Today we want to explore why Mark loved this island so much. We got up not really knowing what to do for the day. Through the morning conversation we decided to get some French pastries at Moonstruck Patisserie and head over to Kona to enjoy some of the best snorkleing on the islands. We enjoyed almond, chocolate and bacon and cheese stuffed croissants with a delicious iced coffee on the way to Kona. Thank you Betty for your passion for amazing fresh pastries. I love how one persons passion really can inspire others. The views headed to Kona were spectacular. It was dark on the way to Hilo the night we arrived so seeing it in the daylight was breathtaking. Beautiful waterfalls, lush rain forests in small valleys and by the time we got closer to Kona it became more like a desert. Dale and Jonalyn wanted to go to Living Water Church to see the place where Mark was married and took his life, so we ventured there and again we were moved by the amount of joy and pain that Mark experienced at that very spot. We grabbed a sandwich at Island Lava Java, it was pricy but worth it. We then made our way to Jacks Diving Locker where we knew they rented snorkeling equipment. They told us of an amazing place about 30 minutes south that was some of the best snorkeling on the islands. It was nicknamed by the locals, Two Step. Entering the water for the first time was like entering another world or an IMAX movie. There was coral and many variety of fish and sea turtles. I believe I even saw a dolphin from a distance. At times it was a bit eerie since I watched the movie The Reef a few weeks ago which honed my senses for sharks. Audra and I swam in the water hand in hand like Alladin and Jasmine, in awe that our Creator wants to make much of us.
After snorkeling we headed back to Hilo. We decided to take a different route. There are two major roads between Kona and Hilo. One goes along the coast, this is the one that we have gone on each time we traveled. And the other is called Saddle Road which bridges two volcanos. It was simply breathtaking, we climbed to over 6400 feet above sea level and saw a field of lava rock and watched the temperature drop 30 degrees. We quickly entered a construction zone. Unbeknownst to me the speed limit quickly changed to 25 and I was going 54. The one important thing that was missing for the construction zone was construction. As the blue lights approached I pulled over and I didn't want to end the day with an hefty "construction zone" traffic violation. He took my drivers license and asked me a barrage of personal questions, wrote them down on a pad of paper and gave me a warning. For the next 20 minutes Jonalyn and Dale took it upon them selves to let me know every second that I surpassed the 25 mph limit. Once in Hilo we made our way to Cronies and enjoyed some Ahi Tuna fish and chips. Now back to the Inn to process the amazing sights and experiences of the day. Thank you Mark for loving Hawaii, it's wooing me in too.