This was an action-packed day for us, so I think it is best to split this post into two parts. Since the waves were still big, it was actually good that we had planned to go to Volcanoes National Park on Saturday, k’s birthday. The trip from Waikaloa to the volcanoes took us about 2.5 of driving time, so we left just after 6:30 a.m. Understandably, D’s parents decided to sit out this side trip, since they had already been multiple times.
First stop: Tex Drive In in Honokaa, about 45 minutes from Waikaloa. D and I were looking forward to this stop since we remembered our previous trips to this institution of fried dough. When we were watching them cut out the dough for the malasadas, the kids were concerned that the pieces looked small.
They were pleasantly surprised when they saw the box of warm, fluffy malasadas stuffed with filling. From L –> R: Apple, Raspberry, Bavarian Cream, Chocolate. (FYI, we didn’t quite finish all of them, but we were quite close!)
Next stop was to pick up bento boxes for lunch in Hilo, since the park doesn’t have that much in the way of food. We went to Hiro’s Place, a hole-in-the wall joint in a KTA shopping center.
Needless to say, the kids LOVED the spam musubi (which also had a thin layer of scrambled egg) and the chicken karaage and the chicken katsu. Oh yes, and the onigiri. So cheap, too!
Once inside the Visitors Center of the park, we watched the movie first thing. I think this was the first time that n didn’t fall asleep during the movie! Watching hot lava gurgle and spray is pretty exciting stuff, I guess. I was also excited to add another stamp to my national park passport.
Next, the kids completed their junior ranger badge. Kids six and under have significantly less things to do to earn their badge. I told k that she was technically still six since she was born at night on that day—haha.
Next, we hiked the Thurston Lava Tube.
Everything was so lush and green.
Next, we hiked Devastation Trail (1.0 mi roundtrip).
The trail led us to this huge crater, and we could see some people hiking the bottom, as well as wisps of steam.
Our last stop was the steam vents. By this time, the kids were running out of steam.
This was n’s first time to the Volcanoes National Park, and k’s second (although she was less than one year old the first time that we went). I am glad they were able to experience it this time around—it is such a surreal place.