Thursday, May 28, 2009

Na na na na na na na na...Native! 4 of 8

Day 4: Creatures of the Coastline

After the volcano, we decided to relax again on the resort property. Though for me lasted only about 20 minutes before laying out by the pool grew tiresome and I decided to adventure around the resort.

The nice thing about the resort, was that it offered much animal habitats. While near the pool we found a variety of creatures. One in particular was this little lizard. I saw the lizard crawl up a palm tree and decided to take a shot of it. I ended up following it around the tree about 10 minutes fighting to get a good glimpse of it. Then it happened. The lizard opened up its neck and I got the shot.

A lizard hangs from a palm tree at Waikoloa Resort in Kona Hawaii. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

The other part of the resort that lent itself to animal intrigue was a "basking area" for sea turtles. The sea turtles in Hawaii are protected under state law. You are not allowed to touch them. The resort offers a lagoon on the property that opens up to the ocean. Many sea turtles come in from the ocean and prop up on the part of the beach. I was pleasantly surprised to find 5 sea turtles laying out that day. They were just there basking in the sunlight. It was really neat as I was able to get very close to them. Come to find out they became a regular sight every day.

A sea turtle basks in the sun at Waikoloa Resort April 13, 2009 in Kona Hawaii. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

Na na na na na na na na...Native! 3 of 8

Day 3: The Volcanic Experience

On the third day, we decided it would be a great opportunity to go see the volcano. We had rented a Jeep for the week and decided to go ahead and use it. Driving to the other side of the island took its time. You wouldn't think the island is that big, but it takes about 2 1/2 hours to get to the other side.

The drive was nice and we were able to explore a different part of the island. The Hilo side, the east side, was a lot more tropical than the Kona side that we were staying. The Kona side is leveled with volcanic rock in sweeping hillsides. The Hilo side is more mountainous with deep gorges and thick rain forest brush. It also rained on that side of the island.

Once we made it to the Volcanic National Park we drove up to the top of the volcano. The steam was pouring out of the top into the atmosphere. We later drove to the lava tubes. We could walk through the thick rain forest and enter into a large opening on the trail. The opening was to a lava tube that extended about 100 yards to the end. At the end there was an opening to another lava tube. This lava tube was very different in that it wasn't lit like the first one. The only source of light was coming from the natural light of the opening. The lava tube extended some 400 yards down to the supposed end. But we walked only several feet into the deep abyss not wanting to test the assumption.

A dark viewpoint from inside the cavern of a lava tube with its only light source being the natural light from the opening. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

After seeing the lava tubes we drove to were the lava was entering the ocean. The lava has flowed from the National Park into private property which has caused an issue for the state. Dealt with issues of lawsuits, the state had to have state employees corral the public around the private property to protect itself. Where once we could see the flow of lava right beyond our feet, we had to stand back 300 yards or so. That was fine for us being that this was the closest we had been to lava anyway. We stayed into the night watching the lava spew into the sky. It was very crazy to see the amount of ash pour out from the ocean on a daily basis.

A unique request for a property for sale on the road covered by the lava flow years prior. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

The happy couple with the imminent dangers of death via volcano spewing behind them only several yards away.

Lava spews out from an opening as ash billows into the air on the volcanic coast of Hawaii. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

A long exposure shows the streams of lava that spew from the opening into the ocean. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

While watching the volcano spew lava around, we ending up waiting until nightfall before really saw any color from the lava. We spend the good amount of 4 hours as sunset came and the evening darkness showed the colors of the lava. So you ask, wouldn't that be very boring? Well why not do a timelapse of the lava while I waited. That is exactly what I did. I took about 600 pictures that evening as we watched the volcano spew and put it into a video. The video really shows just how much ash is pouring into the atmosphere. This was something that I thought was really amazing, until I saw the orange glow from the lava bursts, then I was like "Oh the pretty colors".

Watch on YouTube

Na na na na na na na na...Native! 2 of 8

Day Two: Explore the Resort!

On the second day, with no rush to create a hectic schedule, we took the day to relax and explore the resort. There is a lot of animals that walk around the resort. This offers quite a bit of fun wildlife experience right outside your resort door.

We were also able to lay by the pool, and what a pool it was. There was a water slide and a cave that you could swim into with a pool and a hot tub. We laid out and swam. The resort was very large and offered a lot to do. But the best parts were not the things build for the resort property, but the natural scenery around the resort.

Later that night the sunset was a perfect Hawaiian sunset. The full circle of the sun and its orange glow over the horizon lit the island wonderfully as it set behind the palm trees. It was great to walk around the property and look for the best sight of the sunset. Later in the evening after a wonderful dinner we walked around the resort again finding the evening blissful with all of its color.

A bird on the resort was a frequent and friendly visitor. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

A waterfall and pool cave next to the water slide was part of the wonderful accommodations at the resort that you would forget there was an ocean just 30 feet away. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

The sun sets behind palm trees on the Big Island on April 11, 2009. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

The sun sets far into the ocean horizon on Kona, HI., on April 11, 2009. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

The resort lights illuminate the resort grounds in the evening. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

Na na na na na na na na...Native! 1 of 8

I know, I know. It has over a month since my last posting. Well when you go on a honeymoon in Hawaii for a week, you let me know how much you want to jump back into writing a blog about less exciting things. Actually the truth is that I didn't want to post anything else until I posted some of the pictures from the honeymoon.

And while I might breeze through the daily assignments, personal ones seem to take a lot longer to edit through. Could it be the 4,500 or so images that I took over the eight days? It is very hard to edit all those images down to a couple or so to show the public. There was so much to see on the Big Island, and we saw most of it.

The next couple of postings will describe the days of our honeymoon and what we were able to see while we were there. I will try to keep them short and to the point. I am sure you just care to see the pictures than read the boring story.

Day 1: The Arrival.

Flying into The Big Island was very different than flying into any other Hawaiian Island. The beaches of the Big Island are still covered in volcanic rock. They are the most pristine like those of Maui, but we didn't come to enjoy just the beaches. Cassie and I are "outdoorsians". We love hiking.

The view from the plane window as we land on the Big Island shows the rocky volcanic beaches on April 10, 2009. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

Cassie and I arrive on the Big Island Kona Airport as we have our picture taken by a nearby helper. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

I would be in danger if I were to forget to thank my mom who was able to use her Hilton Honors points to hook us up with wonderful accommodations at the Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort on Kona Hawaii for a week stay. It was a wonderful property that offered all we could want for a week long adventure in Hawaii. Though we toured the resort grounds often, we also loved to venture onto the island itself.

A small stream connects the different towers of the Hilton Waikoloa Village which you can take a tram or a boat over the 65 acres of resort property. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

Cassie walks along the walkway of the first tower we stayed at before we were upgraded to a suite! (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

The point of the trip was to relax. We were not going to make rush, rush plans that would leave little room for enjoyment, but rather a list to knock off. We decided to have options rather than plans. This allowed our first day to relax with no intention to set off on adventure quite yet. With having a full week of opportunities it allowed for enough time for both. The first day was that. Getting to the resort and relaxing.