I started the morning off freezing. That’s right, freezing my butt off. And no, this isn’t just because I’ve lived on an island for over six months and now bundle everybody up in 76° weather. There are heaters in our hotel. It does get cold here.
The girls and I all woke up with a nasty cold (also, can I add how much I still love being able to say girls? Plural.) Stuffy head, scratchy throat, drippy nose. Good times. Thanks, vog.
After we all took our sweet time getting ready, we grabbed a quick breakfast and then started our day.
Our first stop was the Jaggar Museum where we could see a large crater and some great steam vents. Inside, the kids and I read about the goddess Pele and her story of creating the volcanoes in Hawaii. (J tried to do work. I threatened to throw his phone in the crater. )
Then we headed into Hilo to Rainbow Falls, which is a part of the Waikulu River. They’re beautiful and breathtaking.
The kiddos played around in a nearby banyon tree, enjoying nature at its finest.
Then we headed up the road to the boiling pots of the Waikulu River. It was a really pretty spot and we likely would have walked down to enjoy the actual water if not for having the two tinies.
Then we were off for lunch. We stopped at Lucy’s Taqueria which was…meh. But I probably am an unfair judge when it comes to Mexican food because I compare it all to J’s and yeah, no one can beat that. But they did have an awesome little kid play area which kept my crazies occupied, so ultimately, I would recommend this restaurant to anyone with kids.
After lunch we visited the Mauna Loa macadamia farm, which is just as touristy as it sounds. But they offer free samples and self-guided tour of the factory process, so the kids were all quite intrigued and pleased.
Then we let the big kids play at a local playground while the babies slept and really, just like that our day was somehow over.
That night J slept on the couch with M because these full sized beds are for the bees. Needless to say, Bean and I slept great, as did Sweet M, but J…not so much.
We walked over to the local Java cafe the next morning and grabbed a coffee before hitting up the breakfast joint (their coffee is surprisingly terrible. Like, I actually threw away my coffee the day before and that never happens).
Once we had fed and mostly happy kids we headed to the Thurston Lava Tubes.
I cannot describe how magnificent this island is or how wondrous the volcano area is. It’s just so blaringly obvious how the world is just so much bigger and more powerful than any of us mere humans.
After leaving the lava tube we walked back through the fern forest to our parking area. The forest was gorgeous and lush. And full of lions, hehe!
Then we hiked, in the rain, down the Kilauea Iki trail and into the giant crater. It was like being in another world, walking amongst an earth of dried lava and minimal green growth and several steam pockets. What an awe invoking experience.
By the time we made it back up the slippery trail to the top, M was demanding “yummy yummy!” Which is how he tells us he is hungry, ha.
So we hit up a little local joint outside the volcano park, and then proceeded to drive through the park and take on the vastness and beauty of it by car while the babies slept.
Okay, and then I fell asleep in the car too so J parked it and took the big kids out to venture through some more steam vents while the babies and I snoozed. In fairness, I have a 3-month-old and a 22-month-old. And traveling is exhausting.
I’ve been wanting to check out the Volcano Winery since we got here and I saw it on the map, so we headed over there once I woke up.
J and I are each wearing a babe and a gentleman commented, “Wow, you’ve got your hands full and you still are able to drink wine.”
I just chuckled and said, “They’re probably the reason we find time to drink wine.”
I mean, let’s be honest. I’ve drank more wine since becoming a parent. Then again, I had my first baby when I was 21. So… Causation or correlation?
Anyway, the guava-grape wine was delicious and we got some to take home.
We grabbed dinner at a local place not far from where were staying called Lava Rock Cafe. It was super yummy. And then we headed back to the hotel to get everyone put to bed, later than we prefer, so we can prepare for another busy day tomorrow.