Geo: 19.7297, -155.09
Today we arrived in Hilo Hawaii! We woke up around 7 and went out on the balcony. It was a nice day with some low clouds but we were able to see the island of Hawaii in the distance. We were set to dock around 9:30 so we still had a little while before we arrived.
We met the girls at Beach Blanket Buffet for breakfast at 9:00. By this time we were alongside the shore line. It began to rain pretty hard. Since Hilo is the rainiest city in the world, this was expected. Hilo receives on average 120" of rain per year. The ship docked early but it took a little while for the local officials to clear the ship and they sounded the all ashore at about 10:30.
Our shore excursion was set to meet in Wavebands at 11:00. We were assigned van numbers and, they couldn't fit all four of us in one van so Regan volunteered to ride in a separate van from the rest of us. The two vans participated in the daily activities together so each stop Regan was able to be with us.
We were given flower leis by the tour company and then,
as we left the ship women were given another flower lei for the women and the men were give kukui nut leis.
We got in our vans, our guide was Luke and Regan was with Steve, and started our drive toward a state park where a lava flow came up through a fissure in the earth, flooded a forested area about 30' deep and then immediately receded leaving the trees encased in lava. The lava quickly cooled but the trees had all been burned so there is now a forest of lava towers where trees used to be.
After the park, we drove to a macadamia nut farm where we had lunch. Lunch was a tomato and cucumber salad, pineapple coleslaw, herbed buttered corn, hibachi chicken and guava glazed ribs. The farm was beautiful and lunch was very good.
Then it was on to a state park where there was a thermally heated pool to swim and snorkel in. The water was about 85-90 degrees as it mixed with the ocean water.
Our next stop was an area where cliffs dropped sharply into the sea. We had photos taken and watched the surf for a while before heading on.
We drove along through the forest
for a while and passed through areas where lava had cut a path through the land toward the sea. Our final stop was at the lava flow where in 1982 an entire town, beach and natural fish pond were destroyed. This created 14 acres of new land in the form of lava. It also created a new black sand beach. We walked the half mile from the road across the lava flow to the new beach where we saw the beautiful black sand.
Our final stop was to be at the first church built in Hawaii that had been moved before it was destroyed by the lava flow. The church was closed so we were unable to stop.
Then we drove back to the ship with a stop for two free photos from our day.
It was late so we went straight to the dining room for dinner. Tonight was a Hawaiian themed dinner.
The show for the evening was the movie The Avengers in 3D. Kelsie had seen it a midnight so she didn't join us.
We had a great day at our first Hawaii stop in Hilo. Our guide was awesome and we look forward more days in paradise.
Ric: Shrimp and spicy popcorn,
Green Bean and Potato Salad, Pan Seared Scallops and a sundae
Nikki: skipped dinner
Regan: Shrimp and spicy popcorn, white bean soup, honey glazed salmon and cheesecake
Kelsie: Shrimp and spicy popcorn, honey glazed salmon and sweet temptations
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