Along with all of the really purposeful things that we did in Hawaii, we also, of course, did a lot of sightseeing of the "this looks interesting--let's go look at it!" nature.
When on the Big Island, you HAVE to go to Ka Lae. It's the southernmost point of the United States (but NOT the southernmost point of the US territories--that distinction belongs to American Samoa), and it's also theorized that this is the original landfall of the Polynesian settlers.
Hard to believe, as there's a fifty-foot cliff here:
|Fifty feet straight down! Matt is about fifty feet behind us, having a heart attack. His mother is possibly shouting.|
Fortunately, when we got to Ka Lae, there was a big sign stating that diving off of the cliff isn't allowed.
In addition, the ladder was a rickety, rusty old thing, and I spent quite a lot of time explaining to Will what would happen if it broke while one of the divers was climbing up and they fell back into the water, with no way to get back up the cliff, left simply to tread water until rescuers could arrive. I even had a plan for this; we had an inner tube in the car, so I figured I'd toss it to the diver so that he'd have something to rest on.
Because yes, there were nevertheless divers! While not as good as risking one's own life, I'm sure, it was quite the vicarious thrill to watch a couple of guys dive off the cliff a few times. It reminded me of a conversation that Syd had with a Park Ranger at Pu'uhonua O Honaunau. They were discussing the park's rules, including the one that forbids climbing on any of the walls.
The park ranger said, "Can you believe that we catch some people climbing on the walls anyway?"
Syd gasped with horror. The park ranger continued, "But they're never Junior Rangers that we catch. They are ALWAYS grown men."
Will theorized that it was because of testosterone poisoning, and we all laughed. And so, not suffering from testosterone poisoning ourselves, we left the illegal, dangerous stunts to the grown men and simply enjoyed the view:
|You're looking due south to Antarctica.|
When on a coffee farm, you MUST taste the coffee--
--even if you're very, very, VERY silly and you therefore don't like it:
It's even better, though, if you do:
Greenwell Farms gave us a wonderful tour of their coffee farm--
|Random photo of a banana tree!|
--but for the kids, the highlight of the tour took place before it even began, when an employee took them around the side of the building and showed them a pair of the resident chameleons:
On another day, we drove north past Waimea--
--then down the Saddle Road to Mauna Kea. I'd been heartbroken early in our vacation to have my tour to the observatory canceled because of poor weather at the summit. I bet they canceled their tour on this day, as well!
It was very nice, then, that the rest of the family braved the windy mountain road just to let me have a little visit:
I was interested to see that the Thirty-Meter Telescope protesters WERE still in residence, although while we were there, they were simply enjoying a lovely potluck together.
Okay, NOW I've shown you every single thing that we've done on the Big Island.
Don't be! Next I'll show you all the stuff that we did in Oahu!