Right back where we started

Apparently I forgot to actually press publish on this one on Sunday. Whoops. Better late than never!

Don’t worry, we’ll put him under the seat to stop the screaming as soon as we start taxiing.
This tablet holder innovation is excellent. If more planes have this I may start bringing a tablet for flights! Nine nine!
Feeling the familiar heat already.
That’s right, E11! I don’t think I’ve ever flown out of a different gate at DFW. Maybe if I flew somewhere other than PDX/SEA…
Hard to tell who missed who more.
Didn’t even get the seltzer can open before the nap began. Guess we weren’t quite caught up after all… 😂

Off to unpacking and laundry.

Not over yet!

At the airport ready to head home, but apparently vacation isn’t over yet, Bevin needed her Portland breakfast sandwich and a coffee!

The sausage sandwich from Henry’s is the right choice. I made the wrong choice.

Where we have room to PUT these things, considering yesterday’s caloric input. Bamboo Sushi has, hands down, the best burger in Portland. Also great sushi. And then there was Dot Sugar.

The “waffle”.
See? Actual waffle chunks! Somewhere under all that tasty chocolate…

Back on the exercise bike ASAP when we get home I think. But for now, once more unto the skies dear friends, once more!


Been up for going on 36 hours now, minus about 3 hours of napping according to my watch. Just…. Another… 45 minutes… Until… Sleep….

Not all of us made it though.

Time zones and red-eye flights suck. But we should be back on schedule by tomorrow.

The scenic route

There’s a strange blob person in the seat next to me…
Hei Hei doesn’t know he’s flying. It’s for the best, people are trying to sleep.
Sunrise over the ocean.
Seattle version of outdoor airport is less fun, but still fun!
We took a slight detour to get a great view!
Don’t get a betterview unless you’re in a helicopter!
Where are we going guys?

One thing that’s striking about flying over St. Helens after Kilauea is how small St. Helens seems. An odd feeling!

I wonder if we’ll survive today without naps.

Airborn nap plan

Turns out our entire exit row is going to Portland, and is other families that have been split up due to the tender ministrations of Alaska. So we’ve formed a passengers collective and reorganized ourselves appropriately. Victory!

A series of huts

It really is…

It’s huts all the way down.
TSA hut.

We’re waiting for about 40 minutes because the Alaska desk isn’t open until 7ish. “closer to when the plane arrives”. That’s new.

At least it’s not raining.
The agricultural inspection station may have some questions…
Terminal has excellent gardening through…
We have arrived at our gate, such as it is. A tad warm, but there’s a breeze.
At least a portion of the breeze is on account of the jet engines idling just over there.
We wait. Only a few more hours. Notably, there are no power outlets anywhere around here… This could be troublesome.
This is the gate.

Baggage has to go through FDA screening before boarding, and apparently our carryons will have to as well.

This is done to ensure nobody is smuggling fruit. They want to keep the bent fruits for themselves.

The King’s Road

We packed up our stuff this morning, and are killing time wandering Kona and surrounding area.

Bevin considers the sea…
Hei Hei is ready to go, he’s been far too close to the sea.
Still ❤️ Banyan
Just can’t get enough.

We went on a tour of the summer house of the Hawaiian royalty that was built when they started trying to emulate the outside world…

The summer palace. Credit: Emily
The king was said to be over 7 feet tall, and spears were 3 times the height of the user. The long one is his spear.
His exercise ball. 180 lbs.

Stopped at a small national park that has a short trail out to “the King’s road”, a straight road the first king built across the island. In case you can’t tell, that road goes straight through this lava field, all the way to the horizon. It’s really quite a thing to see, it’s amazing to imagine how much work it must’ve been to construct. Something I’d like to read more about.

I certainly wouldn’t build a road across it…
The Road
Up close and personal with the lava rock field
Cool lava rock

Gonna get some dinner, head to the airport, and engage in single combat with Alaska airlines. Should be fun.

Jurassic Hike

Yesterday, our last full day on the island, we drove around the north side to see the sights, go to a waterfall hike, and visit the other big town of Hilo.t

The hike was fantastic. Very jungly. I’m not going to post the full set of pictures because there are just too many, I’ll upload them later in a better way.

Josh ❤️ Banyan
Unknown plant. Maybe Ginger?
Some of the plants are just HUGE
Akaka Falls. Not quite all 442 feet of it is visible. There’s a fish that goes up it. (suction cups are used)
Very tenacious mosses around here.
Some truly impressive ferns, and Pothos that make my inner houseplant gardner cry.
The only sound better than crashing waves on rock is jungle waterfall. As long as it includes the smell.
This is the place Disney Imagineers go to say “holy shit, if only we could do that”

After the hike we went into Hilo, walked around, checked out the farmer’s market, and completely undid Matt with lunch.

The drive down the mountain takes you across some beautiful valleys where the road is right up in the canopy.
Really interesting biome on the way back up the volcano. Sort of a scrub-brush rainforest?
More blasted lava wasteland in the saddle between the mountains. About 7000 feet up.
A sign I saw in Hilo that I really liked.

Got home and scrounge up some food and watched the sunset. We went down into the queen’s bath, I’ll have pictures of that later when I get them from Matt, I didn’t dare take my phone near water in case I had to dive in to save Bevin.

NightSight, palm edition…

Cameras these days man…

Hand-held at the luau.
Phone pointed straight up on the table at the luau
Nighttime waves, and a passing boat, from our porch
Clouds and stars over our porch
Mostly void, partially stars.

Big dipper and palm.

The same view, now that the sun is up:

What shall we do today… Hmmm…