Friday, June 6, 2014

4 Favorite Things About The Big Island

I promise I haven't stopped blogging. We have been on vacation for a few weeks to visit family in Hawaii (yes be very jealous I have family in beautiful places)! We had a great time and debated on staying forever, but sadly the jobs and dog were back in Georgia so we headed back home. Hawaii, specifically the Big Island, is a gorgeous place somewhat untouched by time. One expects to see pterodactyls flying over head. With my feet in the sand and ocean breeze in my hair I really felt as if I was being called home. So in honor of our trip, and because I want to share pictures, today I am going to share my four favorite things about The Big Island. Regular food and mommy blogging will resume next week!

1) The Food

My time in Hawaii was spent on about 20% hiking, 30% napping, and 50% eating. I love all types of Eastern cuisine and lucky for me they have lots of it. There has been a lot of immigration in the past (that's how my great grandparents ended up there) from Eastern countries and the result is some of the best "asian" style dishes. We didn't stop there of course. I hit up every farmers market I could get to. They have some amazing fruit; apple-bannanas (perfect size for Mercury), lychee, and lilikoi (passion fruit) and lilikoi flavored everything. My favorite was fresh coconuts, we would drink the water inside and then crack them open to eat the soft flesh like pudding. It has ruined the canned coconut water for me! My other food favorite was the meat. Meat everywhere was grass-fed because it is cheaper to produce cows on the island. Believe me I saw where the cows were grazing and I was jealous. Similarly pigs are feral all over the island, and make for some of the best pork. I could go on and on about the food but it is making me hungry! Oh one more thing, you could buy avocados grown from peoples backyard for 50 cents!!!

2) The People

Being from the south people always think I'm nice. You hear the words "southern hospitality" pretty regularly growing up. Well I'm here to let you in on a little secret. People from the South aren't nice they are polite and there is a big difference. People in Hawaii are genuinely nice. Everyone smiles, and jokes, and laughs, and even though I haven't seen some of my family in 10 years they welcomed me and my new family like we were old pals. You can see how important family is to the culture and how loved and taken care of the kids are by the whole family. 

3) The Scenery

Hawaii is equally for beach lovers and mountain lovers. They have beaches with sand ranging from white to green to black; sheltered by palm trees and hiding vibrant coral reefs. At the same time they have emerald hills rolling into snow capped mountains. And in between beach and mountain are waterfalls, lava, and about a billion more stars than you ever thought were in the sky. We did a lot of hiking on our trip, partially because we love hiking and partially because that is just the only way to get to some places. I love that some spots are secluded because you have to work to get to them!
Had to climb in the Banyan tree, had to!

4) The Location

I have to admit that geography is my achilles heel (pat yourself on the back if you got the Scrubs reference). When you look at a map of the United States they always cut Alaska and Hawaii off and paste them closer to the mainland. It's not that I thought Hawaii was that close (okay maybe a little) but I just never realized how far away it actually is. It's not just far away from the mainland, it is far away from every land. At some point on our trip we looked out into the ocean and realized that's all you could see was ocean. There is something humbling about realizing you are on a tiny spec of active volcanic land in the middle of the great big ocean. When people say they 'want to get away from it all' this must be where they go.

Inside a lava tube

What has been one of your favorite places to travel?

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