Throat Punching in Paradise

I'm on Spring Break with the fam in Hawaii.

After a 16-hour journey we finally arrived in beautiful Hawaii. The first thing I noticed was the beautiful weather. "Ahhh," I said. "Sooooo much better than home." Then I checked my Facebook feed and saw that someone was bragging about 70 degrees back home.

Well, you know what? It's still Hawaii, asshole.

We settled in and the Hubs and I immediately started fighting about what we should do. The Hubs and I have very different ideas of how to spend our vacation. For the Hubs it's all about go, go, go and for me it's all about relax, relax, relax. The Hubs would love to book us on excursions from morning to night. He thinks nothing of driving three hours to see a waterfall and then another two hours for some pristine cove, whereas I've got the lovely Hawaii Channel here in my hotel room that shows me that waterfall and pristine cove, why the hell should I hike there? I'd rather sit in a shady spot on my lanai and read the ten books I downloaded on my Kindle before we left.

However, marriage is a compromise, so I let him convince me that we should get up at the ass crack of dawn to trek over to the other side of island to see an active volcano. "How many times in your life will you see an active volcano, Jen?"

His question sounded like the beginning of every bad End of the World movie I've ever seen.

I shouldn't have worried at all though.

You see, I didn't research before we left, other than to flip through the touristy magazine left in my hotel room. The magazine was filled with ads for helicopter rides, whale watching expeditions, and snorkeling adventures. There were also ads for the volcano. The ads show HOT LAVA spewing from the cone of the volcano. It showed waterfalls of HOT MAGMA rolling down the sides. If the ads were to be believed, I was taking my life into my own hands to go there. The lava might shift at any moment and trap my family and I on the wrong side of a river of BURNING LIQUID DEATH.

I was actually a little concerned about going. HA.

We drove over two hours to a very cold and extremely windy spot on the island. We got out of the car to stretch our legs and Hubs said, "Who wants to see the volcano?"

"I do, I do, I do," Gomer, Adolpha, and I chimed in.

"But be careful," I warned. "Stay close." (Translation: "Don't go too far, because I can't watch you die alone, if it's going to happen I want us all to die together in a fiery pool of lava."

We walked up a short (windy -- seriously, people, it was crazy windy and I'm from Kansas -- I know wind) path to a railing where we peered off into the distance and saw a mountain with steam coming out of it. There were several signs around that told us about steam vents and I assumed this dusty, steamy view was just a bigger vent.

"There it is!" The Hubs said. "Isn't it amazing?"

"What? That dusty hill with steam? THAT'S the volcano?" I asked.


"Where's the lava? Where are the explosions? What the heck?"

The Hubs just shook his head at me. "You can't be that dumb, Jen."

Oh yes I can. I am totally that dumb.

That night back at the hotel, I picked up a copy of Big Island Magazine. I wanted to see what these ads were selling! Here's what I found: "If you get up early ... very early ... and stay up late ... like all night ... and you know where to look and how to get there ... by four wheel drive, long hikes or intimidating and dangerous swims, you can absolutely get the best photos of your life."

Oh helllll no. I'm never going to do that. So I'll just sit in a sauna and watch just this Youtube video. I bet it's just like being there!

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Photos: Wikipedia

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