Friday, February 13, 2009

Leif on a lava field - Hawaii - December 1985 - Age 10 (almost 11)

We visited the "Big Island," Hawaii, twice. The first time was on our way across the Pacific when we were moving from Germany to Japan. The second was during our three year tour in Hawaii. After two years of warm, even hot, Christmases on the island of Oahu, I was hankering for some cooler weather. It seemed so odd to me, a "Northern girl," to be wearing shorts or muumuus on Christmas, hearing "Jingle Bells" and "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" in 80 degree weather, and seeing fake snow on the windows of Pizza Hut.

So, we went to the Kilauea Military Camp on the edge of the Kilauea Crater on the Big Island of Hawaii for Christmas. We stayed in one of the lava rock cabins. It was rustic, rural, unusual, and spectacular. We saw a lot of fantastic scenery. This photo is of Leif on one of the lava flows. He loved climbing around that stuff and seeing the odd formations. He was almost eleven years old.

We hadn't thought about where we were going to eat Christmas dinner. The nearest city was Hilo, so we drove there thinking we would find a nice place to eat. It was Peter Anthony's seventeenth birthday (my Christmas baby) so we had a double reason for wanting a nice dinner. But, we couldn't find anything open! We found one hotel, but Peter W. didn't like it and thought we could find something better. No such luck. We drove around for a long, long time. Even Pizza Hut was closed. We finally found an IHOP (International House of Pancakes) open and were so hungry we settled for that. It wasn't what we had hoped for, but instead of a great dinner, we got a great story.

We found out the next day that were we should have headed was to Kona, where the tourist hotels are. It was farther away, but that's where the good Christmas dinners were.

However, we were happy to be together celebrating. How lucky we were to have those days.

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