It's been a while since I posted. OK, more than a while. First, I decided to take a break this summer after our whirlwind Around The World tour and other trips last spring. Second, the technology gods struck. Big time. So after several fits and starts, including having to repost this blog to reconnect all the "bits and bobs" (my apologies), I'm back on track. Or at least let's hope. August was another crazy month of travel. A trip to Florida (did I say it was August?) to see my nephew graduate from college, up to Tahoe for a weekend gathering, and finally a great week on the island of Hawai'i, aka the "The Big Island", for a dear friend's big birthday. Aloha!

Volcanoes National Park

We kicked off the week with a wild and crazy boat ride out to (hopefully) see flowing lava in Volcanoes National Park. But you'd better have worn water resistant clothing, taken an extra dose of Dramamine, and brought a pad for your seat. Otherwise, you'd have had more than just photos as memories the next day.

We were lucky, very lucky, as the lava was flowing. I gripped my camera and frantically shot bursts of images as we slid around on the bench seats, boat rocking and lurching in the waves. To add to the craziness, the captain then began to spin the boat to allow both sides a direct view of the streaming/steaming lava. I tried valiantly not to hit Steve with the camera. Let's just say I was mostly successful. And I was delighted how these shots came out!

The birthday girl decided to run a half marathon in honor of her big birthday and her husband, daughter, and my husband, Steve, joined her for various parts of the run. Her husband ran the half marathon with her, and her daughter and Steve, ran 5K or 10Ks.

After the run, we visited the Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. And yep, the sand is really really black.

Then onto Volcanoes National Park, home to two active volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kīlauea. We took a quick drive by the Kilauea'iki crater at night. Very cool...or make that very hot!

Green Sand Beach

(Spoiler - it's not really green)

Then came the schlep, the trek, the "can I do it/did I really sign up for this?" part of the trip. Steve and I always say that it's a good trip or a good story. This one's a good story.

All nine of us decided to visit the Green Sand Beach (Papakōlea) on our transition from Volcana to Kona, one of only four green sand beaches in the world and near Ka Lae, the southern most point of the US. Even though it was a 4 mile trek each way, I was delighted at the thought of getting images of a bright green beach. After hiking in blowing sand (deadly for cameras) much further than I'd anticipated, we were the last of our group to arrive. We found a lovely beach. Green, no. Olive, yes. Worth the effort? No. But I can at least say I've been there.

"A" Beach, Anaeho'omalu Bay

We ended the trip with a vist to Anaeho'omalu Bay, known as "A" Beach. Given the name, I get it!  What a stunning location.

Turtles Everywhere

The turtles were feeding very near the shore, so I stood in shallows and with help from a couple of assistants, several hundreds of shots later we were finally able to catch this guy with his head out of the water.