about our vacation and here’s a compilation of our combined top five things we enjoyed during our visit:
1) Horseback Riding in the South Kohala Mountains
2) Snorkeling at the following beaches: Puako, Hapuna, Lapakahi
3) Helicopter Ride over Hilo and the lava flow
4) The Eisenhower House at Kilauea Military Camp
5) THE FOOD ~ we ate a lot!

There’s so much to do on the Big Island so we’ve made a list of what we want to do the NEXT time we visit. Yes, we’re already planning a return visit:
1) Green Sand Beach
2) Black Sand Beach
3) Waipio Valley
4) We’ll stay at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel or in a rental villa. It’s nice to have access to a kitchen
5) Play a round of golf at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

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The sun was shining so we decided to go on a Paniolo Ride yesterday. And am I ever sore today. It’s been many, many years since I trotted on a horse but it was the canter that did me in. Ouch. Other than the pain involved, it was WONDERFUL. We went on the Sunset Ride and got an added bonus of a full moon and a rainbow. Breathtaking.

That’s the joy of the Big Island of Hawaii ~ there’s such a variety of things to do.

Logan is ready to go riding again but I’m headed to the beach to swim with the sea turtles.

Life is good!

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It’s very exciting (and a little scary) flying directly over the Kilauea Volcano and watching the lava flow to the ocean.  In spite of the woman with motion sickness on our flight, it was wonderful! My daughter and I got to sit in the front seat with the pilot.


Lift off


The Caldera


Steam as the lava enters the ocean


Try to get insurance on this property 🙂


Back on land…

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The Big Island of Hawaii is, well… BIG!

That’s what I love about it ~ it’s so diverse.  We began our visit in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It’s located on the Southeast side of the island which is usually damp and chilly.  We’re stayed at the Kilauea Military Camp (KMC) which rents out cottages to military members and their Families.  We splurged and rented the “Eisenhower House.”  President Eisenhower stayed in this cottage in 1946 when he was General Eisenhower. It’s a beautiful house with two bedrooms, dining room, living room, full kitchen and two bathrooms. I could easily live here!

As lovely as the cottage is, the best part is the proximity to Kilauea Volcano and all the sights to see in the Park. There is a lot to see in the Park and I highly recommend the hikes. Makes you feel like you’re on another planet sometimes ~ the vast, empty spaces that have been covered by lava.  Well worth the trip to see it.

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