Friday, May 13, 2011

Part 3: Hawaii

Despite the very fact my trip ended 12 days ago, I'm still dreaming about Hawaii. Revisiting my pictures brings back the memory of time spent with my mom and sister and all the fun we had. Looking forward to doing more of these types of adventures with them (although must include hubby and my brother and his wife next go around)!

Nonni, Henry and Norah

Tikki Torches!

Nonni indulged the children with cupcakes!

Back from the pool.

Sister Sarah and Nonni (my mom) poolside.

Mauna Kea

Peak near the top of Mauna Kea.

My sister and I decided we would spend some time together on our own
adventure. We opted to go on a tour to the top of Mauna Kea. This is a beautiful dormant volcano.

It is 13,792 ft from above sea level, however, the locals boast that it is the worlds largest mountain in the world when you measure it from the oceanic base it measures 33,000 ft/10,000 meters! Yikers! Here's a little info about how it compares to Mount Everest

Any who, we decided to do the sunset and stargazing tour. They provide a catered dinner and hot chocolate and (yummy) cookies. The trip began at 3:30 pm in the afternoon and we drove up to the visitor center. It was probably about 5 pm by the time we arrived. This visitor center was at about 10,000 ft. So we climbed altitude quite quickly. We stayed at the center for about an hour or so to acclimate and to have our dinner and walk the perimeter. There were some interesting fauna there.

This plant is an indigenous to Hawaii, but unfortunately it is dying out.
They have put fencing around them all over Mauna Kea to protect them from wild animals.

A burial. For many many years (even thousands of years), Mauna Kea has been considered a
sacred mountain. Many people would come to the mountain to bury their dead or disperse ashes.

We all got back on our well equipped van that had special 4 wheel drive and off road suspension, it was pretty kitted out (think I may be sounding too much like my husband), to handle the dirt roads. It was pretty rough riding those dirt roads, kind of like a wash board. At times I just had to let my voice ungulate with the vibration, kind of what you do as a kid. It was quite hilarious, until the woman in front of my sister and I announced to the van that the right was like a vibrator!?!*
Ok then at that point our very talkative guide turned awfully quiet. Sarah and I just laughed!
We stopped again to get our to take picture and acclimate once again. It was getting freezing out there.

Freezing at this point. Just a quick pic before we get back in the van to the top!

Our guide prepared us for the fact it would be below freezing at the top. The tour company provides HUGE down coats with hoods and mittens.

On top of the World! Kind of felt like the Michelin man in this get up!

The sunset was beautiful! Here you can see a handful of observatories.

There are 9 observatories on top of Mauna Kea.

We had such a fabulous time on that sister adventure!

I'm ending this post with a picture of my gate at the airport. This is what it looks like right before you get on your plane. SO fantasy island. How I loved it!
Look forward to returning to Hawaii one day again soon.

Queuing at the gate to get on the plane!

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