Day #277 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…What a difference a day makes!…16 days and counting…

The intensity of the glow changed as the magma at the crater burst into many explosions.

Today’s photos were from this date in 2014 when we visited erupting Mount Kilauea with our kids and grandkids during their visit to join us on the Big Island, Hawaii, for the holidays. They were all so busy running around taking their photos, we never got a photo of all of us together that night, although we wish we had. For the story, please click here.

Last night, after a good night’s sleep, I felt much better, more upbeat, and positive. I certainly was feeling frustrated yesterday, especially while preparing the post, thinking of all of the mishaps on Christmas Day as described in detail here. I don’t believe I’ve ever whinged quite much in a position as I did in that post, not even on some of our most challenging days.

The trees impeded a portion of our views but ultimately gave us a better perspective of the glow.

Oddly, getting it “off my chest” here provided me with a modicum of relief that has followed me well into today, and I am fine once again, hopeful, optimistic, and my usual chipper self. It didn’t hurt to read that South Africa stated that the new supposed more lethal variance of Covid-19 is not an issue at this point.

It’s incredible how our emotions are impacted by poor sleep. We’ve particularly noticed this on long travel days when we may be flying in the middle of the night, resulting in a layover for several hours to board another long flight. Many of those travel days often resulted in 24 hours or more with little to no sleep.

The glow was in its full glory. What a sight to behold!

Neither of us can sleep sitting up on a flight, although we may be able to doze off in short spurts for an hour or two. In our youth, staying up all night wasn’t as tricky. A short nap the next day would put us back on track. But, as we’ve aged, we find those up-all-night scenarios have a significant impact on how we feel until, again, we can sleep through the night.

The most challenging lack of sleep experience we’ve had in our travels was on December 1, 2013 (see the post here), when we flew from Mombasa, Kenya to Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger with one nightmarish situation after another. By the time we arrived in Marloth Park, we’d been traveling for over 30 hours.

The crowd roared with excitement as it exploded.

The level of exhaustion at the end of that trip was beyond anything either of us had ever experienced. But, arriving in Marloth Park after the hour-long ride from the airport to discover a plethora of wildlife wandering the bush and the dirt roads sent us into such a state of ecstasy, we forgot all about being tired.

I don’t expect our enthusiasm to be much different now. However, it may even be exacerbated by the fact that we were finally able to leave this confinement in Mumbai, India, after almost ten months, to be back in our “happy place.”

Preferring not to use any flash to avoid disturbing others, Tom was a little muted in this photo. 

Our scheduled flight with Emirates Airlines on January 12th from Mumbai to Johannesburg is still booked today. We’ll continue to watch each day for any potential changes. If there were to be any changes, we’re hoping to know before we head to the airport in the middle of the night. We’ll surely be keeping an eye out, several times a day, over the next 16 days.

We’re excited to share today’s repeated photos from our visit to the lava-flowing Mount Kilauea while our kids and grandkids visited us in Hawaii in 2014. What a fantastic experience for all of us! How many adults and kids have an opportunity in their entire lifetime to see lava flowing? It was an adventure.

Shortly before the sun went down, we were separated from the family and unable to get a group photo as we’d hoped. Instead, Tom took this of me and the telescope. 

As we reviewed past experiences in these months of repeated photos, we realized how extensive our travels have been and the myriad of past adventures we’ve had along the way. If by no fault of our own, we had to end this journey due to Covid-19 limitations, we comfort ourselves in the knowledge that we’ve been blessed to see more than we ever dreamed possible in a lifetime.

As Tom always says, “We are humbled and blessed.” So true. So very true.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, December 27, 2019:

This photo was posted on this date in 2014 and again, one year ago today, when our family visited Mount Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii. This was my favorite shot of the evening with the backdrop of the glow of the lava. For more, please click here.

Mount Kilauea….Remembering our Big Island experience in 2014-2015 when we saw lava for the first time…

This was my favorite shot of the evening we spent in Kilauea National Park with the backdrop of the glow from Mount Kilauea. For more details from our post, please click here

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

A baby kudu found comfort standing at the base of this tree when there was lots of action in our yard.
Throughout the world, the news is continually tracking the progression of the eruption and subsequent earthquakes of Mount Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii. We are paying particular attention to the details as they continue to unfold.
These trees provided a backdrop perfect for taking photos.

It was Christmas, 2014 when we rented two houses next door to one another while our family came to visit for the holiday. They began arriving in early December and the last didn’t depart until early January 2015.

Many months prior to our arrival in Pahoa on the Big Island we’d begun worrying that our planned family holiday would be challenging if we had to select a different location with space for the 14 of us, of there was an evacuation of Pahoa.

Smoke rising from the lava flowing in Pahoa, where we lived for six weeks in 2014/2015. We were concerned we’d have to evacuate. Click here for this post.

It was Christmas in Hawaii, one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world.  There are too many posts we uploaded at that time to fully describe the story of our time in Pahoa and the interesting and unusual aspect of living in an area with the prospect of flowing lava reaching the holiday homes.

Numerous power poles located in the path of the lava flow had been covered in fire-retardant materials to prevent the flow from destroying the power to the area.  For this post, please click here.

 The first post in the succession began on December 2, 2014, when we’d arrived on December 1st and ended on January 14, 2015, as indicated here. Here’s a photo below of the backyard facing the Pacific Ocean from the backyard of one of the two houses we rented, located next door to one another, each with an astounding view.

The next-door neighbor’s chair gives a good perspective of the massive size of these waves in front of the two houses we rented on the Big Island from this post.

As concerned as we were about the situation we were bound and determined to have as good a time as we could with the family and, if we had to evacuate, we’d figure out a solution.

The swirls in the moving lava were interesting to see firsthand.  For more, please click here.

Shortly before Christmas, the nearby shopping center where we purchased groceries, supplies, and gas, was closed due to fears that the lava was headed that way. It was an unusual experience to be shopping at the market with huge discounts the day before the store was closing supposedly for good, with the lava.

During this period, we discovered that many homeowners in the area had already packed and left their homes, fearful of the arriving lava flow.  They moved out all of their belongings and waited, living in other areas as to what would transpire.  What a hardship for all of them!

To see the red-hot lava between these lava rocks only required a bit of zoom. We couldn’t believe we were with our family and all of us were able to see lava flowing for the first time in our lives. For this post, please click here.

Now, as the residents of Leilani Estates struggle with this same reality they’re more certain their homes are at risk of being taken out by the massive lava flows and/or damaged severely by earthquakes. The fate of the area is uncertain over the long haul. 

Signs such as this were posted everywhere. Click here for the post.

In any case, we enjoyed our time in Pahoa and now we pray for the safety and recovery of those who’ve lost so much in the wake of this violent mountain’s continuing eruptions and earthquakes.

This is a photo I took of a photo of when the lava crossed Apa’a Street on October 25th.
See this link for the news report.

If you’d like to read more on this, please click this link. To watch any one of numerous live feeds of the volcano, please click here.

A barn or garage that survived the lava flow as it crawled down the road.  For this post, please click here.

 Tomorrow, we’ll share photos of our fabulous day at Frikkie’s Dam in Lionspruit wildlife area with Louise and Danie’s friends, meeting new people while sharing stories of wildlife and world travel. Although each of the braai’s participants has diverse and interesting backgrounds, we all shared a common interest in our love of the beauty and magic of Marloth Park.

See you soon!  Have a great day!

Photo from one year ago today, May 7, 2017:

Captain Rick Sullivan chatted with us in Dizzy’s Jazz Bar aboard Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas as we made our way toward North America. He invited us to a special function enabling us to do a story. His warm demeanor and superb sense of humor have made sailing aboard this ship a sheer delight. For more photos, please click here.

Two family members remain…A visit to a resort with animals…A year ago…80 what in the yard???

This charming sheep posed for this photo without hesitation, obviously comfortable around people.

As time winds down for the extra days that daughter-in-law Camille and granddaughter Madighan are staying in the islands, we’re enjoying our remaining time together. They return to Minnesota on Friday.

The resident turtle at the resort.

With Madighan’s crazy rash under control since they relocated, we’re certain that something in the house or on the grounds may have caused the reaction. Now completely well, she’s able to spend a little time here with us with no consequences.

These chickens came running toward us with enthusiasm.

Yesterday, I visited them at their new place, a cozy resort no more than 15 minutes from our house, yet still considered to be in the Puna district, located in the city of Pahoa.

Camille and Madighan had a chance to pet one of the chickens. 

Seeing Madighan giggle over the chickens, sheep and giant turtle at the resort was a joy as shown in these photos. Ah, come on, it thrilled me as well.  I was desperately needing a little “animal fix” which I grasped when seeing these farm animals up close and personal.

A beam of light streaked across the sky from the lens of my camera.

We ended the day back at our house for dinner as we make every effort to use the frozen and fresh food we have left. Last night it was coconut chicken, oven-baked fries (none for me), roasted veggies, and salad. 

This freaky beam of light appears to be lightning was only a result of my playing with various settings on the came as I attempt to learn to get good moon shots.

Tonight, it will be burgers and marinated chicken tenders on the grill, more roasted veggies, tin foil wrapped grilled potatoes (with onions, butter, and bacon on non-stick foil on the dull side), and more salad.

Clouds gathering in front of our view of the moon.

Watching the weather today will determine what activities the day holds. If the weather is cloudy, we may decide to go to Mount Kilauea or if sunny, hang out at the pool at Camille and Madighan’s resort. With the unpredictable weather in the islands, it can change on a dime, making a fast turnaround in a day’s plans.

We were in awe of the reddish tints surrounding our view of the moon last night.

Last night’s full moon brought us outdoors to take a few photos which we share with you today. It was odd to see the new renters that have moved in yesterday our “old” house next door. Looking at them, I felt a pang of “what are you doing in my yard?” 

On our way to the resort traveling on the 20 MPH Railroad Road which opened in the event the lava crossing Highway 130, we spotted this sign.

The feeling quickly dissipated when the moon caught our attention and we were once again, swept away in a romantic moment of the wonder of our world.

Pool or volcano or what? Tomorrow, we’ll share the details.

Have a marvelous Monday!

                                             Photo from one year ago today, January 5, 2014:

Eighty impalas visited us in the yard in Marloth Park, one year ago today. If we so much as moved, they’d all run off. Sitting at the table on the veranda, I remained motionless taking the photos and videos as shown at our link. Please click here.

A nighttime visit to Mount Kilauea…Astounding!

This was my favorite shot of the evening with the backdrop of the glow from Mount Kilauea.

Yesterday, at 5:15 pm we all piled into our vehicles and heading up the mountain to see the volcano at Mount Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii. As the crow flies, it may have been a 20-minute drive. However, based on the roads that have been closed due to the crossing of lava, it took us nearly an hour.

Preferring not to use any flash to avoid disturbing others, Tom is a little muted here. 

Here is a link to live webcams from Mount Kilauea.

Shortly before the sun went down, we were separated from the family and unable to get a group photo as we’d hoped. Instead, Tom took this of me and the telescope. Oh, well.

It is this very volcano from which the lava has been flowing toward Pahoa that attributed to our concern these past months and the evacuation of the Pahoa Marketplace.

As darkness fell, we had a better view of the glow.

Seeing firsthand the source of that flow was indescribable, to say the least. The pleasant drive to an elevation of only a little over 4000 feet caused some ear-popping but wasn’t felt by the nature of the smooth and easy to navigate roads.

The crowd roared with excitement as it became more visible.

We’d expected to find only a handful of visitors to Volcanoes National Park and were surprised to find the parking lot jammed with vehicles and anxious tourists. 

Then, the glow was in its full glory.  What a sight to behold!

Darkness fell within minutes of our arrival. However, while there was still a little bit of light we were able to get a good perspective of the vastness of the park and the volcano. 

At one point, these trees provided a backdrop and I attempted to take advantage of that fact.
The intensity of the glow changed as the magma at the crater burst into many explosions.

Moments later, it was pitch black with the only light from the hundreds of cameras held over the heads of the excited visitors attempting to get a peek and a photo.

The trees impeding a portion of our views ultimately gave us a better perspective of the glow.

Of course, a determined amateur photographer that I am, I diplomatically maneuvered my way to prefect spots aided by my equally determined husband Tom. We weren’t getting out of there without some great shots.

Inside the visitor’s center, we took the time to appreciate local artwork. Here is a rendition of Madame Pele, the fire goddess.

Experiencing this once in a lifetime adventure as a family was rewarding and fulfilling. Our grandchildren loved it and were fearless and in awe as were all of the adults.

Perhaps, how it may have been for seafarers seeing the Hawaiian Islands for the first time, as the molten lava flowed to the sea, creating new land.

So, dear readers, we share these photos with all of you, with considerable enthusiasm and joy knowing we have this arena on the web to bring all of us together in however a small way, as our travels continue on.

Its Saturday! May sunshine and smiles brighten our day.

                                          Photo from one year ago today, December 27, 2013

Nothing like stopping for the crosswalk in Marloth Park, one year ago today. For details of that day’s post, please click here.

Together, three generations of haircuts at Supercuts on their last day before closing due to the lava, soon to arrive at the Pahoa Marketplace..Hysterical one year ago photo below!

At first, only Tom was going to get a haircut as he entered the Supercuts salon on their last days before evacuating due to the lava.

We all knew that the lava flow was expected to take out the Pahoa Marketplace by Christmas and that the shopping center was due to close. Together, we decided to visit a few of the vendors in the U-shaped strip mall before they closed permanently within 24 hours. 

Here is a link to the news story.

Tom’s hair had grown quite bushy over the past several weeks.  He refuses to use products to help tame his hair.  A little gel would go a long way.

Tom needed a haircut as well as TJ and Jayden. Why not, three generations of haircuts on Supercut’s last day? 

As we entered the busy shop, the smiles on the faces of the staff were astounding. Here’s they were, forced to relocate from a location where they earned their income, knew their customers and it felt like home. Luckily, they are finding a new home for their business in Hilo and Keaau.

Tom is at the far left.  TJ is in the middle and Jayden is on the far right after they decided they also needed haircuts. Three generations of Lymans having their haircuts simultaneously. Too cute!

As it turned out, all three of our boys were able to have their haircuts simultaneously, and thus, here are my photos of the process in action. What a sweet moment it was – three generations of Lyman boys getting a haircut in Hawaii as the lava is heading this way!  Memorable!!!

Later, we visited the Mamala Market, crowded with customers buying out their entire inventory at 50% off.  Unfortunately, we were several hours too late to really take advantage of the sales. All the meat, dairy, and produce were long gone.

Jayden was unsure of how he wanted his hair cut.  At 9, the possibilities are many.

However, as TJ and Sarah wheeled a cart of their own, loading up on snacks and beverages, I fast and furiously maneuvered through the crowds, trying to find items that would serve us well with the two houses filled with four families over the next many days.

Making food purchases at 50% off the already high prices was rewarding, to say the least. But, in all, I only spent $124.45 for a total of $248.90 worth of pricey products.

TJ sat quietly while his stylist snipped away.

I’d brought the camera in the store with me hoping to make a video of the numbers of people in the store and the fast emptying shelves. No more than 60 seconds in the store I spotted several signs stating “No photos or videos allowed” which was shortly also announced over the loudspeakers.

Always respectful of such warnings, I ran the camera back to the car to keep my hands free for shopping. With the carts jammed into the aisles and with the number of shoppers, I needed every limb free to maneuver through the crowds.

Tom went for his now usual buzz cut which seems to serve him well for a few months.

Even with the crowds, it wasn’t a bad experience. The other shoppers and staff were friendly, laughing and chatting, many potentially losing their homes, their livelihood, that which they’ve known and loved. The Hawaiian people are rare indeed.

Now for the rundown of the next few days as the remainder of our family begins to arrive; Tammy, Tracy, and Vincent on Sunday; Camille, Greg, Maisie, Miles, and Madighan on Monday. Tomorrow, Tom and I will pack all of our belongings and foodstuffs and move them to the house next door.

Done, done, and done.

Once packed, we’ll clean the master bedroom and bath, wash and change the bedding and towels, and totally clear out, only to return on January 3rd, two weeks later when the rental ends on the second house next door and family have begun to depart.

At noon tomorrow, the property manager will meet us at the second house to let us in and provide instructions.  Then, we’ll begin the process of transferring our stuff, putting everything away, and creating as much order as possible.

Jayden had a hard time explaining this type of cut.  Finally, the stylist figured it out. He was happy.

The next day Sunday, TJ, Sarah, and the boys will move in with us, moving all of their stuff over. This will leave each of our two families with one night alone in each of the two houses. 

With the cupboards and refrigerator emptied of our food, on Sunday morning, Tom and I will head to Hilo to grocery shop for all of us. My list is almost completed in the app on my phone. 

All the shops were being evacuated in the U-shaped shopping mall.

Since he tends to be “overly grumpy” at the grocery store and I am always “overly bubbly,’ he’ll wait in the car reading a book on his phone until a prearranged time when he’ll come inside, take my cart of non-perishables, and check out, handing me another cart.  I’ll finish shopping for perishable products. He’ll load the non-perishables into the minivan and wait for a second designated period, coming back inside to help to check out the perishables to also load them into the minivan.  Easy. 

When we return, we’ll unload everything into the first house, while I neatly arrange it all in the refrigerator, freezer, and cupboards for the yet to arrive two families. (At one point after shopping, Tom and TJ will have hauled the newly purchased items for the six of us over to the second house which I’ll arrange and organize as well).

The boys checked out the hardware store but they’d yet to offer discounts on merchandise.

TJ and Sarah have graciously agreed to clean the first house, the second floor with two bedrooms and a bath, which they’ve used exclusively, and the first floor we’ve all used; the two rooms, living room, and kitchen. 

With everyone’s tasks assigned, by Sunday night when Tammy, Tracy, and Vincent arrive, we’ll be organized and I’ll have made a fun dinner of “pulled pork” and side dishes. Somehow, as soon as we return from the grocery store, I’ll need to take time to cook the meat in the oven to ensure we have moist, tender meat for dinner, salad, and veggies.

And here it was, the Mamala grocery store with nary an available parking spot, selling everything at 50% off. By the time we arrived, we were too late, the same scenario we’d experienced at Longs Drug on the previous day.

Why not grocery shop on Saturday and have it out of the way? We may, after all, if time allows, do so on Saturday and be done with it which I’d prefer.


Tom used his last $5 off coupon derived from shopping at Mamala to top off the tank.  The next day, the tanks were emptied and the gas station was closed permanently.

The holiday season for all of us can present a myriad of tasks and responsibilities far beyond our usual daily lives. So, is the case for us on this special holiday, spending time with our family being of the utmost concern.  Regardless of the amount of preparation, we long to be together and do each task with love and happiness in our hearts.

Have a fantastic Friday filled with frivolity!

                                           Photo from one year ago today, December 19, 2013:

We took this photo one year ago today with mom warthog’s chin resting on another baby warthogs while babies are nursing. We couldn’t stop laughing over this one and can’t stop smiling now as we see this again. For details of this date, please click here.

Up close and personal…We saw the lava!…Local stores clearing out and closing for the upcoming arrival of the lava…Link to Tom’s Irish Cream recipe…

There’s no part 2 from yesterday’s story. We had “bigger fish to fry” today regarding the lava

This is a photo I took of a photo of when the lava crossed Apa’a Street on October 25th. See this link for the news report.
Smoke rising from the lava.

It’s hard to believe that we are in Pahoa, Hawai’i as the lava approached on its mission to reach to the sea.  Here we sit at its final destination, expecting it to arrive in our area between February and March or sooner if another eruption sends a faster flow of lava.

Signs such as this are posted everywhere.
Apa’a Street was closed for months, other than for local traffic up until yesterday morning. It’s now open all the way to the Pahoa Transfer Station, where a viewing station had been set up for the public. The lava had crossed the road as shown in our other photos here today. Previously, this road had to be secured by National Guards, preventing anyone other than homeowners from approaching. It is down this road that a house was taken out weeks ago.

Yesterday, Sarah and I headed to the Longs Drug Store, quasi mini Target, that has everything imaginable, only to discover there was nowhere to park. What was going on with dozens of cars touring the huge parking lot for a spot?

To see the red hot lava between these lava rocks only required a bit of zoom.

We had no choice but to park in the Burger King parking lot where we noticed others doing the same, walking the distance to Longs. As it turned out, the entire store was on sale, much for 90% off. 

With the viewing area opened yesterday morning and without the announcement yet on the local news, the visitors were at a minimum to the lava viewing area.  We can only imagine the crowds over the next few weeks as visitors fly into Hawai’i for the sole purpose of lava viewing. We are grateful we had the opportunity to see it before the arrival of the huge crowds. The blue tent is a security area set up by police and National Guard.

We were too late. All the goodies were in carts of anxious shoppers in lines 20 people deep with regular-sized shopping carts overflowing with nary a one for our use, while we meandered about the store, filling our arms with food and supplies we could use while our family is here over the holidays.

Sarah and Jayden walking in front of us on the long walk down Apa’a Street toward the lava viewing area at the Pahoa Transfer Station.
A portion of the viewing area at the Pahoa Transfer Station where experts and guards were on hand to answer questions and show various photos.

Of course, the reason Longs Drugs was selling out their merchandise was clear. The lava is coming. Although, the drug store is a few blocks from the Pahoa Marketplace that was also evacuating (more on that shortly), apparently the drug store is closing as well to make way for the fast-approaching lava, only days away.

A secured main power pole built up to prevent the lava from taking out the electric power for the area which could impact all of us.
Information as to how to protect the power poles from the lava flow.

Sarah and I spent no less than 90 minutes waiting in line. Fortunately, the upside was that we had the amazing opportunity to speak to locals, one couple who didn’t have to evacuate and another whose house is across the road from us here, who moved out in the past month, in preparation for the lava’s eventual arrival in this neighborhood.

Some vegetation survived along the edges of the lava flow.

The kindly gentleman, my age, retired, explained he found a place to live in a safer area and had decided to pack up everything he owned and leave his house for safety. 

A barn or garage that survived the lava flow as it crawled down the road.

He explained that most insurance companies have canceled homeowner’s policies over the past few years, leaving him and thousands of others, uninsured. He’ll get nothing for his home when it burns to the ground as the lava envelopes it in days to come. 

The swirls in the lava are interesting to see firsthand.

It was heartbreaking to hear his story, as we’ve heard others over our past almost three weeks in this forsaken area; loss of homes, job, and security. Very sad. But, the amazing attitude of these people is a treasure to behold as this kindly gentleman wanted to hear more of our story than tell his. “You are doing what?” he asked when I continued to ask him to elaborate on how he made the decision to move out sooner rather than later.

Parts of this lava that had crossed Apa’a Street in October were still hot and flowing.

When he was gone, we spoke to a lovely woman and her husband who shared their cart with us, Mee Ling and John who have lived in the islands for decades, have 10 grown children, seven of which still live with them  To earn a living, Mee Ling is referred to as “The Jamming Lady,” making exquisite homemade jellies and jams using local produce, phone 808-965-9119 and John, owns a company, Hawaii’s House of Gold who sells and distribute health products.

Peeking into this spot I saw red hot lava as shown in the above photo.

As they showed us their bargains, they offered to give us several items in their cart they’d found before we’d arrived. Of course, we refused their kind offer. They needed every item for their big family as well. While Sarah held our place in line with Mee Ling, John showed me where to find many items including pretty Christmas paper plates and napkins at $.14 a package. I grabbed all that remained.

Jayden, in front of the lava.  In years to come, he’ll look back to this experience with wonder.

We hugged goodbye when they were checked out and ready to go. Who gets to hug people in a drugstore that we just met? How lucky can I get? The 90 minutes of waiting proved to be enjoyable especially when Mee Ling and John told us the Pahoa Transfer Station had opened that morning for lava viewing.

Tom, Nik, TJ, Sarah, and Jayden in front of a lava area.

No sooner did we load our stuff into the car, Sarah and I headed back to the house to unload, get the rest of the family, and head back to the Pahoa Transfer Station cameras in hand to take photos.

Tom, his new haircut, and me, in front of the fenced-off lava area.

Today, we share these photos with many more to come over the next several weeks. We’ll make every effort to get photos of the lava after it envelopes the shops of Pahoa, the gas station, and the grocery store.

More tomorrow on the last days of the Malama Grocery store in the Pahoa Marketplace, when we spent two hours shopping yesterday afternoon engaging in their 50% off sale of groceries. Unbelievable. Long lines.  Friendly people.

This beautiful orchid was growing only feet from the lava flow.

Wow!  What a great experience for our family! They will always remember their time in Hawai’i as the lava flow from Mount Kilauea came our way. 

We began the long trek back to our car, parked at quite a distance.

Back with more tomorrow. May your Thursday be a day of accomplishment and pleasure.  We’re striving for that!
                                           Photo from one year ago today, December 18, 2013:

It was one year ago today, that we posted Tom’s Irish Cream recipe which is at the end of the post.  Please click here for the recipe at the bottom of the page.

Pahoa Marketplace, where we shop…Lava coming soon…News reports here…Kapoho Tide Pools…

TJ checking out the rocky terrain at the Kapolo Tide Pools.

At least every third day we go to the Pahoa Marketplace, a handy strip-type mall a short 10-minute drive from our home. There’s a video at this link below explaining how close it actually is to take out the grocery store and gas station we currently use when shopping for groceries to fill in our supply from Safeway in Hilo.

As we drove to the Kapolo Tide Pools, we passed this National Guard vehicle. The guards were close to the shore enjoying a view of the ocean, most likely during a lunch break.
The road we traveled to the tide pools, one we had traveled earlier. We continued to be in awe of the beauty.

Hopefully, by Wednesday, (tomorrow) a viewing area will be opened for the public to see the lava at the Pahoa Transfer Station. Of course, we’ll quickly be on our way to see the lava as soon as the area is open. 

Another beautiful section of the narrow road.

We often drive by the National Guard tents where they are securing the lava area, wondering when we’ll have an opportunity to see this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle. We can hardly wait.

Our family members found a level spot easier for getting in and out of the tide pools. 

As for the six of us, yesterday we visited the Kapoho Tide Pools at long last. Speaking of spectacles, this spot is ideal for the avid snorkeler. Walking across the large lava rocks is quite a challenge. To avoid turning an ankle I only went so far when I found a flat surface on which I could take photos which we’ve included today.

The tide pools were filled with interesting fish, an ideal spot for the snorkeler.

For the swimmer or very young children, the treacherous walk wouldn’t make it the right spot for them. 

A huge tree trunk had landed on the lava rock, most likely during a storm or hurricane.
There are a countless number of tide pools.

I’m sure as the remainder of the family arrives, we’ll visit these tide pools and the other tide pool at Ahalanui Park that we visited last week where there’s an easier to access single large tide pool with warm water in a more park-like setting.

Amazingly, vegetation grows out of the lava rock.
The tide pools weren’t packed with visitors.  For one reason, it isn’t easy to find; for another, the lava covered long walk from the road isn’t for everyone.  Also, it’s a long walk from the parking area to the tide pools.

Unfortunately, the road to the Hawai’i Volcano National Park is closed at this time due to the lava. Ironic, isn’t it? That which attracts many visitors to this island is inaccessible at this time. 

Every direction we turned, there was a grouping of tide pools.

Then again, it’s all a part of Madam Pele’s, the goddess of volcanoes, the bigger plan, none of which we or any scientists are certain at this point. I suppose it’s the mystery of it all that adds to the excitement.

More vegetation growing from the lava.
More huge lava formations.

Our plan today is a trip to Hilo, a last trip to the Pahoa Marketplace to take photos while it’s still standing, and perhaps a visit to a museum. It’s all dependent upon the weather. If the sun comes out, which currently it’s not, we’ll do outdoor activities. If it’s cloudy, we’re off to Hilo for the museum and dinner out.

All of the dozen or so houses near the tide pools, were on stilts such as this, necessary to protect them from hurricanes and unusually high tides.
At the far upper left in this photo is the lanai of a house, jutting high above the pools. It’s difficult for homeowners in the area. They are constantly dealing with cars and tourists traipsing across their property. We parked in the designated parking lot, making the long walk.  We hope others do the same.

May your Tuesday be pleasing and full of wonderful surprises.

                                           Photo from one year ago today, December 16, 2013:

We laughed when we zoomed in on the back legs of a warthog. These look like women’s high heeled boots at first glance.For more on warthogs, please click here.

Yesterday, we got close to the lava flow with photos of the smoke!…An accidental scenic road trip with photos tomorrow…

Looking closely in this photo, there are two National Guards with rifles manning the access to the lava flow, preventing curiosity seekers from nearing the flow. As we slowed to take this photo, they waved at us to get moving along.

Yesterday morning, we headed to the Pahoa Community Pool to check it out for our family’s arrival. We’d heard it was a huge, clean, and lifeguarded pool available to residents at no charge. 

As is the case around the Hawaiian Islands not all streets are marked. Although we had good directions on my phone, there were of little use when there are no road signs. Somehow, we managed to find the community pool. 

Further down this road, which is Apaa St., the road is closed after the lava had crossed the road weeks ago. Click this link for details and photos.

However, during our bit of wandering around the area, we saw the road that was closed off for the lava flow and the National Guards maintaining watch to avoid curiosity seekers from entering the dangerous area. Much to our delight we were able to take these photos included today of the area that we found most interesting including the smoke in the sky from the lava, once we arrived at the Pahoa Community Center to check out the pool.

Inset of a civil defense map posted on Dec. 4. The yellow dot is the location of the distal tip of the active flow front.
Yesterday, we were at the Pahoa Community Center as shown on this map. We were able to see the smoke in the sky from the flow. In the next few days the city plans to allow visitors to see the lava from the Pahoa Transfer Station also shown on this map.

We copied the above map this morning of the ongoing progress of the lava flow. Here’s a link to more information from the Hawaii County Civil Defense.

After checking out the pool (we weren’t allowed to take photos to protect the privacy of the few swimmers in the pool), we began the drive to Hilo to the Safeway store to buy groceries for our four family members arriving tomorrow. 

Numerous power poles located in the path of the lava flow have been covered in fire retardant materials to prevent the flow from destroying the power to the area which has worked.

Along the way, Tom spotted what looked like an interesting road which proved to be one of the most scenic roads on Big Island, the Red Road, Route 137. Go figure, how we ended up on that road. We couldn’t stop oohing and aahing along the way, stopping frequently to take photos which we’ll post tomorrow.

Here’s a link to the Red Road scenic drive.

The house in the background could easily fall prey to the lava should it continue on this path.

After the amazing drive we found our way to Hilo without a map considering that its almost hard to get lost if one follows the coastline on an island. Of course, we always have our personal navigator on board, Tom Lyman, Mr. Sense of Direction, who hardly ever disappoints.

The Pahoa Community Pool.  No photos were allowed inside so we shot this exterior photo.  The pool is huge and will provide hours of fun for our family.

The grocery store was a two hour, two cart, confusing ordeal. Buying foods others eat so different from our usual purchases, plus buying food for us, was quite a challenge. But I stayed “over bubbly” and much to my delight Tom wasn’t his usual “overly grumpy” while in a grocery store. He did well, stayed cheerful and we actually had a good time.

Behind this downed area of vegetation, lays the lava flow.  Soon, we hope to see the actual flow when an area is opened to the public at the Pahoa Transfer Station.

He brought everything inside when we returned “home” and I insisted on putting everything away. It didn’t appear there would be room for it all but, I managed to make space for everything in the small pantry and average sized refrigerator.

The smoke in the air from the lava flow.  We could smell it as we stood in the parking lot of the Community Center.

Once Tom and I move over to the house next door, we’ll be moving over the foods we usually eat making room for the foods in this house for the other two of our families. It will all work out, one way or another.

I haven’t decided yet if I’ll join Tom on the two hour drive to the Kona airport to pick up family tomorrow afternoon. I just may stay behind and prepare dinner, having it ready when they arrive.

There was a reddish tint closer to the ground as shown in his photo.  During this period the sky was otherwise relatively clear.

We’re waiting for the sun to peek through which looks hopeful after several days of clouds and rain. An hour of sunshine would serve us well.

Have a fabulous Friday!
                                        Photo from one year ago today, December 5, 2013:

When Okee Dokee drove us to the grocery store in Komatipoort, we marveled at the wildlife in our neighborhood in the bush. A sight such as this was to be found daily.  For details from that date, please click here.

Lava is on the move again, faster this time…Closer this time…Check out the year ago photo below! One of our favorites!

Yesterday morning we took this video of the waves in our “backyard” in Pahoa, on the Big Island.

This morning’s news announced that the lava flow from Mount Kilauea has escalated in speed advancing toward the strip mall where we shopped on Monday afternoon.

Apparently, the gas station owner at that strip mall will be selling off the gas at discount prices so that he can drain his storage tanks to fill them with water to avoid explosions when the lava arrives.  

Oh, my. We’ve yet to see the lava since it’s illegal to go into the area where it’s flowing. A viewing area is being set up at the Pahoa Transfer Station that will soon be open to the public for viewing. As soon as that is available we’ll all be heading that way to take photos to share here. This is a phenomenon one most likely would never have the opportunity to see in a lifetime. 

The backside of the first house, where we’re now living, on the coast in Pahoa.

Now that we’re in the first house, we’re surprisingly less anxious about the lava flow than we were from afar.  If we have to leave when our family arrives, we’ll figure it all out. All that matters is the safety and well-being of our family and the citizens of the area.

At this point, the lava is several miles away. At its current rate of flow at 1200 feet per day considering how many miles we are from the current flow, it could conceivably reach the ocean where we are located in about 30 days. 

In 30 days, most of our family members will be on their way back to the mainland, leaving only two remaining, our daughter-in-law, and one granddaughter staying until January 9th. If there is a risk, we’ll certainly send them home earlier than planned and find other accommodations for Tom and me.

Of course, the rate of the flow could change at any time and all of our calculations would be a moot point. We’ll continue to watch the local news for daily updates.

The waves are amazing whether the tide is high or low, although high tide certainly adds to the excitement.

However, we can’t speculate any further than that which we know at this point. We choose not to worry or fuss over this. More so, we’re fascinated with this amazing fact of nature over which no one has control.

As for the house, we’re content. With screens on the windows, we have everything wide open for the amazing ocean breezes.  Last night, we slept with the window open for the first time in so long I can’t recall. It was so cool that we left the fan off and cuddled up under the comforter. There’s no AC in the house.

Yesterday, at high tide at 11:48 am, we spent considerable time outside in the rear yard of the house watching and taking videos of the huge waves. Neither of us had ever seen anything like it. With the windows open, we can feel the ocean spray while inside the house when standing near the windows.

The wear and tear on houses this close to the sea and surf is unreal. The house is well maintained but obvious signs of the destructive nature of the salty sea air are everywhere especially on the exterior of the house especially where there are any metal or wood surfaces.

On the inside of the house, the curtain rods, shower rods, faucets, and some window handles show signs of corrosion due to the salty air and spray. We’re sure this s a major concern for owners of properties in such close proximity to the ocean all over the world.

After the steps collapsed under our feet on our anniversary in Belize on March 7, 2013, during which we were injured, we hesitated to step out onto the lanai in the upper-level master bedroom. Click here for that story and photos we posted on March 9, 2013.

This morning I slept until 7:45 after awakening several times during the night while getting used to the sounds of the sea. This was what I saw the moment I stepped out of bed.

The lanai upstairs seems very sturdy but then again, so did the steps in Belize. We’ll proceed with caution and also advise our family members to do the same.

In the interim, we’re mesmerized by the roaring sea out the door. The roaring sound of the surf is almost earsplitting and we’re loving every moment. The house is relatively shaded by coconut and palm trees but there’s a perfect spot in the yard where we were able to languish in our usual hour in the warming sun.

As we lounged yesterday, we had a clear view of the house next door to which Tom and I will move on December 20th in a mere 17 days and then moving back to this house again on January 3rd when the contract on the second house ends as most of the family departs. Thus, we have to pack three more times (including the day we leave this island). 

Tomorrow, at last, we’ll post interior photos of the house. We have been a bit sidetracked with Mother Nature’s antics. She’s quite a gal, isn’t she?

                                            Photo from one year ago today, December 3, 2013:

Okee Dokee, our lovely driver and friend with whom we’re still in touch regularly, took this photo of us with a giraffe behind us on the road near our new home, of the day we arrived in Marloth Park. The wonder of it all continues to amaze us to this day. I can’t wait to return! For details, please click here.

Lava flow on the Big Island takes its first house…

The lava flow broke out again on the Big Island and took it’s the first house yesterday.
It’s hard to believe this finally happened, the lava flow from Mount Kilauea has taken its first house on the island. Still miles from the houses we rented on the ocean and with the lava flow otherwise stalled, we’ll be moving to the first of the two houses in less than three weeks.
Oddly, we aren’t worried. We’re paid up in full, hoping and praying all will go well and our family holiday will not be interrupted other than the detours required in order to get to the road to the houses.

We take possession of the first house on December 1st and the second house, next door on December 20th.  Worrying does us no good.  Our family members seem accepting of the potential risk that we’d have to evacuate, although highly unlikely.  The lava flow is still a few miles away.

Life continues on, as we so well know. Still worried about the health of my sister as mentioned in yesterday’s post, the last thought on my mind right now is sightseeing.
Here are a few links to videos of the house burning from yesterday’s lava flow:
With less than three weeks until we leave Maui for the Big Island, also known as Hawaii, we’ll have time if we so choose to see more of Maui than we’ve seen thus far. 
Honestly, with so much to begin preparing for our family member’s first arrivals beginning in less than four weeks, our heads are wrapped around the excitement and preparations for their arrivals.
Adding the current worrisome state of the health of actually both of my sisters, one has just come out of the hospital a week ago and the other soon going in with big surgery on the horizon (which will most likely transpire while our kids and grandkids are with us), we realize that no matter the quality of the lives Tom and I live, life still happens to have an impact on how we feel.

View across the ocean to another area of Maui.

I do not take lightly our frequent comments about “as long as we have our health.” Its everything. Add the love of the people in our lives and a reasonable sense of financial security and we have it all.  As far as we’re concerned, these are the “big three.” The rest is a bonus for which we are so appreciative and humbled.
No romantic full moon in the night sky or break of a wave on the sea or the joy of watching wildlife at play can have much meaning without the “big three.” At any time, any of these can change and suddenly our lives are upside down.
 Last night’s view of Maui just before sunset, as it makes an “L” shape from our vantage point.
Is it by chance that the three aspects may change?  In part, no. We have control in our relationships, our financial security, and our health to a degree.  And, yes, circumstances may prevail over which we have no control. We always have control over how we choose to respond to life’s challenges, however hard they may be.
None of us are exempt from loss of health, love, and financial security in varying degrees. Some people, although few, sail through life with little strife.  But, most of us, are faced with challenges.
As we age, at times, we worry over the mortality of those we love. And, of course, our own mortality and potential lack of good health as time marched on.
For us, that is a motivating factor…live life to the fullest…while we can.
 View of pool house and ocean from our lanai.
As we continue to travel the world we continue to make every effort to keep a tight hold on these aspects of our lives over which we do have control. That’s why we focus so much “conversation” on our health and our budget. 
Soon, we’ll get out and further explore Maui and be back with more of our photos.  Until then, we grasp the realities of life with hope, prayers, love, and aplomb!
Be well, dear readers.
                                              Photo from one year ago today, November 11, 2013:
 This was the only photo we posted one year ago, as we recalled our first cruise on January 3, 2013, on the Celebrity Century through the Panama Canal, a memory we’ll always cherish. For details from this date one year ago on the nuances of booking hotels worldwide, please click here.