Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Day

After our second full day on Hawaii we were ready for one of our longest days in the car. We drove down to Hawaii's National Volcano Park. It is quite a drive so we left fairly early on the Sunday. We had a few stops to make on the way there so that broke it up but we still got back around dark. One of my favorite things from the whole trip was stopping off at PUNALU'U Bake Shop. We got there before it opened and so we wandered their gorgeous gardens there while smelling their Hawaiian sweet bread baking. Heavenly. Then when they opened we bought some breakfast and sat around eating while we took turns browsing their gift store. It was such a pleasant time I really didn't want to leave. But I corralled the group and off we went.
We continued on to the black sand beach about 5 minutes away. We didn't spend much time here but it was a nice break and the black sand was interesting to feel.
We finally made it to the Park but decided to eat lunch after our short time through the Kilauea Visitor Center. We found a fun place to eat that even served poppy seed bread while we waited to order. The food was good and the building was charming.
Back to the Park we went. First we drove to the Thurston Lava Tube which was a very short hike. I thought it was cool to walk through a lava tube but the kids rushed through and I am not sure they cared much. Good to get their legs moving though.
Then we continued our long drive on the Chain of Crates Road to the Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs. We did make one small stop off where the men and kids just walked the lava rock. The kids really enjoyed this and when they got back we cut open our first pineapple of the trip. It was sweet and tasty. The lady at the Visitor Center had said the kids would be interested in the petroglyphs trail but boy was she wrong. It was intensily hot and even though it said it was a 1.4 round trip hike it felt like MORE. The petroglyphs themselves were intriguing but I am not sure that on this day they were worth it. We made one more short stop and then we started the 2.5 hour drive back to our resort. We did stop off at our shave ice place for another yummy treat. Then home to bed. So today was one of those days that the kids just did not care for. I do not regret going. You have to go to the Volcano National Park if you are on this island but the kids won't have fond memories. I am really glad that this was a day we had friends with us. This was the only thing that kept them from complaining too much. Don't get me wrong we did hear complaining but I cannot imagine how much worse it would have been if they hadn't had friends to run around with.

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