I would have liked to have posted every day while in Hawaii but we didn't always have internet access. This is a wrap up of a wonderful trip...
We got to swim with turtles! We saw this guy at Kiholo Bay, along with several others:
We got to tour a private garden in Kona with our host at Tiki Island Hawaii. This 8 acre property was a tropical paradise:
The second place we stayed was the Adventurous Lava Rock Hale: http://www.vacationhomerentals.com/vacation-rentals/Pahoa-Hawaii-vacation-rental-cottage-proID-40680.html. This was a unique experience! It was waaaay off the beaten path, off the grid and very tranquil.
Champagne Pond is a geothermally heated tide pool accessed by a rough lava road. It is a mixture of salt and fresh water that was about 90 degrees in some areas. The mixing of salt water, fresh water and different temperatures made for some psychedelic underwater viewing...every time you passed into a different water field the water was wavering as if you were in the Matrix!
This was the closest we got to the current lava flow. The lava in the foreground is about 2 weeks old and still too hot to walk on. The steam in the distance is rising from the lava flowing into the ocean.
We saw several waterfalls, this one is Rainbow Falls:
One of the most amazing snorkeling experiences was at Kapoho Tide Pools. The picture doesn't do the place justice...it was acres and acres of large and small tide pools with crystal clear water and many, many beautiful fish and corals just waiting to be discovered.
On the last full day we stopped at the end of the northern road at Pololu Valley Lookout and hiked down to the beach below:
Altogether a fabulous trip!