I got the greatest compliment this past Monday. A longtime reader who I recently met in person in March in Seattle (she was on the AFAR Experiences trip and she recognized me, talk about an exciting experience!) sent me a message via Facebook (of course we're Facebook friends now!). She said that she goes to the Big Island all the time (vacations there often) and that she had learned so much from my Hawaii posts and Instagram photos – I could not be more thrilled! I have to thank the folks at the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau because they put together the perfect itinerary for me – they really got me.
Before heading to Maui I wanted to recap what I did and where I stayed on the Big Island. I met some extraordinary people. They taught me about ‘aina – the word for land, but like most words in Hawaiian, it means so much more than that. I found the following in an article by John Fischer which sums it up perfectly:
“This concept of totality with the land and with nature is essential to any understanding of Hawaiian culture and beliefs. Love of the land is at the heart of all Hawaiian customs, language, the hula, chants, mele (songs), popular music, art, history, geography, archeology, traditions, religion, and even politics.”
Time and time again I witnessed this, felt it flowing through the conversations I had with farmers, with guides, with “ordinary” people.
In a word: the Big Island rocks!
During my visit, I:
Stayed at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa and Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Besides great meals at the hotels, I ate an amazing poke (and mixed plate too) at Da Poke Shack and had delectable sushi at Hilo Bay Cafe
I learned about Hawaiian Agritourism and visited:
> Greenpoint Nurseries, KTA Super Stores, Imiloa Astronomy Center and the amazing OK Farms on the Hilo Grown Tour
I went to a few more spots here and there that I did write about on the blog, you can see more of my trip to the Big Island in my Big Island of Hawaii for Foodies Wanderlist on AFAR. There is SO much to the Big Island that I have yet to see and I missed a whole bunch of really fabulous things, on my next trip, I am definitely going to hit some of the awesome places on Footsteps of a Dreamer's Hawaii 3-Day Big Island Itinerary and Tips – she has some great stuff on there!
How about you? Think you will visit the Big Island in your future? What looks most interesting to you?
My visit to Hawaii was courtesy of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, but as always, all opinions are my own.
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