Vacation in Hawaii, Part Four - June 2007

Our final day in paradise...

We started the morning with a tasty breakfast in an old converted theatre...a really cool joint with awesome views.

I'm assuming this is what was left of their old projector.  The joint still showed movies and had plays as well, though not
while having omelettes.

Geckos were straight swarming this place, and they were not scared of people.  This meant for lots of gecko photo shoots.

A Lychee fruit tree, which is only included here because my mom said to take a picture of one.  So here you go mom.

My ghetto panoramic shot of where you ate here, on side porch with a view of the ocean.  The food was good too.

These little bastards would walk right up to you, but they weren't getting any of my pancakes!

After a bit of a drive, we made it to the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.  First stop were the vents.

A view from the vents area out towards one of the craters, with the fog from the vents obscuring the view.  Getting a clear
shot here is probably about as easy as getting a non-fogged in shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

The look on our faces = rain and mist blowing in them. 

Only a couple of plants seem able to grow in this rocky terrain, and this thing similar to ice plant is one of them. 

Another crappy panorama, this time of the crater.  Crazy to think that this was once just a lake of molten lava.

There was sulfur everywhere on the ground, and in the air too, stinking up the situation. 

If you looked down in the crater at just the right angle you could really see a huge sulphur vent down there steaming away.

A different view of the crater...the whole area made me think of those strip mines you always see in photos of Africa
and South America, only this was the earth tearing itself apart, not a bunch of human jackasses. 

Probably my favorite part of the park - you're driving and driving through all of this desolate lava-covered land, and then
you go around a curve and it turns into this crazy fern forest.  It felt so primordial, like you could expect a dinosaur to
come walking out of there anytime. 

After a walk through the fern forest, you get to this lava tube you could walk through.  Of course all I could think about
was the movie Tremors and I was just hoping we wouldn't get eaten by a giant worm. 

...Not that any of that explains why Chelsea is making this face inside of it. 

...Nor why she is hugging one of the fern trees.  She may have been high on sulphur fumes at this point. 

A close up of the ferns.  Just in case you lead a sheltered life and don't know what a fern is. 

Another crater.  This park was crater-tastic!

Um, yeah.

As we headed into Hilo for our final night and early morning flight, we made a stop by this waterfall that was pretty
much right in the center of town. 

A huge banyan tree in the woods near the falls...I'm not even sure how to quantify how big around this thing was, and
these are pretty much everywhere.

The roots of these trees jut out in every direction, and sometimes the look like boa constrictors slithering over the rocks.

Bonus photos that don't really fit in the narrative...

Check out this thing!  The folks ordered a pitcher, and this crazy thing came out.  A crappy restaurant but obviously a
good spot to buy some beer.

The rest are random flowers and plants that I sawaround the island...