This has been one of my favorite days of my life yet. That's how much joy was overflowing out of my heart. When my kids ask me to tell them a bed time story about an adventure, this will be the first one that spills out of my heart. So much joy. These are the kind of days that make me beyond grateful to be alive.
Erika & I set out to Hilo, which is about two hours away from Kona (usually). We found out we took the really, really long way there but that was okay because it was also bursting with so much beauty. Like an unbearable amount of beauty. We drove through volcanic rock, up mountain sides, through fog, over waterfalls and palms trees. We did it all and the drive was so worth it.
After a few pit stops to see the beauty just hanging around waiting to be felt, we headed to our first stop: Kaumana Caves.
Kaumana Caves is a 25 mile long lava tube that you are able to get into and hike through! It's extremely dark and creepy so make sure you bring a flash light and a friend (or 5). We didn't venture much into the volcano caves due to the fact that we felt we saw someone sleeping and freaked out like girls front row at a Justin Bieber concert. So we ended up going into the caves comfortably and exploring the plants and all around outside for a bit.
After this we headed to Rainbow falls. It has an incredible view of a waterfall and an even better tree to climb. I mean like the most perfect Banyan tree to climb. It made the 5 year old inside of my heart go absolutely crazy. And yes, of course Erika & I carved "T + E" in a limb. You'll have to spot it yourself if you are ever in Hawaii!
After we said goodbye to Mr. Banyan tree, we headed over to a secret local spot. I decided to name this one Bangarang swimming hole. We pulled up and parked a little bit away but as soon as I walked down the grassy path to the hidden spot, my heart started skipping beats. I was actually intimidated by all the local boys doing backflips off of the ledges and felt really out of place. Erika told me it was really only known by locals and you could tell from a mile away I was obviously not a local. But I took a deep breathe and told myself, you are going to jump off of that tree no matter what anyone says. So I gave Erika my things and headed over to hang with the bangarang boys. Also for those who don't know what I am referring to when I say Bangarang- it simply is the lost boys from Neverland (total Peter Pan reference) and they are exactly who I want to be when I never grow up. Just watch the movie hook. You will understand. So I started small and went with a little rope swing and then the boys knew I meant business. The water was freezing and I just kept laughing and jumping. Childlike faith swells up in the deepest corners of my heart and I carry it with me. I am so thankful the Lord has placed so much adventure and whimsy in my heart. Bangarang Taylor forever. After that I worked my way up to the highest spot in the tree and jumped without a care in the world.
I won't ever forget the freezing cold water and the handsome guy who I swear was Rufio cheering me on as I climbed up the wood planks shaking. At the end of the last jump I had every soul in there cheering me on. These are the moments I will hold onto. The ones where I stand for courage no matter how big of a wedgie I might have and no matter how big of the fall might be. Yes I did just say weddgie.
At the end of all of or excitement from the day in Hilo, we realized how beyond hungry we were. So we headed to Ken's diner, a place Erika's friends rave about, and completely grubbed out with banana and macadamianut pancakes. Can't forget the coconut and passion fruit syrup either. It was a day well spent making dreams come true with people, who even though I might not have gotten their name, will be apart of my story for a very long time. The people make the places you go. That's all that matters in the end.