"I just wanna let you know that I'm horrible at having my picture taken," Kirsten tells me as she pulls off the highway next to a poplar tourist attraction, a large lava tube.
"Do you know how often I hear that?" I reply to this common statement.
"No seriously!" Kirsten exclaims, "I'm horrible. I make this weird fake smile. Just wait, you'll see." I roll my eyes and giggle a bit because there is no way someone as beautiful as Kirsten could take a bad photo.
"Don't worry Kirsten, it's me. I can get a good shot." I reassure her as I jump out of the lifted jeep. Nether of us had ever stopped at the lava tube before so I wasn't completely sure what to expect. You could still see the top of Hualalai in the early morning light, the lava field soaking in the warmth of the sun.
We started by walking down into the tube, the floor scattered in broken lava. Light glowing through the end of the tunnel revealing a beautiful sky light where the roof had craved in. As we climbed around the tube we decided to take this adventure outside to use the morning light to our advantage. I followed Kirsten as she throw off her shoes and carefully tip toed about the cracks in the field.
"Should I climb down?" She asked me as we both starred down into the collapse lava tube.
"Only if you feel comfortable doing so." she nodded. Picking up her dress and slide down the side of the tube standing on a pile of large boulders I captured her in her pink dress as she told me about her love life and her decision to move off island.
As the morning sun got brighter and the tourist started to arrive we decided to venture to a new spot. Just across the street is a long bumpy road that leads through a lava field to a beautiful beach called Mahaiula's. With both my hands on the built in handle bar of the jeep, we rambled down the long road. It was still early in the day so not many people were at the beach yet. We started with a shady spot under a tree where I captured a moment with Kirsten. She told me stories and I gave advice. I was prefect.
"I brought this sequin dress and I really wanna put you in the water wearing it!"
"Lets do it!" Kirsten said as her eyes grew bigger and sparkled in the sunlight.
We found an area in with no people, she slipped into the dress and eased herself into the water. I joked that she should swim up to a group of guys that had dragged a large float down the beach.
"I think they would really like the sequins!" I joked as the sequins sparkled in the sunlight.
"I'll tell them I'm really a mermaid." We laughed as Kirsten drove under the water.
"I'm really glad we did this," Kirsten tells me as beads of water roll down her forehead, "it's been really fun."
I show Kirsten a preview of one of her photos. "See I told you wouldn't make a funny face."