Tuesday was a big excursion day! My parents got us tickets with a tour group to go to the top of Mauna Kea, the tallest point in Hawaii! (If measured from it’s base underwater, then it would technically be the tallest mountain in the world!) It’s strange to see a snow-capped peak in the middle of Hawaii, but it’s there! People will fill the back of their pickup with snow & take it down to the beach & have a snowball fight!
This pictures doesn’t do justice to the mountain (in terms of the snow), but it is really impressive!
Part way through our trip up the mountain, we stopped at an old sheep farm to have dinner! It was very rustic!
They did have a tent & tables set up for our delicious picnic dinner!
Just starting up the road past the visitor’s center! We stopped at about 10,000 feet to take pictures! The view was incredible!
You could see these cool little hill things in the distance.
And this is where the tour ended. It was supposed to take us up to the summit of the volcano, but the driver/tour guide noticed that one of the tires on our van was leaking air & he couldn’t risk having us get stuck at the summit! It was so sad to watch the other group pile into their van & head off to the top, while we got back in ours & returned to the visitor’s center.
The driver suggested a hike we could do so that we could get up to the point where we could see the sunset!
We made it! Not quite the summit that we were imagining, but…
…the sunset was still AMAZING!!!
After the sunset, the tour guide/driver took us a bit away from the visitor center so that we could do some star gazing (this picture is taken from the tour company’s website as my camera would not have been able to do justice to the night!). He had that cool green laser that allowed him to point out stars – it went like 5 miles up into the sky & if you were standing behind him you could see just what constellation he was talking about. The guy was super knowledgable & showed us how to find all sorts of things! It was cool to see so many stars! And especially through the telescope – this was my first experience doing that & I think this was a great place to start! We also got to eat amazing brownies! Any night that has chocolate in it, is a good night in my books!
The next day was a fairly quiet day. Our goal was to find a place to try to snorkel as that was one thing I had really wanted to do while in Hawaii. We ended up at Ho’okena beach, which ended up being just perfect! I was able to snorkel & see beautiful fish!!!
Lots & lots of these pretty yellow tang (picture taken from internet, because we don’t have a waterproof camera)
Micah also did some snorkeling & found a shelf just a ways off shore where he could carry the kids & then they could stand & put their face (& face mask) into the water & see the fish! It was a highlight for everyone!
The only downside for me is that it made me seasick! Who knew?!?! But it was worth it to get to see all those beautiful fish!