In my quest to see all the things in the two "1000 Places to See Before You Die" books, I've marked up my atlas with flags pinpointing the location of the places I hope to visit someday. One of the pages most densely packed with flags is the Hawaii page, especially the Big Island.
When my sister Tracy expressed an interest in visiting Hawaii over Spring Break, I was thrilled for the opportunity to take a trip. Tracy didn't have as much time as I did, nor as much interest in doing all of the activities suggested by the book, so I spent about five days exploring the island on my own, and then the rest of the trip exploring it together with her, which was a nice mix of independence and companionship.
We had a wonderful time! The Big Island is amazingly diverse, containing 11 of the earth's 13 climate zones, making it possible to snorkel along a coral reef the same day you visit a 14,000 foot mountain top, and to hike in a wet, tropical rainforest the same day you drive through miles and miles of a barren black lava-flow desert or see bright orange lava oozing out of the earth and into the sea, creating new land. Hawaii also has a very interesting and unique history to explore, and a delightful, relaxed, diverse culture to enjoy.
After 11 days of adventures, I'm now home and getting readjusted to normal life again. Over the next few days and weeks, I'm planning to make the time to write about my experiences on the Big Island here. Stay tuned.