Special Days and Beautiful Places

So as I sit here drinking my coffee and looking out over the ocean, I’m trying to decide which pictures to put up on the blog.  It’s VERY hard to decide.  Not only did we take a TON of pictures every day, they are all just beautiful….but I don’t want this post to have 97 pictures in it so I’ll try to be a bit judicial in deciding which to post 🙂

Sylar turned 5 while we were here.  He wanted to open his presents as soon as he woke up….we tried to tell him that we usually wait until dinner and have cake and ice cream and then presents…he sternly told us that it was HIS birthday and he wanted to open his presents that morning 🙂

The Birthday Boy!
Happy guy with his batman 🙂

He decided that he’d like to go swimming for his birthday and then out to eat…so that’s what we did.  We headed out for some coffee from a place called Just Cruisin Coffee (which had some yummo coconut latte’s) and then out towards Akaka Falls to check out the waterfall. It was gorgeous, and just the right kind of hike for everyone in the family.  It was paved and had some pretty overlooks that had guardrails so it was safer than some of the other hikes we had considered doing.

hiking to the falls
Akaka Falls
another small waterfall along the trail

At the end of the trail (which was back at the parking lot where we started) there was a man who was doing some frond basket weaving and he had befriended a chameleon.  So of course we had to stop and look at him!  Grace wanted to hold him….he started crawling and climbing on her rather quickly and it kinda sorta freaked her out a bit!!  It was pretty neat to see him up close.  It looked like he had two thumbs for feet and they were very grabby…and he moved FAST!

We had heard and read about some amazing tide pools that were volcanically heated and decided to give them a try for the swimming portion of our day.  They were down a 4wd dirt road (hello Daddy!) a little under 3 miles from the corner of Highways 132 and 137 on the east side of the island.  When we found it, we were surprised to see a burned out vehicle in the middle of the access road.  Why we didn’t take a picture I have NO idea…but it stopped us in our tracks.  Our guide book (Hawaii The Big Island Revealed) said it was about a quarter of a mile down the road so I decided to hop out and go take a look to see if we wanted to take the kids down the muddy road.  Let me say that I don’t think I was operating on all of my brain cells….muggy, wet, humid, rainforest….anyone see where I’m going with this???  MOSQUITOES!  Oh my goodness they were surrounding me in hoards and I didn’t even want to open my mouth because I was afraid I would eat ten of them!  But I kept on going, hopping over muddy sinkholes and watching out for snakes.

However, once I cleared the icky terrain the view almost took my breath away!

As beautiful as it was we decided that the trudge through the muck just wasn’t something that we should take the kids through…especially since Grace has a horrid love affair going on with the local mosquito population!  As we were backing out of the road a local guy, with his baby sleeping soundly strapped to his back, came up on a quad and said that the burned out vehicle hadn’t been there the other day.  I guess the locals got tired of the haole’s invading the hidden gems of the island.

We decided to try one more tide pool location on our way to the swimming hole.  Waiop’ae Tide Pools.

This place was very pretty and a snorkelers dream…however the bottom was VERY rocky and we just weren’t prepared for that…so we only stayed for a little bit and then headed over to swim at Ahalanui Park. This spring fed pool is part natural and part man made…and it’s also volcanically heated!  There is a small inlet that lets the ocean water and some fish in which keeps the pool pretty clear and clean.  During the week it’s not very crowded so we let the kids swim and play for quite a while before knocking off for the day.

me and my birthday boy

Then we went home and showered and headed out to a local joint for some dinner.  It was good….very much like food we would make at home…only we didn’t have to cook or do dishes!

my annalea 🙂

I have to say it was a great way to celebrate Sy’s birthday.  We had a wonderful day doing a little bit of everything and I think everyone went to bed full and happy 🙂
We are heading out to get another day in…I’ll be posting more pics later on!

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