>I've been in Hawaii for four full days and all I can say is, what the fuck is wrong with Jamie Lynn Spears? Couldn't she have the decency to wait to announce that she was knocked up at a time that was more convenient to me?!?! Bah! Ha ha ha.

Seriously, Husband and I have been having ourselves quite the adventure out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Since I wasn't able to blog for a few days, I was forced to resort to writing down everything that we've done on a piece of paper so that I would not forget. Since it is a lot, I'll give brief recaps:

Thursday, Dec. 20 - DAY 1
Woke up at 6 am and headed to Hawaii Volcano National Park. Stopped for breakfast and saw cute little green lizard with pink spots at restaurant. Stopped again in Na'alehu and bought a cookie at the southern most restaurant in the US (Hanah Hou) then crossed street and bought malasadas (donuts) and sweet bread pudding in southern-most bakery in US. Noted lack of accent. Stopped at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach - very crunchy! Went on to HI Volcano Ntl. Park. Took tour with ranger and walked into dark lava tunnel with flashlights as well as a small part of Kilauea Iki Trail. Continued on trail after tour to descend 400 into crater and walk on former lava lake. Took driving tour around crater with several stops to take small hikes. Saw nenes (Hawaiian goose that is often a clue in crossword puzzles) on Devastation Trail. Discovered that I can't breath near sulfur fumes. Left park around 6 pm and checked into B&B, only to discover that we were staying at a glass and wood cabin down the street in the middle of a rain forest. (More on this later.) After a few misadventures, had dinner on "restaurant row" (there are four places to choose from!) and went to sleep.

Friday, Dec. 21 - DAY 2
Woke up at 6 am. Excellent breakfast served by B&B owner's hot grandson. Drove to Hilo in pouring rain and got out to see Rainbow Falls (no rainbow while raining) and some stream. Took awesome helicopter ride over lava flows. Due to my height and weight, I was assigned the seat in front next to the pilot. After helicopter ride, we went to Wal-Mart because it is fucking freezing at 4,000 feet at night and I needed a sweatshirt. Plus, the helicopter pilot recommended buying mele macs (macadamia nuts covered with toffee, chocolate, and powdered sugar) there for best price. In the afternoon, we went back to the Volcano Park and had a misadventure along a closed road because turning around and trying another trail. Hiked to and up Pu'u Huluhulu (a shaggy hill) with great views, then hiked to see Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs. Drove to end of Chain of Craters Road, which got covered by lava flow. Had dinner at Thai place on "restaurant row."

Sat., Dec. 22 - DAY 3
More yummy grandson - er, I mean breakfast - at the B&B before checking out. Drove to Mauna Kea. On way, stopped at Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory, then in a creepy cavern left from 1881 lava flow. At Mauna Kea, took ranger tour to summit. (Everyone drives up in their own 4 wheel drive vehicle.) Discovered that the air supply at 14,000 feet is rather thin and nearly passed out. Taking advice of ranger, I sat down and focused on breathing, so I was fine. A teenage boy crumpled and was given oxygen before being sent back down with his parents. We headed into the Univ. of HI telescope, where I discovered that we'd have to walk up 3 flights of stairs. After nearly passing out again, I decided to sit and wait at bottom. Eventually acclimated and stayed at summit to watch sun set. Amazing. Drove down and returned to hotel in Kona along crazy semi-paved road.

Sun., Dec. 23 - DAY 4
Slept in (until 7:30!), then drove to Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Park. Site was former sanctuary for religious offenders, defeated soldiers, and other people. Walked around re-created site and also out on lava flows to ocean. Saw many adorable sea turtles! Hiked on 1871 Trail and saw more ruins, but had to turn back due to improper footwear and increasingly rough terrain. Ate macadamia nut ice cream at antiques store with small Hawaiian ice cream counter in back. Returned to hotel and decided to take advantage of big fancy pool. Had dinner and then began preparing for tomorrow's big hike to Capt. Cook Memorial (it's on British soil!). It's two miles each way and descends 1,300 feet. If we are not too tired, we will snorkel a bit before heading back up.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to. I hope that everyone is doing well and for those of you who celebrate, Merry Christmas! I'll probably not log on again until my birthday later this week.

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