Sunday, March 24, 2013

Aloha I

 Its been a week since I returned home from my week-long visit to Hawaii. I can hardly believe it. So I feel like it's time to share some highlights of my most glorious visit!

But as I sit here tonight, preparing to write about every detail of what I experienced, and as I looked back at my pictures, I realized that in order for me to do this visit justice (and to retain your attention without boring you:-) I must break it up into several parts. So consider this Part 1 of my Hawaiian experience!

Our first day on the Big Island was basically the end of a long travel day. We boarded the plane Sunday morning (after being victim to day-light-savings-time...having an hour stolen from our day ;-)and landed in Hawaii only a few hours later, only due to the fact that we were now three hours behind our body-clocks. The sun was brilliantly shining, the warm wind embraced us as we deplaned and set out to find our hotel. I was severely over dressed, ha!

We stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, about 20 minutes from the Kona airport and about 30 minutes from downtown Kona. It was a gorgeous drive through lava fields to reach our destination.

 (Pictured above from left to right: the back of the main lobby, the fountain in the courtyard of our tower, and the view from the lanai of our room!)

When we walked into the lobby of the hotel, I stood in awe! It was massive; with marble pillars, tile floors, immaculate statues of bronze, and a tram that carried guests throughout the massive resort. It literally felt like a more tropical, and somewhat more sophisticated, Disneyland! I couldn't believe it!!
(The above pictures were just a few pictures we took with some of the many statues that graced the entire resort!)
When we awoke early the next morning, we wanted to spend the first half of the day exploring the gounds in which we were calling home base for the week. We set out, walking along the pathways through the many gardens, ending up on a path along the lava ridden coast. 

 We took our time to meander down the path, making sure to take-in all we were experiencing! The ocean was such a deep and vibrant blue. All I could bring myself to do was stare at its beauty! We found a section of the beach where a rustic swing was built and hung in a very weathered old tree. We stopped there to just sit and gaze on the beauty we found ourselves surrounded by!
After a short break, we headed back to the "Lagoon" - a small bay that was fed by the ocean but inland enough to protect it from the crashing waves and current, but with still home to many sea creatures -  to try to find a place to snorkel!
When we arrived at the beach of the lagoon, we snagged two chairs right along the water. Cam brought his snorkel gear from home so all we had to do was jump in, literally!
This was my first experience snorkeling and I was slightly nervous. But after a few brief instructions, I realized my hesitations were unwarranted! I had so much fun being able to float along the surface of the warm ocean water and gaze down on numerous sea creatures; countless fish, eels, and even a sea turtle! It was so much fun!! Definitely something I would love to be able to experience again!
Our first few days were so full of exploration! We were able to get a feel for where we were at and how to get around, and had an opportunity to dip our toes into the pool of wonder we were about to be able to enjoy!
Over the next few days, we went on several more excursions, and were able to learn so much about the history of the Hawaiian islands and the beauty of God's hand! 
 Stay tuned for Part II of my Hawaiian adventure!



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