Hawaii ::: Hilo
Our last day on The Big Island was spent traveling to Hilo.
Since, our check in was only at three, we ended up hitting up a few spots along the way.
Our first stop was Rainbow Falls.
Hawaii is full of beautiful natural landscapes.
It was honestly so easy to take a million pictures on this trip, because like this waterfall background, everywhere you turn was something new and naturally photogenic.
If you look closely behind our heads, you can see tiny humans who are hiking along the edge of the fall.
We decided to see the view from the top of the fall as well.
We had to walk through the biggest banyan tree to get to the caverns near the fall.
It's branches intertwined for what seemed like miles!
Seriously, that's Sean down there for proportion!
The top of the fall reminded me of what Neverland would look like on Earth.
Doesn't that look like a scull?
My cameo backpack disappears in the foliage lol.
After hanging out at the top for about an hour, we made our way back to the parking lot.
We headed to our Air B&B in Hilo after the fall, to check out the space and drop off our bags before heading to the Black Sand Beach.
Our place in Hilo was incredible!
High ceilings, lots of natural light, and a spiral staircase; it was like staying in a tree house.
Sean, playing a ukulele, wearing a ukulele shirt looking out to the bedroom window view of the ocean.
Could it get any more Hawaiian than that?
A little piece of the Brooklyn Bridge in Hilo.
The most perfect porch set up.
Our car matched our house! (We're the blue people Eiffel 65 sing about.)
We drove about a mile up the road to the local black sand beach.
We knew we were at the right place when a guy with a machete was selling coconut water at the top of the cliff.
Like in Big Island fashion, we had to wear sneakers for the hike down, as well as, bring flip-flops for the beach.
This Black Sand Beach is known for it's community of hippie locals, who play instruments in rhythm circles and do not shy away from hanging around in the rough.
This dog was chasing it's owner, who was jumping into the on-coming waves. It was endearing to watch the dog making sure his owner was okay every time he submerged under the water and wave his tail every time he came up for air.
The blue water contrasted beautifully against the black sand.
At one point, we heard people cheering from behind us, on the beach. When we looked out to what they were witnessing, we saw a family of fins dancing along the surface of the waves.
A school of dolphins were approaching the shore!
It was amazing to see a group of about fifteen come about 35 ft from shore and swim amongst the people.
It was absolutely breath-taking to watch. Like right out of a dream.
The picture above shows just how close the dolphins got to the swimmers.
These two were also fun to watch, as they wrestled near the break.
This naked swimmer kept jumping on that rock as the waves crashed in, making me nervous he was going to smack his head every time. It apparently wasn't his first time, he was like a fish with rock climbing claws.
I kept joking that Sean got the wrong nude memo, as his swim trunks this day were khaki.
This tree made the perfect home for our backpacks to keep them away, and dry from the high tide coming in.
After the beach, we went home and changed before heading to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
Natural steam coming from the earth.
View of the Halema'uma'u Crater near the Jagger Museum.
They say that the lava can be seen best after dark, so we walked through the Jagger Museum until sunset.
Artwork of early Hawaiians praising the volcano inside the museum.
The coolest plants grow through the lava in the National Park, I swear.
The red hue of the lava beginning to come out, as it got darker.
It was absolutely fascinating to witness a lava flow with your very eyes occurring at this very moment, on this very earth.
When the sun went down, we ran to make our 7:30 reservation at Kilauea Lodge & Restaurant where you can admire the Halema'uma'u Crater from the comfort of your dining table.
Can you see the reflection of the lava in my straw?
This amused me for some time. Where else could you have lava flow reflecting off you're pineapple mai-tai?!
View of the Volcano from our table.
And what better way to end the night than dessert!?!
We really enjoyed our stay on The Big Island. One of the biggest reasons we choose Hawai'i over Kaui was to see the Volcano and I'm so glad we did, because it was a once in a lifetime experience. I'd definitely recommend The Big Island for people who want to have a different beach experience (mostly different kinds of rock and grain than white sand) with good snorkeling and national park locations. However, the crowd was overall a bit older so if you're looking for a party-type of beach vacation, I'd say maybe stay in Oahu.
Stay tuned for our second week experience on Maui....