So far life in Hawaii has been pretty mellow. My first day here we poked around a bit, rented snorkel equipment, and then found a secluded lava bay to try it out in. We saw some fish, but not huge schools of them. The most memorable part of the day was the mahi mahi sandwich I had for lunch.
The next day we drove to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We took an older highway to avoid construction in Kailua Kona and saw some of the more funky, more interesting towns on this side of the island. My favorite was the big pink hotel you see in the photos, with the bathroom in a little room and the end of the walkway. That has to be the urinal with the best view in the state!
We stopped at the Punalu'u black sand beach for a picnic lunch. (Special shout out here to my sister Mireille, who is an amazingly good cook and has been keeping us all marvelously fed here.) It was crazy swimming at the beach - the ocean is quite rough, but in addition, you've got cold fresh water seeping out from the ground here, floating on top of the warmer salt ocean. It's the opposite of what you normally feel in a lake or a swimming pool and when the waves are tossing you around, it's totally disorienting.
Finally, toward mid-afternoon, we made it to the volcano. Kilauea was spewing smoke, and very impressive, although we didn't see any new lava flows. I particularly liked the Chain of Craters Road, which ends abruptly where a lava flow crossed the road 15 years ago and the park authorities decided to leave it be. I'd have photos of that for you, except my camera battery died partway through the day. Note to future self - buy a spare battery.
Today we wanted to avoid spending much time in the car after yesterday's all-day drive. We had lunch in the ranch town of Kamuela (aka Waimea), and then went to see the Waipi'o Valley. Not having a 4WD, we decided not to chance getting stuck partway down the steep grade and instead went and got coconut ice cream. We ended the day at the beach at the Mauna Kea resort. It was eerily beautiful. Beautiful because it's a postcard-perfect crescent of fine sand with blue green water. Eerie because the resort is closed, so we had the beach to ourselves! The snorkeling was amazing, and I definitely need to figure out how to use the waterproof camera bag I bought so I can prove it!
So, does anyone know if the square box on the power cord for my mac acts as a voltage adapter? I'd prefer not to fry my computer.