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Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park: A Living Encyclopedia

Updated: Aug 18, 2020

Since we celebrated Thanksgiving a week ago, I thought it would be nice idea to share a little bit about the least romantic—yet most incredible—part of my honeymoon trip to the Aloha State during Thanksgiving, 2010.

Hawaii was not only one of the first places I was able to cross off of my bucket list but it was also a place that taught me so much, not to mention how their way of life and beliefs helped me see so many things in life differently. Despite the fact that I got pretty sick halfway through the trip, it was still an amazing experience! Going to Hawaii was always a dream; I couldn't even believe it when we arrived at the airport. We also flew in one of those famous Hawaiian Airlines aircrafts.

On the other hand, dreaming too big isn’t always a good thing; you realize not everything is just like you see in the movies. Nope! The airline employees do not greet you with a big smile and happily place a lei around your neck. What a bummer! But getting a free upgrade on our car rental made up for it, for sure!

"OK, there are only two cars here. Which one is ours?"
"I think the white one is ours."
"Yeah! No way the red convertible Mustang is ours. Let's go to the white one."
"There's someone else heading to the white car. Excuse me! There must be a mistake here."
"No mistake. You guys got an upgrade! That's your car right there!"

How cool was that?! So off we went. I know some believe in luck, but I consider this a blessing. God knows how much we wanted to be able to afford a sports car, but that was way out of our budget. Seems to me that God used a good soul to help us out with our little wish that made our trip even more exciting! Our hotel was located in Hilo, but the main reason we wanted to go to the Big Island of Hawai'i was to visit the Hawai'i National Volcanoes Park, another unbelievable experience. However, before that, we took a never-ending helicopter ride and flew over the Kilauea Volcano.

It was one of the most frightening experiences in my life since it was an open-door craft. I spent a lot of my time trying to figure out which is worse: crashing into the ocean or into a volcano. I choose the ocean since I guess it would be the least painful option. But thankfully, we landed safely after many twists and turns and a little bit of sideways flight. What a thrilling adventure. Yeah . . . Not for me! But regardless, seeing that caldera from above was something I never, ever thought I would be able to witness. And it was priceless!

I learned that Kilauea is one of the most active volcanos on Earth since 1983.

The devastation is indescribable, but still, Hawaiians manage to live and rebuild around that. The white and orange dots are houses.

Even though the lava on top is dried and hardened, it is possible to see (on the left side of the picture) a couple of orange dots. That is the lava underneath flowing into the ocean. You can see the steam coming up as it touches the ocean.

As the lava continues to flow into the ocean, the Big Island becomes a little bigger . . .

The visit to the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park was another incredible experience. There, I learned about the existence of steam vents.

I also got to walk inside the Thurston Lava Tube. A lava tube is basically formed by the flowing of lava beneath the surface of a lava flow.

And last but not least, I got to witness the unforgettable beautiful lava glow during and after sunset.

Nature is incredible, indeed!

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