Now you know what we did last summer

This is a well belated post. One full year late, to be frank.

It is the story of a road trip we did last year, during cyclone season in the South Pacific.

Since we started cruising within the Tropics in 2015, we quickly learned to take breaks during Tropical Storm Season. In addition to the intrinsic risk of cruising during such times, it is often too warm for cruising in any decent form of comfort anyway.

So, in 2015, when the air got oppressive, the water too warm to swim and the Hurricanes too active in the sea of Cortez, we drove up to the parks in the US’ Southwest, in a breathtaking road trip.

This time around, 2017 that is, you know already that we sailed with Pesto to New Zealand – away from the Cyclone belt – and then flew to Brazil to spend some time with our extended families.

But what about 2016? We never published about that. Not that we were avoiding it. At the time, we were still unloading all the content we had developed during our cruising of French Polynesia, and that kind of dominated the space here on Familygonesailing.

Now is the time then.

One place we had wanted to visit for some time is Hawaii. Being somewhat in the center of the Pacific Ocean at the time – remember, we were in Tahiti –  Hawaii seemed close enough to spice up our interest, but way too far off our intended cruising grounds to sail there with Pesto.

We took an airplane instead.

For just under two months we made Hawaii’s Big Island our home. And loved it.

Sitting on a very active tectonic area, the island is in fact still on its geologic infancy. The very few beaches that have been created display an unequivocal sign of Big Island’s bespoke volcanic activity:

 

And when the night falls, these signs become even more evident. We didn’t resist, and walked over a wide lava field on a very starry night to watch molten lava flow into the ocean:

 

Those who have done it already will probably agree with me that you can actually feel the pulse of mother nature being so close to molten matter.

Anyway, if there was lava, there were volcanos. One of them being climbable. And if it was winter, and we could go all the way up there, chances were we could see something rather different, and new to us:

 

The Mauna Kea is a large dormant volcano, with a visitor’s park accessible on its top. Standing nearly 14,000 feet (4,200 meters) above sea level, it is high, way high. After having spent so much time AT sea level, at times dreading what clouds could bring us, it was a rather unusual feeling to be ABOVE them for a change:

 

The altitude also brought something unusual to us – snow:

 

Having never interacted with it before, the kids were very enthusiastic. Probably a bit too much:

 

And it is not just dark sand, lava and snow that the volcanos contribute to the island. Its very fertile soil make it very lush:

 

There were also these koi fish, which didn’t have anything special to them, and not much to do with the story, but I felt compelled to include in this post anyway:

 

But, back to the main story, when the warm humid air over the surrounding ocean meets the cold and steep faces of the island’s volcanos, clouds accumulate, creating rain – of which Hawaii’s Big Island has a lot. Luckily they come and go, often leaving stunning rainbows behind:

 

Not to mention the soothing sunsets, their visual impact being augmented by the volcanic fumes mixed in the air:

 

But as everything else, good things also come to an end, and we eventually found ourselves moving elsewhere – to the US’ mainland. And that brought us another kind of experience:

 

Driving across the heart of the US, we seized the opportunity to expose the kids to some serious music. And I was actually surprised to see how much they got into the stories of the King of Rock and Roll:

 

But it must have been written on the stars that this road trip was slated to be characterized by interaction with snow, for our errands took us well within the path of a massive blizzard:

 

And if we were looking for snow, snow we found, lots of it. Much to the kids’ delight:

 

I can’t say that Adriana and I were not having a good time as well:

 

But even surrounded by all that winter wonderland, and entertained by Elvis’ tunes on the background, our eyes eventually started reaching for the horizon again:

 

And we had a long way back home:

 

All those miles driven and flown were well worth it, for stories were awaiting to be made:

 

And, as you know, these stories have already happened, and were already written. 2017 was an AWESOME year for us – from the very beginning to its very ending. THANK YOU for following us on this Journey !!!

2 Replies to “Now you know what we did last summer”

  1. Ah! Now I know why that gap in your writing! Jeepers, you kids, what a wonderfull life your mum and dad have planned.
    Wondering also if you are still in NZ or moved on and to where…. Australia? Indonesia….. love reading your family blogs, my read before hitting the sack!
    Happy New Year to you all!

  2. Happy 2018 Ed. Pesto is on NZ. The rest of us flew to Brazil to spend Holliday season with our extended families. We will soon rejoin Pesto there and likely spend Autumn/Winter in NZ.

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