Hawaii Part Dos

 Hopefully there are only three parts to this Hawaiian Paradise Saga, we'll see how much ground I can cover today.  I believe I left off where we were chilling and walking around Farmer's Markets, right?  Where I would find beautiful creatures like this little guy running around all the vendors?
This picture was taken shortly after he jumped from Landon's hand to mine while I was trying to take a picture of him.  I was so focused on taking the picture that it completely caught me off-guard and I screamed so loud, the entire market went silent and looked in our direction.  After trying to hide from everyone's stares, I tried to figure out how I was going to take that little cutie home with me.  I didn't get much time to think before he jumped ship from my hand too.

So, that was Sunday.  The following week was when we actually planned some excursions and activities other than just boogie boarding all day, err day.  But, even in between all the things we were trying to do we'd still squeeze in at least an hour or so at our favorite beach right down the road from our hotel. 
It was called Magic Sands Beach and if you got there early enough, you could beat the crowds and catch some real nice waves.  The sand was white and amazingly soft, the water was warm, and turtles frequented the area.  There were two that were there every time we went.  They'd just swim back and forth, and occasionally bump into our legs.  It was the best.
 So, our first trip we went out and did was to go to the Green Sands Beach.  It's one of like, 3 green sand beaches in the world and quite the sight to see.  It was about 70 miles from our hotel, which, in Utah would take maybe an hour to drive to.  But no, with highway speeds there occasionally hitting 55, but for the most part staying at 35-40?  It took us two hours to get to the parking lot.  AND THEN, it's a 3 mile hike into the beach.  Locals hang out in the parking lot offering rides at a mere $15 per person, but come on, that's a little steep.  Especially because there was seven of us.  But Landon's grandma Shirley, his mom's boyfriend Reed, and Kyndal took them up on it because Shirley has a bad knee, but they wouldn't take just one or two people.  They said three minimum and the lady promised the rest of us that were hiking in that we were going to want a ride back.  We scoffed and thought, yeah right as we started on the trail.  It took us about an hour to get there.  It was ridiculously hot and humid; had there not been the ocean breeze blowing on us I'm not sure that we would have made it.

We did, though.  When we got there, we had to hike down a steep and crudely carved staircase in the rock.  I nearly fell a couple times coming and going.  But it was all worth it when we stepped down on the green sand.  It's so crazy to see sand that color.  I'll admit, I was anticipating like, bright green sand when Landon would tell me about it and it wasn't exactly what I had in mind.  It was more of an olive green, but it was still so pretty.  It sparkled too, and no matter how many pictures I took of it, I couldn't quite capture what I was seeing with my eyes.  It was a beautiful beach, and of course we spent our time there on our boogie boards.
After we had been there for a couple hours, we decided it was time to go.  We were worn out and the thought of hiking out of there in wet, sandy clothes and shoes was not sounding like a good idea.  The lady who drove Reed, Shirley and Kyndal in were right; we didn't want to hike back.  So we paid the woman and climbed in the bed of her old pickup truck.  It was lined with ratty old couch cushions and throw pillows, and there some sort of metal frame attached above us that gave us something to hold onto as she rallied over large rocks and deep ruts back to the parking lot.

It was nearly sundown when we made it back to the hotel room.  Again, completely wiped out from our day in the sunshine.  I think I went to bed every night before 8 pm that entire trip and every morning I was up at 5 out working out or running along the coast.  I was in heaven.  Our next trip we had planned was to go to Volcano National Park.  It was another two hour drive across the island, and before we got there, we stopped by the Black Sand Beach.  Another really cool beach with crazy colored sand.  We weren't there long; we played on the lava and caught little hermit crabs. We also walked up and down the beach and saw some more turtles chillin' out.

 Such a unique beauty here.  The longer we stayed the more fond of it I grew.  And oh my goodness, Volcano National Park was incredible.  We learned all about the volcanic activity and eruptions that were happening and have happened from the ranger at the visitor's center.  After we had read everything there, we hiked down to one of the calderas and got to walk around on the lava rock.  The hike in was gorgeous; and it was finally what you would expect to see when you think of Hawaii.  Thick greenery and crazy tropical plants were all around.  It started raining lightly and when we got back there was a beautiful full-arched rainbow over us.
 We got back to our car just before sundown and we drove up on top to the view over the volcano.  Usually, you can only see the glow of the lava from below, and the smoke rising up from it.  But we were incredible lucky and showed up for one of only four separate occasions since 2008 where you could see the lava bursting up in the air.
  It was amazing, I honestly felt like we had gone back in time to the age of the dinosaurs or something.  Spending the day in Volcano was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

I think I'm going to end this post here.  We've covered a lot of ground, but it's lunch time and I'm starving.  Tune in tomorrow where I hopefully wrap up this tale.


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