This year we finally made it to Hawaii!
We just came back from a 2 weeks dream vacation where we could experience a bit of everything: gorgeous beaches, beautiful nature, volcanoes, waterfalls, rain (yes, here in SoCal we treasure the rain!), starry nights, sea life, tasty fruits and meals, local beer, local coffee, friendly native people, breathtaking sunsets and the list goes on!
As hard to describe it is to pick only 10 images to show our adventure, so don't be mad at me, I'm posting way more than 10!
We started at the Big Island, we were staying in Kona, west side of the island. The hotel itself was amazing but of course we wanted more:
This is a black sand beach, in Punalu'u. The black sand is made of basalt, created by lava flowing into the ocean, very unique!
We tried to do a helicopter tour to fly over volcanoes and waterfalls, we made a 2h drive to the other side of the island for it but as we were checking in at the airport all flights were cancelled due to bad weather. So from there we went to the Volcanoes National Park, where we could see Kilauea. It is active but on daytime you can only see fumes. If you visit at night you can see glow from the lava but at 4000 feet elevation it was cold and drizzling, kids were hungry and tired and we decided to leave.
During a short hike to see the lava tube we found some native birds
Rainbow Waterfall: it was cloudy and we didn't see the mist rainbow.
This tree near the waterfall was huge and so beautiful that I had to ask hubby to stop the car so I could take a few pictures!
This is in Oahu, Waikiki Beach, in front of our hotel, couldn't ask for more!
Food trucks are very popular, we saw a lot while driving around the north shore beaches.
On the north shore I wanted to visit Pipeline Beach, famous for its huge waves that break in shallow reef water. But that is during wintertime, right now the ocean is flat, I saw people swimming and stand up paddling.
Pipeline was the kids favorite beach, we had to go there twice!
Shave ice in Hawaii is as popular as going to the beach and Matsumoto Shave Ice is on top of it! Only because he is on a TV show in Japan (Hawaii receives 1.5 million/year visitors from Japan). Of course we went there to try it. The line was huge and once you get there you can choose from a large variety of flavors. I'm not into sweets/desserts/ice creams but had to try it. For me it was a once in a lifetime experience. I didn't finish mine, neither the kids finish theirs.
Another kids favorite was the Atlantis Submarine tour in Waikiki. It is environmentally safe (the subs are battery powered) and they really enjoyed watching the ocean at 100 feet below the surface. You can see sea life, artificial reefs (to create self-sustaining habitats for fish and marine life in areas once barren of life), sunken shipwrecks and airplanes.
Do you wanna know why underwater pictures are so bluish? Its because water absorbs different wavelengths of light to different degrees. Colors disappear underwater in the same order as they appear in the color spectrum. Red is the first to go, then orange, yellow and green. Remember my hot pink nail polish at the black sand beach? Now it looks purple, and this picture is not so bluish like the previous one!
If you ask me which was my favorite beach this is the one: Hanauma Bay! It was formed within a volcanic cone, today is a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park so you have to pay a fee and watch a video (to learn about marine life and safety rules). We had to get there really early in the morning to be able to park our car in the limited parking lot, it was worth it getting out of bed in the early hours! My sister in law and I spent one hour and a half snorkeling, we saw colorful fish and reefs but just watching the bay from the top of the hill was amazing!
I have many more pictures worth posting here but I'll finish soon. The cameras I used in this trip were my Nikon D800 with a fixed 35mm and only lens, a GoPro Hero3 and my iPhone 6. Pictures from the three of them are here, all mixed up.
Wait! Am I not in any picture? Of course I am... a selfiemaniac!
Hawaii, we love you! Mahalo for these amazing days!
Thank you for visiting and for the patience with this long post!
This blog post is part of a 10 on 10 circle, please follow along starting with the talented Bonnie Jakobsen-Martin