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Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Perfect Day Compliments of Lori Jo

This blog was written by Anna Duvall, Emmaline Duvall, and Jim Ravella

The perfect day begins at 3:30 am. Yes, that is what I said. I have never been to an airport that was closed, until this morning. We arrived at 4am and the ticket Kiosks were not even on. When I asked the agent he said, "They come on automatically at 4:15." After that we headed to security which had not yet opened!

This is what you do while you wait for the 5:05 flight to Hilo.

Anyway we saw the sunrise as we landed on the "Big Island" and after picking up our rental cars we headed to Ken's House of Pancakes for breakfast and then we were off to see Akaka Falls.

Akaka Falls drops 450 feet. Mike had read there is a neat visual illusion if you stare at a waterfall then look at something stationary the object will move upwards. It was so neat it made it look like the trees were growing.

The walk to the falls was amazing, we saw so many different plants and flowers. I thought this moss was so pretty with the water hanging on.

(Photo by Emmaline Duvall)

(Photo by Emmaline Duvall)

Our next stop was the lava tubes. One tube you can hike is about 1000ft long and around 10-20 feet in diameter. It was completely dark when you turned off your flash light. The tubes are formed when the lava hit the air and is cooled on top which encloses the lava that continues to flow like a river. This picture was taken at the very end of the lava tube.

Along the way to our next stop we saw the state bird of Hawaii, the rarely seen "flightless" Nene. Seeing these birds was one of LJ's dream before she moved.

We soon made the discovery that "flightless" was not literal. And we were soon to find out the bird is endangered and requires 60 ft of separation to a person. Well Anna is close to 60 ft away.

We then went to the Black Sand Beach. The "sand" is made from crushed lava rocks. Although the sand looks dirty, surprisingly it is not. We saw sea turtles (Honu's) swimming in the bay. The sand makes the water look dark and eerie.

(Photo by Emmaline Duvall)

(Photo by Emmaline Duvall)

The ability to take a nap on Lava is what happens to teenagers at about noon time after getting up at 3:30am.

Mike and Lori Jo at the Black Sand Beach just after Mike's near death fall into the ocean. Lori Jo's first reaction to seeing the love of her life falling into the rocky water was to grab the video camera hoping to capture a winning video for America's Funniest Home Videos. Thankfully for Mike his son Brack loves him and was willing to risk his own life to help rescue his dad.

After dealing with a dead battery on the rental car we headed to see the lava flow which had changed course and closed the road. It was a 15 minute hike to see where the lava flowed into the ocean. The trail was on top of old lava that was formed in the 1990s. Along the way the way we saw all different types of hardened lava.

This is the road that was closed by the lava. We debated making a run at it seeing as we were in a rental but we were unsure of the specifics of our USAA auto insurance in relation to damage by 2000 degree lava.
(Photo by Emmaline Duvall)

This is the lava flow hitting the ocean

I took this picture because it made me think of the determination of life to continue under extreme circumstances. I saw this plant as a reflection of Ginger and I and our life springing from utter disaster.

This is the end of our perfect day. Yes, Lori Jo scheduled us to get up at 3:30am but we ended up using every moment of the day to see all of these creations of God. In the end we were all still smiling and we all had to agree, it was the perfect day. Not to mention how good everyone slept that night.

I took this picture at dinner tonight. My last night of my perfect week. This is Lori Jo and Mike who made this trip possible. That is Diamond Head in the background. This was the perfect evening to end my trip. We had a lovely dinner with an unbelievable view. We talked about the past and the future and it was the perfect night. Thanks Mike and Lori Jo for this week. My first vacation alone was one I will never forget. As always you made me feel apart of your family.

I love you.


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