But before I get to my card, I am going to take you to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. When Merrilyn, my sister, visited Hawaii in October, she was told that the best time to view the crater was at night, because the hot lava sent up a glow. You don't actually see the lava, because it is out in the middle of the crater, within a crater, below the surface level. The lava lake is in the Halema'umu'u Crater, which is located within the Kilauea Crater area. There is a cycle that the lava goes through called a deflation-inflation cycle. The lava had risen to within 130 feet of the crater floor. And the day before we got there it had started its deflation, which continues until inflation again takes over. Crazy. There were lava ocean entries that week, but they were described as weak. And, with Gary unable to take long boat rides, we did not go out to see the lava enter the ocean.
There was also some flow at the Pu'u O'o cone, but no one is able to get close by land, due to the poisonous gases that the cone produces. You can fly near it, but again, Penny doesn't do helicopter flights, so that was a no-go, too. We had to satisfy ourselves by seeing the wild night views at Kilauea Crater. The first two photos are views of part of Kilauea. The next shots show Halema'umu'u within Kilauea. And, of course, there are a couple of obligatory shots of us. I want you to pay particular attention to how fabulous my hair looks in the wind. Don't you wish you could look like me? (At least I am at peace with it.) And then you'll see the night views.
We saw some steam vents in the park. I photographed a couple of them, but didn't go too near. Merrilyn got too close and actually got a steam burn on her leg. So I knew better! Thanks, Merril! The steam is formed from rain soaking into the ground, which is heated by Kilauea. So there are no poisonous gases at these vents, but they are hot! (Known person in first photo, but a very odd duck. Unknown person in second photo.)
We also managed to go through a lava tube, which was quite eerie and very wet. Don't you love the color of Gary's skin in there? The ceiling was quite high in places, and lots of tree roots were hanging through it. There was much drippage, so you had to be careful with your camera, and where you were stepping. And there were a couple of places that I almost hit my head while trying to avoid the puddles in the path. I was able to warn Gary in time. Or he would have knocked himself senseless. Again. But that's another story for another time.
Btw, he was looking at his photos the other night, and he said he can't believe how old he looks. Well, duh, we aren't kids anymore. We do look old. We ARE old. Oh, sorry, didn't mean to shout at you--that was directed at Gary.
We did see a couple of other craters in the area and some fabulous plant life. It was so green there--quite unexpected for me. Gary's color looks much better in this photo, although he looks half-asleep! He'd be very unhappy if he knew I used this one. But he never, ever reads my blog, so he'll never know! Haha!
Here is the Lua Manu crater:
And this is the Puhimau crater. It is so much deeper and larger than this photo shows, but you can't get close enough to the edge to see:
There were other craters as well, but by this time, (around 4:30), we were really hungry! We had not eaten since breakfast at the Coffee Shack in the morning. So we went to check into our hotel and have dinner. And our hotel was really cute--almost like a lodge in Montana. Very quaint, right down to the squeaky floors in our room. I got a couple of shots of the room.
And Gary took these photos of the restaurant.
Apparently, there is a long story attached to that fireplace. It has coins and plaques embedded in it from all over the world. Gary was quite fascinated by this. I guess it's more a man's thing. But we sat near the fireplace that evening and it kept us warm. (I know it's Hawaii, but it was winter and we were up above sea level.)
We had a good dinner, but it wasn't really outstanding. I don't think it was worth the price we paid. But breakfast, which was included with the room rate, was really, really delicious. So that more than made up for the dinner. Oh, and I found out that their water is rainwater that they collect. I guess you don't drill down through hundreds of feet of lava to get your water supply. Interesting...
And, after breakfast on Saturday, we were on our way up the east coast to Hilo and beyond. To be continued...
As I said about a million words ago, I chose a really cute image for this card. I printed her on X-Press It CS and colored her with Copics: BG70, BG72, BG75, R02, R05, R08, R11, RV00, RV11, RV21, E000, E00, E11, E13, E15, E18, E21. I die cut the image with a Spellbinders Labels 8 die, and then sponged SU ink around the edges. I cut apart the sentiment and added the pieces to a pennant die-cut made with a die by La-La Land Crafts. My other die cuts were made with Cuttlebug Hearts & Stamps die and Cheery Lynn Mini Italian Flourish die. My DP is from My Mind's Eye Lucky in Love collection. It is paired with Stampin' Up CS. To finish the card I also used a bit of cheesecloth and SU ribbon.
OK, that's another long post for me. Fortunately for you, there is no need to read through all of it. You can just glance at the photos. Or not. But this is keeping the memories alive for me. And that, for me, is worth the price of admission. (Whatever that means.)
Now, I hope you go see what my fellow teamies have created with the new release and with the new challenge: So Sweet. I'm looking forward to your entries!