After two busy days in O’ahu, J.D. and I spent the remainder of our honeymoon on the Big Island of Hawai’i. It’s worth mentioning that J.D. travels a lot for work, and accumulates points and rewards both with airlines and hotels. We were able to stay in a very nice resort in Waikoloa based solely on his hotel points. If you love to travel, it’s worth looking into a program like this in order to upgrade and get free or reduced-rate stays.
There are people out there who have said that the Big Island is not as much fun as some of the other Hawai’ian islands (not so many beaches, or whatever). But it really depends on what you’re looking for. We had a blast!
Our impression of the Big Island is that it’s more rugged than O’ahu. While O’ahu is the home of the state capitol, Hawai’I definitely comes across as the Adventure Island. And the island is still growing. Kilauea is in the news right now as I’m writing this for new fissures and evacuations due to ongoing eruptions. More lava means more rocks means more island. (Of course, it sucks for those whose homes were on the wrong side of the volcano, and we pray every day that those who live around Kilauea stay safe.)
Geologically speaking, it makes sense that there are rocky beaches on the island. But they’re still really cool to explore. And there are still some sandy beaches to stretch out on! The resort where we stayed managed to construct a lovely lagoon where guests could swim with the fishes (and not in the gangster movie sense). If you’re looking for that beach experience, you can still have it, even in the shadows of the mountains.
J.D. and I went swimming in a salt water lagoon, and even took the plunge to have the dolphin experience. We got into the water in the pouring rain to swim up close with a small pod of dolphins. I was surprised at how soft their skin was. It’s not scaly or rough like I expected—they are smooth and soft and delicate. They are incredibly smart animals (probably in some ways smarter than humans).
If you are interested in astronomy, then your next visit should include a trip to Mauna Kea. The visitor’s center there offers nightly stargazing opportunities, as long as the weather cooperates. There are also several universities that have observatories at the summit and scientists studying the marvels of our solar system. We learned that Mauna Kea is actually one of the best (if not THE) best place for stargazing and observation on Earth. Not only is the mountain a high summit, but it is isolated enough to avoid light pollution that would interfere with the telescopes. Even though we were not able to do any stargazing due to the weather, we spent some time chatting with the people at the visitor’s center. Even that was worth the tricky, windy drive up the mountain. (PRO TIP: If you are planning to go to the summit and see the observatories, Four-Wheel Drive is a MUST.)
The Always Anthuriums ladies are located on the same side of the island as Volcano National Park, although they are far enough away from Kilauea to be safe from the current lava flows. We made our way over to Volcano National Park to see the Kilauea Caldera (although the lava looks far more impressive now than it did when we were there). Even in the pouring rain, the park is worth seeing. Lava fields stretching as far as we could see, steam vents allowing pressure and steam out from the Earth’s crust. There is also a museum at the visitor’s center with exhibits regarding volcanoes and the different forms that lava can take (apparently it’s not all oozy goopy fire).
Some people out there may say that they were disappointed by the Big Island. But we definitely weren’t. There is SO much to see, SO much to do, SO much life and excitement and adventure out there, if you’re willing to explore. And I can’t wait to go out there and have more adventures.