While I’ve been to Oahu and Maui numerous times — and consider Kauai my happy place — Hawaii has been a bit of a mystery to me.
We took an early winter vacation to the Big Island, going on long (and admittedly painful) hikes, looking for lava, staying in cottages at small bed & breakfast retreats, and eating shave ice wherever we went (which is possibly the most important thing about vacationing in Hawaii).
Our nine-day trip began on the Kona Coast, where we stayed on a plantation in Captain Cook. After our time on the island’s west coast, we drove down — through South Point and Green Sand Beach — and east to Volcanoes National Park. After spending a few days hiking and lava-viewing around Volcano, we passed through Hilo and went around the island, eventually arriving on the Kohala Coast, where we spent our final two nights at a posh resort on the only white sand beach we saw.
Sadly, the weather didn’t cooperate and it rained for much of the week, but that ultimately wasn’t too bad, as the cooler temperatures made our hikes more bearable.
Here are some photos from the week, taken with my beat-up iPhone 5s. The quality of these images is poor, and these days I’m not really enthusiastic about taking pictures (kind of how I’m apathetic about writing). But I hope they give you an idea of my time on Hawaii — as well as the island’s varied and distinct landscape.