The exploration continues...Photos backlogged....Lots of fun sightseeing on the Big Island...

With cooler temperatures on this side of the island, there wasn't a huge number of bathers in the tide pool at Ahalanui Park.
Each day we've explored the island and have accumulated many photos we've yet to share.  We need to spend the next few days in slow mode in order to catch up!

The volcanic thermal heated tide pool at Ahalanui Park where we spent time yesterday afternoon.  The park is closed from 12:00 to 1:00 pm each day for cleaning and maintenance.
Actually, neither Tom nor I would mind a lazy day today.  If the weather clears, we'll head to the massive, life guarded community pool about five miles down the road in the village of Pahoa for some sun and fun with the kids.

This side of the Big Island has no sandy beaches based on the lava flow over the past million years.  There are some sandy beaches on the Kona side but swimming in tide pools in a safer alternative, especially with children when there's no risk of rip tides and sharks.
Although, sightseeing is fun from time to time, we especially enjoy sitting on the patio whale, sea turtle and wave watching, all mindless drivel.  With family at our side, it couldn't be more enjoyable.  Luckily, they too, love this leisurely pastime.  It takes no arm twisting at all to encourage any of them to hang out with us in search of the next blow hole.

There was no shortage of views at Ahalanui Park.
Then again, when they're ready to go, we join in on most activities, except for shopping outing for trinkets and such, or when visiting any of the malls in Hilo, a pastime we'll easily forgo.  Neither of us have any interest in window shopping and thus, tagging along is a pointless activity.  Plus, the kids tend to feel rushed knowing we're waiting.  Without us, they can shop at their leisure.

TJ enjoyed swimming in the tide pool.  He and the kids mentioned they spotted tiny fish through their swim goggles, while swimming in the pool that had entered through the opening to the ocean as shown in the photo below.
Yesterday, our goal was to find the popular tide pools within a 30 minute drive from Pahoa.  It turned out to be a lovely day when not only did we find one of the two tide pools we sought (the main tide pool area of Kapoho is for another day), we stumbled across another park, Isaac Hale Beach Park and later Ahalanui Park where we spent a few hours while TJ and the two boys swam in the warm volcanic heated waters.

It was a beautiful day, not quite 80 degrees with a mostly clear sky.
As well as time at the two parks, we spent several hours in the minivan, lunches and beverages packed, stopping to take photos, relishing in the exquisite natural beauty surrounding us.  Stopping at the Mamala grocery store for a few items on the way home, we didn't return until 4:00 pm, ready to relax with more whale watching and a nice homemade meal. 

At the far end of the tide pool, there's this passageway to the sea which has a large screen that prevents the entrance of larger marine life.
I stayed busy in the kitchen making Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, garlic bread and salad for the five of them with chicken and avocado salad for me.  With only one large pot, cooking the large portion of noodles and sauce was challenging.  Later in the evening I wrote to the owners asking if they had a larger pot we could use during our stay.

The pool cleans itself naturally as the water enters and exits through the passageway to the open sea.
This morning our kindly local landlords arrived to not only remove our trash but also leaving an enormous pot that will serve us well during our time with the family. I couldn't have been more thrilled. 

Beyond the tide pool there are various rock formations.
Ah, its the simple things, as always, that find us smiling and content; the six of us (soon to be more) sitting at the kitchen table having a meal together, chatting all the while, loving the time together; all of us, riding in the minivan oohing and aahing over the exquisite scenery in front of us; Jayden giggling as we drove over a roller coaster type road; Nik's occasional tossed out morsel of wisdom he happily bestows upon us. 

Again, we observed these peculiar vine-like tree trunks, Albiza trees, which are reminiscent of scenes in the movie, Jurassic Park.
We're loving every moment and will continue to do so in larger doses when the others soon arrive, ten days from today.  We're not wishing the time to fly by in expectation of the others arriving.  We're simply reveling in every moment that we have.
We stopped at a small park along the road that was closed due to storm damage from last June and July, yet to be cleared of downed trees and branches.

There's a price to pay for living this life we live, the world as our oyster, always on the move.  That price is clear.  But, we choose to have it all right now cherishing every moment we have in front of us with each of our family members as precious time well spent.

Even the road to the tide pools was an experience in itself.  The red on the road is the shirt of a biker making her way up the hill.
And when they're gone, we'll joyfully recall the new memories we've made with all of them, as we continue on in making new memories of our own, traveling the world for years to come, feeling their love all the while.

The back of a humpback whale we spotted from our backyard in Pahoa.  In Maui, we heard there are few whales near the Big Island.  Ha!  We see them everyday as we successfully search the sea for blow holes.
We're grateful for it all; each moment, each memory, with the hope and expectation of many more to come.

Photo from one year ago today, December 11, 2013:

As we stood near the banks of the Crocodile River in Kruger National Park in South Africa, we were privy to an elephant ritual as shown on our post on this date, one year ago today.  Please click here for details.


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