Guest Blogger Danielle Lescure shares her Hawai’i Adventure in a 6-Part series as she ventures throughout The Big Island.
You know how you get really excited about a trip and then worry it might not live up to your expectations? Yeah, that never happens in Hawai’i! Though I’ve only traveled to Hawai’i once, exploring the Big Island exceeded every possible expectation I had.
Friends had recommended Maui or Kauai as options for my first Hawaiian vacation, but the Big Island is a mix of the tropical and the volcanic, plus the science geek in me desperately wanted to see the eleven observatories atop the summit of Mauna Kea. I packed plenty into my week in the Pacific and hope you enjoy a little taste of what makes this island its own unique paradise.
My first day out and about, I was already entranced. I made a brief stop at Kealakekua Bay, a beach known for it’s distant view of the Captain Cook monument. The beautiful blue of the water stood in stark contrast to the large, black rocks on the shore. The Hikiau Heiau stands here, where Cook was once worshipped as a god.
I paused long enough to soak in the scene and soak my feet in ocean spray then headed down the road a bit to what would become the first of many favorite places: Pu’uhonau ‘O Honaunau National Historical Park. Yes, it’s a mouthful. It’s also a stunning and serene spot.
Built around 1550 as a place of refuge for defeated warriors, noncombatants, or those who violated the kapu (law), there is a solemn stillness in the air giving it the feel of the sanctuary it was originally built to be. Even the sea turtles bobbed placidly along the shoreline, pushed along only by the gentle current. I strolled down the 1871 trail, so quiet and removed from the park I felt I could almost hear the ancient voices of long ago.
I made a conscious effort to simply “be” in the moment and take in the sights, smells, and sounds of the place. A father and his young daughter laughing and playing by the water’s edge. Warm air settling softly on your skin. Water faintly lapping against the rocks. It’s impossible to sit in this space and not feel calm. I could have stayed all day.
It was in this peaceful state of mind that I ventured down the road once more and paid a visit to The Painted Church. Known for the colorful murals covering its walls, this tiny, intimate parish and the lovingly tended grounds, that also serve as a small graveyard, instinctively send you into a hushed reverence.
A couple of visitors were just leaving as I arrived at the church and with its ocean view and angelic statues, it seemed as though I was the only person in the area for miles. And then I heard the faint strum of a ukelele coming from the warehouse building across the way. Perfect.
Welcome to Hawai’i.
Danielle Lescure is a writer and singer in Los Angeles. You can find out more at DanielleLescure.com, tweet a hello @daniellelescure, or check out her blog at https://daniellelescure.