Moving day…Quite the challenge…A surprising ocean find on a walk….A year ago, a peculiar foam ball growing in a tree in the yard…

TJ was brave and walked over the narrow bridge.

Up bright and early this morning, we immediately began laundering the towels and bedding in the master bedroom with en suite bath that Tom and I have used since arriving in Pahoa on December 1st when we moved into this oceanfront house.

While on a walk in our neighborhood, we spotted this empty lot, deciding to take a look. We never expected to find what we did.

With the laundry going, the bathroom and bedroom cleaned, I am completely packed except for the food we need to transfer to the second house.

As we walked to the left side of the lot, we discovered this natural bridge made of lava.

Once we’ve moved out all of our belongings, emptied and moved our contents from the refrigerator, freezer, and cabinets over to next door, we’ll clean the refrigerator and freezer making room for the items we’ll purchase today in Hilo in order to stock the foods for the incoming two families that will live in this first house.

It was an interesting natural formation.

Our plan for purchasing the groceries has changed several times over the past three weeks. I must have driven our kids nuts. We’d originally planned to purchase all the food on everyone’s list. Then we decided to make it easy on ourselves and have everyone do their own shopping, with gift cards we’d purchase for them from Safeway in Hilo.

We were entranced by the swirling waters around various lava rock formations.

Then, the lava flow required the evacuation of the Mamala grocery store and I was able to purchase many items on their lists at 50% off. Once I had so many of these items, it only made sense to complete their lists and stock the remainder of the food ourselves.

How many millions of years ago was this spot created as the lava spilled into the sea?

At this point, I went back to the lists on my phone on the Grocer Tracker app and revised my list to exclude the items I’d already purchased. Sure, it sounds confusing. But, in the end, it made the most sense.

The contrast of the blue waters and the dark lava rock was breathtaking.

Much to my frustration, since yesterday, I’ve been suffering from excruciating pain in my left hip. I’ve had this type of pain in the past and it always seems to dissipate within a week by favoring it. Today and tomorrow, won’t be days of favoring any body parts. Luckily, this morning it wasn’t any worse than yesterday and hopefully, it will begin to improve over the next few days.

The manner in which the ocean moved into and out of this rock formation was mesmerizing.

Tomorrow, Tammy, Tracy, and Vincent arrive in the early evening. We’ll have dinner awaiting their arrival. On Monday, late afternoon, Camille, Greg, Maisie, Miles, and Madighan are due to arrive and again, we’ll have a nice meal awaiting their arrival. Both families are renting cars for their own use while here, a thoughtful and smart idea on their part. Sharing vehicles would have been difficult, although we’d originally planned to have two cars available. 

The cave was intriguing.

As it turns out, we’ll have three vehicles enabling all of us to go anywhere together or, off on our own in smaller groups. TJ, Sarah, Nik, and Jayden leave on the 28th. Tom and I have to return the rental minivan on December 31st.

Tom and TJ overlooking the sea.

At that point, it makes sense for us to downgrade to a five-person, less costly smaller vehicle as opposed to our current minivan, saving $100’s in the process.

The sea wafting in and out of this cove was impressive.

There’s so much to figure out for 14 people living together in two houses, eight in this first house and six in the second house, for one week and then 10 for the remaining week. After January 3rd, we’ll be down to four of us and will move back into this first house.

As a cloud rolled in the coloration changed rapidly.

Camille and Madighan, our lovely daughter-in-law and five-year-old granddaughter will stay with us until January 9th, when they’ll depart for their return to Minnesota. Tom and I will be alone in the first house for the remaining six days.

Fascinating formations.

Tom is worried about the possibility of small details that may impede the quality of any of our family member’s visits. I am not worried in the slightest. They are our family.  f something goes wrong, we’ll fix it, lovingly and with aplomb, with the same fervor we fix any situations we encounter in our travels.

Small waterfalls on the lava rock.

The packing, the moving, the rearranging, and the organizing, it’s all a part of our daily lives. Luckily, we both don’t seem to mind any of it. The only addition right now is the cleaning of the first house and the food for the four families.

I yelled out to TJ, “Gee, TJ, your clothes blend right in.”

I have no doubt that we’ll get through all of these preparations in the next two days with relative ease. When we’re all together, none of it will matter. To see the smiles on the little one’s faces and on the faces of our grown children and their spouses, will make every moment a treasure.

There are many variations in the color of the ancient lava rock, evolving over the millennium.

Have a superb Saturday, filled with sunshine and smiles. 

                                           Photo from one year ago today, December 20, 2013:

It was one year ago that we discovered this peculiar white foamy thing in the tree with branches hanging over the pool. Taking a photo, I sent it to Louise, our new friend, and property owner, asking what it could possibly be. She wrote back with a discernable chuckle in her words. It was a tree frog nest created overnight by the female frog. Over the next several days, the male frogs stopped by to fertilize it which we have on video. Please check here for details. What a fabulous experience!

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.

Part 1…Another amazing day…Wonders awaiting determined investigation…Pahoa Marketplace closing for lava…

Part 2 is cancelled for tomorrow due to another story about the lava flow fast approaching Pahoa.

Sandy beach spots for enjoying the tide pools filled with fish and turtles at the Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo.
More sandy areas at the Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo.

Yesterday, we took off with a plan in mind; haircuts for the boys at the soon-to be-closed-due-to-lava, Supercuts at the Pahoa Marketplace, a visit to the Lyman Museum, and later to dine at the popular, highly rated Hilo Burger Joint about a mile from the museum. Leaving the house at 1:00 pm, we had plenty of time to leisurely make our way to each location. 

Sarah and Nik, walking along a high ledge at the Onekahakaha Beach Park.

With no GPS in our possession without the availability of SIM cards in the US without a contract, I always find directions online and take photos of them to store on my phone. 

White sand at Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo.

Unfortunately, with many roads poorly marked in Hawaii and the propensity for bad directions from online maps, it’s easy to end up in the wrong spot, not necessarily lost (with Tom’s good sense of direction) but unable to find an exact location.

Easy to maneuver steps into the crystal clear water of the tide pools.

So was the case yesterday in finding the Lyman Museum, which we’d chosen to visit more as a result of it being our namesake than anything else. Although, when looking up its particular, this place could definitely pique the interest of all of us. Finding it, on the other hand, was a challenge.

One of many tide pools at the Onekahakaha Beach Park, perfect for snorkeling.

After driving the general area of the museum, so we thought, we “accidentally” ended up on a dead-end road leading to the ocean. Oh my, were we in luck! 

Lovely views of the beach.

We found ourselves at the most amazing family park, Onekahakaha Beach Park, the most kid and family-friendly park we’ve seen in Hawaii since we arrived almost two and a half months ago. 

Covered picnic areas at Onekahakaha Beach Park.

We all oohed and aahed over the prospect of spending plenty of great family time at this park with had every possible amenity of a beach park, clear waters, great snorkeling, ideal swimming conditions, shallow waters for the young swimmers, sandy beaches at several points, playgrounds, grills, well-maintained restrooms, and many covered picnic table pavilions. 

Gorgeous views of a few tide pools at Onekahakaha Beach Park.

Seeing this perfect location put our minds in overdrive, putting a plan in place. Our plan is for the 14 of us to spend Christmas Day at the park, bringing meat to cook, salads, and beverages in the coolers. What an unusual Christmas Day outdoors for our cold weather Minnesota family members, used to snow, ice, and cold weather during the holiday season!

Sign at the entrance to the park.

After spending almost an hour perusing the park, spotting a giant sea turtle in the shallow pools, and numerous colorful fish, we were content that we had a perfect plan in place which only escalated as the day wore on.

Jayden in the “lava” chair at the Lyman Museum.

Back on the road, after taking numerous photos of the park, we were on our way to the Lyman Museum finding from a friendly local passerby that we were quite a distance away. 

Naturally occurring granite in Hawai’i.

Heeding his directions, we were on our way but only after we “accidentally” spotted a sign pointing in the direction of the museum, we were all thrilled to have found it. Of course, the online directions were wrong once again. That’s not to say that GPS is always right either, as we all know from experience.

Fossils on display at the Lyman Museum.

With only a $21 family rate fee for the six of us to enter, we had plenty of time to wander the two floors in the time remaining until they closed at 4:30 pm. Then, we’d head to the restaurant dinner less than a mile down the road.

More fossils on display.

Much to our delight, everyone loved the museum. Snap happy me, shot, photo after photo. But, I won’t bore our readers with too many photos of the museum pieces and spread the photos from our outing over the next few days.

Colorful coral from the coral reefs in Hawai’i.

Before we left the museum, I asked the receptionist if she’d confirm our directions to the restaurant. Good thing I asked. She explained they’d moved over a year ago. Funny, the old location showed on all of the maps. We’d have been driving around for days.

Amethyst on display.

Luckily, the kindly attendant gave us directions to the new location, and once again, we were back on the road, confident we’d find the restaurant which we’d done so easily.

Hawaiian built structure at the museum.

The Hilo Burger Joint is rated #28 of 206 on TripAdvisor. With this information, we were confident that we’d have a passable if not spectacular meal. Spectacular it was, some of us claiming it was the best burger, they’d ever had, myself included. I ordered a burger in a bowl with my preferred toppings of avocado, bacon, and tomatoes on a bed of lettuce. Fabulous!

This beautiful Hawaiian lava photo caught our eye.

Discovering that the beef was local and grass-fed, I was in heaven knowing we’d all enjoy at least a chemical-free burger.

Exquisite works of art lined the walls in the Lyman Museum.

When we received the bill, including tip for $152.00, averaging at $25 per person including beverages, we decided to have Tom’s birthday at the Hilo Burger Joint (our treat), making our reservation for 14 at 6:00 pm on December 23rd, next Tuesday.

Interesting works of art.

Considering we’d already spent over $2000 on food since arriving on the Big Island on December 1st, with a few more shopping trips ahead, we realized it would probably cost no more to go out to dinner at this establishment than it would purchase all of the food for a meal for 14. 

An Asian mural on a wall in the museum.

Tom’s primary reason for choosing this option for his birthday is the fact that it’s one less meal for me to cook. Dining out on Tom’s birthday on the 23rd and Christmas Day at the park, bringing food to cook and salads, I’d only make dinner for Christmas Eve. This is a breeze, leaving me more time to spend with the family as opposed to stuck in the kitchen over three busy days in a row.

Tom, after his haircut, covering part of this sign so it reads, “Grandfather’s House.” Now, Grandfather doesn’t have a house but certainly rented two for this family gathering.

After dinner, we drove to the Liliuokalani Park and Gardens, which Tom and I had visited when our ship docked in Hilo in October. A kindly cab driver drove us to see the park when we’d boarded the wrong bus at the pier, ending up at Walmart.

More items with the Lyman name.  They all loved it.

With no interest in Walmart, we hailed his cab for a ride back to the pier and the cab driver, who happened to live on Lyman St. (What?) agreed to take us on a little sightseeing tour for $10 plus a tip. We loved the Liliuokalani Park and Gardens and of course, the friendly cab driver.

After we left the museum, I walked across the street to take this photo.

Last night, we parked at the Liliuokalani Park when the family was anxious to see the ship, Norwegian’s Pride of America, leave the pier to head out to sea. With sunset fast approaching, we were able to see the ship’s bright lights as it pulled away from the dock.

The partial menu at the Hilo Burger Joint.

Returning home around 7:00 pm, we all hunkered down for some WiFi time on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. We’d had a great day.

Nik and TJ waiting for their food to be served.

Today, Tom and I will stay put except for my quick trip to the Pahoa Marketplace to take more photos as the entire mall prepares to evacuate by Thursday night as the lava quickly approaches the mall. This mall and gas station may be completely covered in lava by Christmas Day, sad for the employees and store owners in its path.

Tom sat across from me at the restaurant.

Yesterday, before we took off for the Lyman Museum, the three generations of Lyman boys; Tom, TJ, and Jayden each had haircuts together at the soon to be closed for lava. The staff and the owner of the Supercuts salon in the Pahoa marketplace worked fast and furiously to accommodate their customers in its last few days in business at this location. 

Sarah, Jayden, and Nik at the restaurant while we waited to be served. 

The shop is moving to two locations, Hilo and Keaau, and can be reached at 808-982-5707 or 808 965-5577 with questions. Tomorrow, we’ll share haircut photos of three generations, having cuts simultaneously. How fun was that!

Last night at dusk at Liliuokalani Park.

Have a wonderful “hump day” with the holiday season in full bloom.

                                           Photo from one year ago today, December 17, 2013:

Although the Hornbill house in Marloth Park had a few nuances, we found it the most wildlife-friendly location of the three houses we experienced in our three-month stay in the park. The friendly warthogs were daily visitors as shown in this visitor hanging out by the braaii, hoping for a leftover morsel. For photos of the house, please click here.

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.