I have a secret passion to be better about my dog training. I wish I had the drive to work harder at it but darn it, sometimes I just want to sit on the couch and drink a beer. Or two.
I did play with the dogs and we worked on a couple tricks we haven’t done in a while. Considering Vader joined us on the couch later I would say he had fun and was a bit tired from it.
We were supposed to begin agility classes for Twitch tonight but a wind advisory postponed the first day. Probably not a bad idea.
I wanted to do a number of things tonight but didn’t get any of them done. The weekend of rain forecasted will give me plenty of time. 🙂
Monday May 2, 2016.
We certainly are keeping with our streak of awesomeness! Today we started out slow and hung out at the pool.
Then we hit the road at 3 to head to the VIS at Mauna Kea for the sunset and star talk. We drove from sea level to almost 14,000 feet! It was pretty amazing to be above the clouds and watch the sun set *below* us!
This is the VIS where we had snacks for dinner. 9,000 feet!
There is a protected area for the Silversword plant which is endangered.
Then we headed up the mountain.
The road was 4 miles of washboard dirt with switchbacks.
At 4 miles the road is paved again but still climbs. 8 miles from the VIS to the summit, so 5,000 feet of elevation gain in 8 miles. There are signs saying only 4×4 with 4 low should go up. Without engine braking, you could be in big trouble!
Up top we watched the sun set. There are a few scientific, multi-million dollar telescopes up there that are not open to the public. The oxygen level is really low and it was easy to get light headed with very little exhertion.
After the sun set, we drove back to the VIS and spent 2 hours star gazing and listening to some volunteers talk about planets and stars. They had several high powered telescopes set up and we got to see the rings around Saturn!
An epic adventure!
Sunday May 1, 2016.
The fun continues! I am not sure how we will top this today!
We got up early and hit the road to head to our helicopter tour. Yes a real helicopter! I have wanted to fly in one for a long time so I was totally psyched to go. The ride was amazing!!
We flew between the two volcanoes over to the active crater on the east side of Hawaii.
The landscape on the West side is dry and barren. Going through the valley between the two volcanoes is covered in various colors of different lava flows. It was so fascinating to see that from the air. Really gives perspective on the enormity of it all.
We flew over the crater and got to see lava bubbling down below. It was so very cool!
After that we flew over Hilo and then up the East coast to view the cliffs and waterfalls on the coast. I took pictures with my DSLR and stole the ones below from Kris. It was so beautiful!
Kris and I with our pilot.
After the helicopter ride we drove north to the end of the north running road. We hiked down the trail to a black sand beach. The views were amazing!
I built a couple rock piles for fun and we cracked open a coconut.
We were planning to hit another beach but it was 2 o’clock and I felt beat up from the early morning, the heat and the hike down 1500 feet. So we headed back to the hotel.
However along the way I happened to see this amazing thing by chance as we were driving along. I told Kris to turn around. Turns out it was an amazing lava tube!
Lava flows are pretty interesting. This particular one had lots of gas in the lava as the rock is very holey. It is also very brittle. The colors in some of the rock was intense!
I am thoroughly enjoying our trip here!
We did finally return to the hotel where we swam for a bit, had dinner, then sat in the hot tub for a bit. Fun day!
Saturday April 30, 2016.
Sleep was eluding me at 5am, 8am Oregon time, so I got up and sat on the balcony as the sky lightened into day.
I looked up the bird that kept me awake, thinking it was a My a bird and it was!
Kris surprised me with going down and getting us coffee then joined me on the balcony. We chatted for a bit then started our day. We hit up the concierge and booked a helicopter tour for tomorrow, then jumped on the trolley to have breakfast at Lava Java. Our view did not suck.
We walked along the coast heading towards Kona Brewing. We have tried some of their beers in Oregon but only ones with coconut flavored, which we didn’t care for. We found a few of their beers quite tasty after a lunch of pizza. While waiting for the trolley, we got to watch these guys. We counted five in the short time we were out there.
Then we caught the trolley at 2:30 to head back to the hotel for an afternoon nap before manta ray snorkeling at 8:30.
I wasn’t doing so good at the napping so ran to the store to get some snack supplies for tomorrow. Scored a flat bag cooler that will help with some travel items look at here.
We then got our gear and went downstairs to wait for our snorkel trip. I was hungry so went back up to my room and discovered I had zapped my room key card. So downstairs to the lobby but they had to send security up to meet me at my room because I didn’t have ID on me. And I had 15 minutes to meet our ride to the snorkel site! The security guy showed up quickly and let me in. I had to show him my ID once I got in the room and I almost forgot to grab a snack! Now all of this and our room is about as far away as we can get from the lobby. 7th floor all the way to the end on the East side. I made it though.
The manta ray snorkel was awesome! We were on this little canoe pontoon boat. We got to our spot and hopped in the water. Two different manta rays came by to feed. They literally swim within inches of you! It was amazing! I started to feel a little sick bobbing around in the water and was pretty cold too. We hadn’t seen a ray for a few minutes so we all headed back to the boat. All in all it was quite an experience!
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Friday April 29, 2016.
We got up at our normal time (well I did) and hit the road at 7:25am for our 10:25 am flight to Honolulu. It was sad to leave the pups but I know they are in good hands with our friend Amy.
We arrived with plenty of time and both had pre check. Since we were flying first class our check in line was short but pre check was long for “normal”. It was still shorter than no pre check!
Flight was good, we boarded first which meant we had time to get our first drink before we even took off. We both had a signature drink from Hawaiian airlines which was very tasty. Our drinks, food and in-flight entertainment was included. Also, our seats had foot rests and personal entertainment monitors. Pretty sweet! Our food was served on ceramic plates and we got three courses! Pretty fancy!
We landed in Honolulu with one more hop to Kona to go. The airport has a central garden which was really pretty. The Kona airport is open air, which is different.
We got our rental Jeep and drove the 15 miles to our hotel. It does not suck on the views.
The above is from our balcony.
This is the hotel lobby.
Hotel pool. The other side has ocean views!
We had dinner here at the hotel and signed up for our first excursion, Manta Ray snorkeling! So on Saturday night we get to be the people out on those boats!
Dinner was delicious and we are both tired. It’s 9pm here but midnight our time and we have been up since 6am. So we are calling it a night. Tomorrow we are relaxing, exploring the local area, hitting a brewery and snorkeling with manta rays! Can’t wait!