The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 6: A Pristine Beach and an Active Volcano (and a little about the trip home)

Wow.      Wow.        Wow.
T is for turtle. I like unschooling (as long as it isn't all the time!
In the center, that is a mountain goat.

Makalawena Beach (a.k.a Paradise)

Wow.... Those were Tiana's words upon our arrival at Makalawena Beach. I swear she said "Wow" a good 17 times. It was not a surprising reaction, since I actually gasped upon reaching the top of the sand dunes to view this piece of paradise. I could hardly believe it was real... but it was.

A shout out to Colleen for telling us about this amazing beach. It was truly our personal piece of paradise. While there were a few other people there, they were so spread out it really felt like our personal paradise. The sand was so soft that Tiana didn't think it was sand (and she had been playing with sand all week), since it felt more like oatmeal, and she tried to eat it. Had the wind not kicked up after a while, I could have stayed here all day.

We made it through the lava field to the most beautiful beach ever.
You know how they say "it's not about the destination, it is about the journey?"  Well, in this case... that is only half true. The journey was out of this world, but it was certainly about the destination. To reach this tiny piece of paradise, you have to hike through about a mile or so of lava fields. It is like lava rock as far as the eye can see, and it totally feels like you are on Mars or something, except for the fact that there are herds for, ready for this, mountain goats, trotting along beside you. I wish I had been smart enough to wear the hiking shoes for this. The flips flops made for some sore feet, but we made it anyway.

In the lava tube.

Ah... it was worth it. Maybe my favorite part of the trip, but hard to say at this point.

After this adventure, we set out for the 100 mile drive to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This was amazing. The park has 11 of the 13 climate zones found on earth. Yup. We must have driven through like 10 of them. I don't know if it was the volcanic gas or the plants or just the multiple climates, but my sinuses still have not forgiven me. Oh well. It was worth it. We saw rain forests and giant lava craters and hiked through a lava tube. We even saw the active eruption of Mt. Kilauea. Oh my gosh. Amazing. Breathtaking.

Yes, that is lava. 

The day was so exhausting, I didn't blog that night. I slept.

Our family, outside the lava tube.
The next morning we packed, got breakfast on the beach, visited a real Kona coffee farm, and then set off on a terribly long day of travel. And now... we are home. Sigh.

I can't believe I have to teach tomorrow.

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