Here are some of the pictures from our trip. We were able to do almost everything we wanted except for 3 things. One was to see the petroglyphs and the other was the walk to the lava flow. We went as far as we could to see the steam plume, but the lava flow walk was 2 1/2 miles, and shortly after we started that, the bottom dropped out. We had had enough rain, and me being the nervous mom, I was tired of yelling at them to be careful, so we turned around. The petroglyphs are close to that trail, and it was still raining hard, so we decided to skip it and get supper. We had a very full, wet day. Oh, we also didn't get to go on the helicopter tour. Much too rainy.
You'll notice we are bundled up. It was in the low 60's on Kilauea, and in the 70's down near the beach. So we had to layer. It got down to 57, in the evenings, and who knows actually how low. Let's just say it was chilly. We even burned a "log". One of those packaged ones. We loved our little cabin. I'm just sorry I forgot to take a picture of it.
One thing that struck me on this trip was seeing the folks in their shorts, especially the older folks. It really was too cold for that. But it really hit home with me. They really "got it". They knew that this was probably their only visit here (and who brings long pants to Hawaii??), and was determined to see what they could, even desolate black terrain, despite wet feet and numb toes. Life is short and you've got to experience it when you have the opportunity. Because 2nd chances are rare. It is too easy to take it for granted. And this really inspired me.
Another thing I thought while we were there, I was glad that Gary and I had already seen all the islands. Because if this had been our first visit, I would have been so anxious to see everything and would have really been miserable. Instead, I was relaxed and excited to show them things and see them get excited about it all. It really amazed me how much these boys absorb. We were at the visitor's center and stayed to listen to a park ranger give his talk. I thought surely the boys weren't listening, since that sort of thing is boring for kids. But they had really taken it in. Ryan was even scared because he thought the Mauna Loa was really due to erupt and would head towards the welcome center - like the ranger joked. Grrrrr. Smart alek ranger. LOL!