We have had a great end to our time on Hawaii. Yesterday we went back to the Pu`ukoholā Heiau temple and took advantage of their free canoe rides. They take you out in a double hulled canoe, similar to the type the native Hawaiians used when they discovered the islands. We got to sail around a bit and then they go in and talk about the history of the boats and how they were used. We weren’t quite prepared to get as wet as we all got, but it was still fun to get out on the water.
Last night we drove to the top of Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in Hawaii, to see the sunset. Actually, we didn’t go to the top. You need a 4×4 jeep or van to go to the summit. Plus they don’t allow kids under 16. But we went to the visitor center and watched a pretty sunset.
After the sunset, we stayed for some star gazing. The top of Mauna Kea is supposed to be one of the best places in the world to see the stars. They have about 340 clear nights per year because they are so high up. The cool weather at night forces the clouds below the summit. Plus there is less light pollution here than most other places. The kids got a chance to look through some high powered telescopes to see the moon, Jupiter, and even Saturn.
Right now we are all resting up for our big travel night. Our plane leaves Big Island at 10:40pm and we fly through the night to Seattle, Washington. We get there at 7:30am, have a three hour layover, then fly about 2.5 hours to Los Angeles. Then we are meeting up with my parents, sisters, and their families for a week long Kelley Family vacation.
It’s been a fun five months in Hawaii. But now it’s time to say Aloha!