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Friday, April 30, 2010

Being a Traveller: Looking Back to Hawaii

Last year at around this time in April 2009, G and I were lucky enough to go on a 9 day trip to 2 islands in Hawaii!

I've never really been one to really want to go to Hawaii, but given the opportunity, I'm certainly happy that we did. I almost feel strange saying that I often think back on the trip and want to return. It's strange given my previous feelings towards the chain of islands. Why? Well, Hawaii is such a surfing cliché, no? I mean, it's all Beach Boys and people at luaus, right? I was so wrong. This picture below, my first glimpse at one of the islands of Hawaii (the Big Island, Hawaii Island, actually)changed everything:

Kona Airport

The warm air (we went in late April, an ideal time to travel, I think), the view of volcanic rock in the distance, palm trees. . . I was smitten! The above picture was taken at the Kona Airport just getting off the plane.
April was a great time to travel to Hawaii because it was 'shoulder season', meaning everything was cheaper and there were very few crowds. We also enjoyed the mild weather (neither of us do well in extreme heat so couldn't imagine a trip to Hawaii in the Summer).

We stayed at the Hapuna Beach Prince Resort and enjoyed the pool and ocean beyond it. I'm not a huge swimmer - I love the water (I am a cancer after all) but am not the most confident person when it comes to actually swimming in it. I was surprised by how much I loved being in the ocean, though. We got to swim with a turtle nearby! The one pictured is a different one, which we saw as we visited the Black Sand Beach on the coast of the island.

Pool over looking ocean - Hapuna Beach Resort, Big Island
Black Sand BEach turtle
We visited cultural sites, coffee and macadamia nut plantations, went to Volcanoes National Park and then went to Honolulu for a few days.
Iolani Palace Honolulu:
Iolani Palace Honolulu, HI
View from hotel room Hilton Hawaiian Village
We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (above)

I wish that we could have stayed on the big island for the whole trip or gone to another island. I didn't care for Waikiki beach: too crowded and the beach wasn't as nice as the one near Kona, plus the shopping and everything was a bit boring. I could see someone enjoying Honolulu more if they didn't live near an ocean (which we do, being in Vancouver) and being someone who likes to hang out on the beach, but it just wasn't for us. It was a lot more hot here than on the big island. I can't say that this part of the trip ruined Hawaii generally for me, but I must say that I enjoyed being away from a big city during the first part of the trip.

Has anyone else been to Hawaii and been surprised by how much they liked (or disliked) it?