Leaving Volcano National Park we stopped for lunch in the little town of Volcano.

We shared a delicious pizza at cafe Ono.

After lunch we drove south. About 30 miles from the park is the southernmost bakery in the 50 US states. At the Rim Restaurant in Volcano House the served guava bread from Punalu’u Bake Shop in Na’alehu.

Guava sweet bread and lilikoi malasada (passion fruit iced Portuguese donut).

Continuing south we reached the southernmost point in the 50 US states.

Ka Lae the southernmost point is a rocky class about 12 miles off the highway. It’s latitude is 18.9N. There is no signage marking the spot, we had to rely on gps to get us there.

The southernmost point in the continental US is in Key West, FL. It is a very well marked tourist attraction. It is at 24.5N.

The actual southernmost point of the US is on the US Territory of Palmyra Island at 5N.

On the drive north we stopped at the Royal Kona Coffee Museum. We got Kona coffee samples and watched a video on coffee growing. Of course, I had to buy Kona coffee to bring home.

Volcano National Park

We enjoyed our visit to Hawaii Volcanos National Park. The is a lot of ecological diversity within the park.

Volcano House sits on the summit of Kilauea volcano. This the view if the caldera from Volcano House.

Hiking on Halema’uma’u Trail we are in a rainforest. This trail has a 425 ft elevation change over .8 miles.

The trail ends at the edge. Because of volcanic activity at Halema’uma’u Crater the caldera floor is closed off. We met a family there who visit every year. They told of being able to Eaton the caldera floor prior to the 2018 eruption. Since the eruption there is no visible lava flow on the island.

The Sulphur Banks Trail is vastly different. The sulphur gases deposited yellow crystals. This thermal area reminded us of Yellowstone.

Steam vents along the trail.

Bamboo orchids on the trail are not a native species.

Hawaiian dwelling built by park rangers. The ranger who led our tour is a Hawaiian native and one of the builders.

View of the Pacific from Chain of Crater Drive.

Quite a windy spot.

Pu’u Loa petroglyphs, the largest petroglyph field in the state of Hawaii. It dates from 1200-1450 AD.

At the end of Chain of Craters road is a short trail to Holei Sea Arch. It is 90 ft high and was created within the last 100 years.

Overlooking the crater.

Finally spotted the nene bird. It is thought to have evolved from Canadian geese who arrived on the islands 500,000 years ago. The nene is the world’s rarest goose. On the brink of extinction in the 1950s it was bred in captivity and re-introduced into the wild.

Hilo, HI

We flew from Honolulu to Hilo. Hilo is a small quiet town.

We were fortunate that the Farmers Market was happening.

Dragonfruit is very interesting looking. I did not get a chance to taste it however.

For lunch we both had Loco Moco bowls. Mine was spam and Lynn’s was Portuguese sausage on rice with a fried egg and brown gravy.

We visited the Pacific Tsunami Museum. Hilo has been affected many times by tsunamis. They have a tsunami warning system in place.

The Mokupapapa Discovery Center is educational center to share the science and history of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands now known as Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

A model of a Hawaiian canoe is on display. There is a fascinating film about a group who sailed to Tahiti using only ancient Hawaiian navigation.

Enjoying Mai Tai at the Pineapple House.

St. Theresa Catholic Church in Mountain View. This is on the road to Volcano.

Our lodging for two nights in Hawaii Volcanos National Park. It was built in 1941 but opened in 1945. It is the third Volcano House on the site. It was designed by Charles Dickey, the Honolulu architect who designed the Navy Lodge where we stayed. We really enjoyed our stay. It’s kind of old school with no TV in the guest rooms.

Ended the day with Mai Tais at Uncle George’s Lounge in Volcano House.

Bishop Museum

Founded in 1889 by Charles Bishop in honor of his late wife Bernice Bishop. Bernice was the last heir of the Kamehameha dynasty that ruled Hawaii. The museum contains the largest collection of Hawaiians in the world. It also has a planetarium and a hands-on science center.

Original museum building.

The grandkids were able to tryout native Hawaiian dress.

The koa wood display cases are worth more that he buildings.

There was a traveling LEGO exhibit. Some of the structures were more than 6 ft tall.

The Titanic

Replica of Hawaiian sailing canoe Hokule’a.

LEGO pit for the kids.

Max in a bug costume.

Surfing fun.

Ford Island

Alexandra and Matthew live on Ford Island which is part of Pearl Harbor naval base. Matthew was able to get us to stay in the Navy Lodge, a hotel restricted to military and their families. It is walking distance from their house.

Pre-WWII the Navy Lodge was built as bachelor officers quarters.

It’s open air lobby has a view of the bay.

You can only get in the island as part of a tour group or with a pass. Matthew got us passes so we could stay there.

The island is encircled by a 3.8 mile walking path with points of interest.

We did the walk one morning.

The trail is marked by blue dots in the path.

The Utah Memorial with remains of the ship still in the water.

Hawaiian Star Compass was used for navigation by indigenous people.

You can still see strafing holes from the December 7 attack.

The USS Oklahoma Memorial lists the name of each sailor who died on a picket.

It is next to the battleship USS Missouri which is now a museum.

The Arizona Memorial as seen from Ford Island.

Tours to the Arizona are via boat from the main island. The museum is on the May island. It is greatly expanded and updated since we visited 15 years ago.

Disembarking at the memorial.

The memorial is built over the submerged remains of the Arizona.

It is a very solemn place because it is the resting place of 1102 of the sailors who died on the ship.

The names of the sailors are inscribed on the marble wall.

Smaller plaques list the names of survivors who chose to have their ashes interred in the Arizona with their crew mates. Note that the last 2 were interred in 2017. I wonder how many remain?

The remains of a gun turret us one of the few parts above the surface of the water. Oil can still be seen leaking from the wreckage.

Visiting here was a very moving experience for me.

North Shore

October 7, 2019

We took a trip to Oahu’s North Shore today. First stop was Green World Coffee Farm in Wahiawa.

We had a brief introduction to coffee farming. The kids enjoyed the many chickens.

The fruit that contains the coffee beans are called coffee cherries.

We enjoyed a game of frisbee.

Alexandra and Matthew and the kids went home while Lynn and I continued to the north shore town of Haleiwa.

We shared a prosciutto crepe for lunch. The town has many art galleries and shops that we enjoyed perusing.

Lili’uokalani Protestant Church, founded 1832. Present building is from 1960 but the graveyard is much older.

We stopped at the Dole Pineapple Plantation for some pineapple whip on the way back to Honolulu. It’s a pineapple soft serve.

Mermaids or Manatees

June 15, 2019

Continuing our nostalgia tour we decided to stop at Weeki Wachee to see the underwater mermaid show. This is an attraction since 1947 that is now a state park.

Upon arrival at the park at 10:30 am we were disappointed to be told that the park was full and we could not be admitted.

We continued up US 19 and saw signs for Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Stopping there we another old Florida attraction, the Underwater Observatory.

Viewing manatees feeding from the fish bowl.

The spring is the year round home of three captive manatees who are unable to survive in the wild. In the winter months they are joined by wild manatees.

It is said that manatees were mistaken for mermaids by ancient seamen.

The park is home to native animals that have been injured and can’t survive in the wild like this bald eagle.

Roseate spoonbills


Since manatees are normally only in Florida in the winter it was serendipity that we saw the manatees. I guess we’ll have to come back to see the mermaids.

Hot Glass

June 14, 2019

It turns out the St. Petersburg has morphed from a sleepy retirement city to a vibrant arts center. Our second point of interest here was the Chihuly Collection. This is a permanent indoor exhibition of Chihuly glass as well as a number of videos on his work.

l love the Persian ceiling.

Entrance to the Chihuly includes admission to a glass blowing demo at the Morean Art Center across the the street.

The artists gave a detailed explanation of the glass blowing process. It was very interesting.

There were several other museums in the arts district that we did not have time to visit. Worth a second trip.

Dali Delights

June13, 2019

Our primary goal in going to St. Petersburg was to visit the Dali Museum. The original museum opened in a warehouse in 1982. The current, larger and more hurricane-proof building opened in 2011. It is architecturally beautiful with 2 glass geodesic domes and a floating spiral staircase. It has the largest collection of Dali’s works outside of the museum Dali created in Figueras, Spain.

The 75 foot high glass entry contains a staircase in the form of a golden spiral.

Dali was fascinated by mathematical concepts like the golden spiral.

Once you see the Lincoln in the painting it is hard to unsee it.

Likewise the Hallucinogenic Toreador

You can also find this image of Voltaire in the Toreador painting.

Lynn with Dali mustache

Dali bronze in the sculpture garden.

Spanish tortilla and sangria for lunch was a bit of nostalgia for me from my year in Spain. The food in the cafe was great.

We topped the day off with dinner at the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City Historic District in Tampa. Opened in 1905 they claim to be the oldest restaurant in Florida and the oldest Spanish restaurant in the US.

The food was wonderful and I got 2 Spanish meals in one day.