Hi–I have missed you.
It is time to finally start blogging about my travels, but of course I feel paralyzed trying to figure out the best way to start. This is what happens when you get behind on a task and I am an expert at that–especially while there are so many wonderful distractions. *if you were not aware we are traveling around Hawaii and New Zealand while my husband is on sabbatical with our two kids ages 10 and 13.
Right now I am blogging from our rented house in Christchurch, New Zealand. Before we arrived here we spent a few weeks in Hawaii and then explored the North Island of New Zealand. I am going to try to start at the beginning, but I might interrupt every once in awhile with some current updates. Hopefully I will get caught up soon enough.
It took us quite awhile to get to Hawaii. The flights were long enough, but we were leaving from NY during the polar vortex (one of them) and had our flights cancelled more than once. I was probably too stressed out to take any photos of our airport time, but it would have been comical watching us run from gate to gate, plead for flights, and many hours spent on the phone trying to get help or in line.
Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii was our first stop. It was a mini family reunion for us to celebrate my in-laws birthday. My family of 4, the in-laws, and my brother-in-law and his wife and baby rented a house together. It was a great bunch with grandparents, school aged kids and an adorable almost walking baby.
Our first stop (after heading to walmart to buy swimsuits since our luggage still hadn’t arrived) was to rent snorkel gear and go to a beach called “two step”. It wasn’t really a beach–more just big black rocks, but the snorkeling was beautiful. The beach is called “two step” because the rocks create a little step for you to get into the water. Echo got some underwater shots which I will share next.
Next up was a true sand beach, but still lots of rocks. The kids body surfed a bit, but the temps were not super warm so we only stayed a few hours. This photo was taken with my point and shoot camera on a miniature mode. I have learned that visiting Hawaii (or at least our style) is about traveling from beach to beach trying to find the perfect spot that fits your mood that day. All of the beaches had a different personality with good things and not so good things. We had the good snorkeling, but not a great spot for a baby to hang out at the first beach. The second beach had more sand and shady spots for playing, but the parking wasn’t great and no frilly drinks. 🙂
We managed Walmart and two beaches on our first day–not bad.
On our second full day we went out for breakfast at Captain Cook overlooking the coastline at a gem called The Coffee Shack. Geckos amused us while we waited for our food.
The view out the window of The Coffee Shack.
Our gecko friend having a bit of guava jelly.
Chickens are everywhere on the island–as a mascot of sorts I guess (although as I was soon to learn they were nothing compared to the chickens on Kauai).
After breakfast we were on our way to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It was a little over 2 hours to the park from our breakfast spot.
This was just a spot on the drive. It could take you forever to get anywhere if you stopped at all the great photo opportunities.
Forcing Echo out of the car for a quick photo. I must have bribed her to get that smile.
After touring the visitors center we went out on Crater Rim Drive. Our first stop was the steam vents–a parking lot surrounded by holes in the ground with steam popping up everywhere.
This is the view towards the crater (Halema’u ma u’?–the currently erupting volcano) and the light was just perfect with a rain storm approaching.
The girls in front of the crater–with their iPads to take their own photos.
Having a baby along makes for lots of good distractions. Notice our jackets? It was pretty cool that day.
The steam vents.
Demonstrating how hot the steam is.
Loving the light and the colors.
This is the closest view of the current eruption from the Jaggar Museum. Everyone had to stop at this point because the road was closed due to high sulfur dioxide emissions.
Here Sadie is working on her Junior Ranger badge.
Thanks for following along. I will continue with Kona, Hawaii on my next post. I would love to hear your comments or questions as I pretend to be a travel blogger. And a big thanks to my husband for keeping an actual journal of our vacation so I can go back and remember the names of all the things I took photos of.