Loco Moco. Mmm, yummy, artery clogging local deliciousness. Loco Moco is rice (brown rice isn't an option) topped with eggs(want to be Stink-Eyed off the island? Ask for Egg Beaters instead, lolol), topped with meat (I went for Portuguese sausage, Tim went for Spam, kids went for sausage or bacon, vegetarians need not apply), finished off with gravy. As a side, potato-mac salad. Bad for me, but I figured all the hiking, swimming and snorkeling would even it out.
See that guy in the water? He's tied himself to a concrete post and has a spear. Why did he tie himself up? Well, because you're not supposed to be in that freaking water! It used to be a port, but the water is too rough. In the late 80's I think, a barge full of new Toyotas broke loose and crashed upon the rocks here. An insurance adjuster from Lloyds of London came by on helicopter and insisted that it land on the barge so he could get a closer look. Big wave came and drowned the adjuster. Nope, we wouldn't be snorkeling there.
Sea Turtles abound on the Big Island! They are quite firm in their admonishments to stay at least 20 feet away from the turtles, but apparently the turtles didn't get the memo. They will swim with you, around you, ignore you or take a liking to you, but they are hard to stay 20 feet away from unless you are out of the water at all times. I got a big kick out of them. So cute! Of course, all I could think of to say to them was "Cowabunga Dude" because I had "Finding Nemo" on the brain.
The photo of this crater does not do justice to the raw fear and terror it inspires. In Volcano National Park, it's unofficially called The Devil's Mouth. The sides of have collapsed down into sheer walls and just getting within 6 feet, I got sick to my stomach. I'm not bragging, but I'll ride any amusement park attraction, I'll go to the scariest haunted houses in October and it takes a lot to truly freak me out. This did it. There was a smallish sign telling people to walk no further about 100 feet away because of unstable crater walls. The clear path lets us know that most people ignore the sign. It's in our guide book as worth the look, so we did. Even my college freshman who thinks he's immortal respected the boundaries I told him to keep. Yep, that was my Halloween scare for the year.
Sunset atop Mauna Kea. This tops our sunrise at Haleakala on Maui. It was almost a party atmosphere with people taking photos in parkas in the thin, moonscape atmosphere, but when the sun began descending a hush came upon everyone. As the sun departed, someone sat on a rock and softly played old hymns on a harmonica. Even as an adult, it was one of those rare moments when you really feel like God wanted to show YOU something special. The ride up there was wild, the ride down even wilder in the dark, but if you ever go to the Big Island, just do it Bro!