Joe and I have just returned from Hawaii where we had the most amazing two weeks.  We have dreamed of the day when we could visit these beautiful islands.  We spent one week on Hawaii and one week on Kauai.  Both islands were unique in their own way but equally gorgeous.  The people there are so friendly and upbeat, who wouldn’t be living in such a beautiful place.  They are proud people and enjoy sharing their culture much like my fellow New Mexicans do.  Hawaii had all the things Joe and I love. . .  sand, water, tropical flowers and trees, amazing fruit and vegetables, color, color and more color.  What more can I say, it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever encountered.  This picture was from Waipi’o Valley.  It is my favorite picture and favorite place.  After a steep hike down there is an amazing black sand beach that we both fell in love with. Here are some pictures from week one in Hawaii.  Enjoy!

This was sunrise from our lanai in Kopoho.

Same view on the Lanai.  You can see the tidal pools in the distance.  Joe would snorkel there while I sat on the lava rocks and took pictures.

Here are the tidal pools.  They vary in color depending on the sunshine.

There’s my guy snorkeling for the colorful fish and sea turtles.

These little shells covered the lava rocks where I sat.

Here’s our view of Kilauea volcano.  Just after we left Hawaii there was an earthquake of 4.3 and just this week the volcano flowed lava.  If only we had been there a little later!

Further around and down the road lies the end of the road which is where the lava flow took out the road on the east side 30 years or so ago.  What an amazing site.

We found this natural lava swimming pool, Ahalanui, just down the road from our cottage.  It’s warm and inviting but our interest peaked when we saw the ocean views beyond.

Here’s me and my guy!

These trees were in the park

On further down the road is this beautiful Sea Arch with dramatic cliffs.

Don’t look down if you have a fear of heights!

There was a Papaya farm on the way to our cottage.  Every few days we would see the farmers use a long pole to bring down the ripe fruit.

There were farmers markets every few days and we were fortunate to be able to go to the Hilo farmers market.  I couldn’t believe the size of the ginger.  They always had beautiful hand cut flowers grown by the local Hawaiian women and there were artistic craftsmen selling art and crafts that were so beautiful.

Some places served ice cold coconut.  I’m not a fan of coconut but Joe loves it and had to have one!

Rambutan was one of the things we discovered. They were amazing.  Tasted sort of like plum with a seed inside the soft egg like fruit.  The outside shell came off easily by cutting through the outer shell with a knife and it peeled like an orange.

Rainbow Falls

North of Hilo


Some corral I found on our morning walk to the tidal pools.

Cactus! Even in Hawaii.

Akaka Falls

Waipi’o Valley

After spending 5 days on the east side of Hawaii, we traveled to Kona for the next 3 days.  On our way we made some stops.  First stop was Ponolu’u Beach.  We found sea turtles sun bathing and dark blue ocean views.

This big guy found something to munch on.  Got his head down.

It looks like so much work just to get up to the dry sand.  Time for a nap!

These Banyan trees lined the road into Ponalu’u Beach Park.

On our drive around the south end we encountered this view, fresh snow on top of Mauna Loa.

Our next 3 days were spent south of Kona near Captain Cook on a coffee farm.  What an experience!  The roads are steep and made us nervous but the view was absolutely gorgeous.  Our host left a big bowl of avocados, apple bananas, papaya, rambutan, grapefruit, oranges, and other goodies on the kitchen counter.  Little did they know that they had a stowaway.  We picked up a piece of fruit and a gecko bound out of the bowl.  The next morning we were greeted with a dozen fresh eggs courtesy of the chickens.  They were large brown speckled eggs and so tasty.  Wish I would have had the forethought to take a picture.  But I’m not that good in the morning!  Here’s our first outing at Kona for a whale watching tour.  We saw a female and baby whale who put on a show for us.

Our 2nd day on the west side we spent the day at Anaeho’omalu Beach.  The water was so turquoise green and blue but even though the pictures are pretty they still don’t reflect the vivid colors.  Through my polarized sunglasses I could see such a distinction in the colors.  Would have loved to have a camera with a polarized lens.

Sea Turtle poking his head out of the water.

These two guys sat in the sun near where I was sitting.

This little guy was so cute.

Our last day on Hawaii we drove north along the west side to the Kohala Coast.  Here we stopped at a state park and sat on a bench.  In just a few minutes we saw whales spouting.  It was a sight to see.

I loved this tree, picture perfect!

And then the clouds covered it, but still a pretty picture.

Going to Kauai, hope to have pictures up soon.  For now, Aloha!