Sunday at the National Park:
National Park visiting day! We were out of the hotel just before 9. Had a long drive ahead of us, but to get to the other side of a whole island in 2 hours? Not that much of a huge drive compared to anywhere on the main 48. Anyhoo. I took a nap for half the trip, so that was easy. At the visitors center I changed into pants and shoes. In the bathroom. Obviously not IN the center. I bought some postcards and a patch and magnet, then we watched the video about the eruptions in 1969 and 1970.
Volcano House, across from the visitors center, provided lunch. We had a view of the still venting crater in the middle of the main lava flow. The weather on this side of the island is colder and windier, but not awful. I found a crushed penny album in one of the Volcano House gift shops, so that was awesome. I crushed some pennies in one of the machines in Volcano House. Then it was hiking time! We drove to the Kilauea Iki Trail starting place. It was a medium length trail that went half way along the edge of a lava flow crater and then down into it, and then back up. It wasn't venting like the other one. Totally safe. We switched from sleeves to jacketless and back to sleeves several times on the journey. For some parts it was warm and moist, and others the wind cut right through. It was lovely though. Nice to go along the edge and look down and see the worn path of people hiking the same path for years. Nice to descend down and get a gander at all the different kinds of rocks. There were other people hiking, but it wasn't crowded. When we got up out of the crater, we were pretty sweaty. This park seriously lacked benches. The trail head opened up at the Lava Tube, so we walked through that.
The end of the road featured lava that flowed into the ocean as recently as 2003, and there was a store with a cool shirt design, which I got. We grabbed some photos and then headed up to the Jagger Museum for sunset. The lava in the steaming crater was still glowing.
We stopped for gas on the way back and I bought us all ice cream. We picked up dinner fixings and called it a night.
Monday Around Kailua Kona:
I slept in and took it easy. Ma and Pa went to the time share meeting thingy and I cruised around the Internet and had some bread and tea. Nice to have a casual start after all that uber hiking of yesterday.
Later in the day we went to the Kona Brewing Company, in Kaileua Kona proper. Huzzah! We got a sampler of beer to accompany our lunch. It was quite tasty and warm. My bratwurst had to cool down a bit before it was consumed. We drove further south and swung by Snorkel Bob's and picked up a snorkel because my current one is broken.
We tried to visit a coffee plantation, but they were closed. Alas. I dropped some postcards in the post. GPS took us to Lava Lava, where we enjoyed Mai Tais as the sun set and live music played. Nice.
Not the most packed of days, but hey not every vacation day has to be.