Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Close to My Heart Hawaiian Cruise

In Kona, Hawaii, we went to a beach where we got to play with all kinds of toys--kayaks, water bikes, snorkels, etc.

Glamorous, aren't they?

My favorite part of the Kona beach trip--Hawaiian shaved ice!
In Kaua'i, we visited Waimea Canyon, which is kind of like the Grand Canyon of the Hawaiian Islands.  The views were incredible--at least, whenever they weren't covered with rain and clouds!!

Erin at Waimea Canyon, Kaua'i

We ported overnight in Kaua'i, and that night, they had a huge storm.  When we walked into town that morning, there was RED MUD everywhere!  The water at the beach was also a lovely red brown.  But, it didn't bother Andrew.  He's drawn to sand like a magnet to metal.  He could dig in it all day.

Let's see, if you dig a hole straight down in Hawaii, will you come out in China or somewhere else?
So, after we left Kaua'i, we sailed up the Na Pali Coast, which is just incredible.  We had horrible weather, but it cleared up just enough for us to glimpse those gorgeous mountains and see all of the waterfalls cascading down.  

We got our best views of whales while sailing on the Na Pali Coast--they were hard to catch on camera!

We spent the last day of our trip in Honolulu, touring the Battleship Missouri and Pearl Harbor.

One of our favorite hikes on the trip was Kiluaea Iki Trail in Volcanoes National Park (on the island of Hawaii). . .about a four-mile trek around the rim of the crater then out across a bed of lava.  It was so cool to feel the steam coming out of the cracks in the lava bed.

It's a pretty long haul across the Iki crater--tour guide Tim read us all of the highlights as we hiked.

The kids are standing in front of the Thurston Lava Tube (a cave formed by lava) in Volcanoes National Park.

The sulfur fumes coming from of these steam vents were intense!!

Our first day in Hawaii--on Waikiki Beach

On the ship--ready for the cruise!

Stopping at the black sand beach on the Road to Hana, Maui

Erin is full of artistic poses--on the black sand beach, Road to Hana, Maui

The Seven Sacred Pools on the Road to Hana--if you ever go to Maui, you must take the Road to Hana to see these pools!

Once you reach the Seven Sacred Pools on the Road to Hana, there's a four-mile hike you can take to get to Waimoku Falls.  Because of all of the rain they've had, the trail was a MUD PIT, but it was worth the mud!!

Because of all the rain, we had to pass through some fast-flowing streams to get to the Waimoku Falls.  It was definitely a team effort!

So, the reward for all that mud and treacherous creek crossing is a 400-foot waterfall at the end.  It's hard to capture it by camera, but it's a sight to behold. 

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