Let me start out this post with a bit of house keeping:
- Yes, I’m technically late with this posting….although I will argue that it’s still Saturday in Hawaii and since this post is about Hawaii, I’m using that as my justification for the lateness.
- When writing don’t forget to click save/update frequently, lest you walk away and the iPad goes into sleep mode and magically erases the last hour of work. I know this is basic computer 101, but I’m so used to writing on the computer–which automatically saves it–that I forgot on the App, saving is manual.
- I realize as I’m typing this for the second time that I suppose I should have started with our time in Oahu, since that is where we started our trip. However, given the fact that I’m retyping this all again, I’m more committed than ever to start with the Big Island. Besides, I don’t know that I’ve ever written about any of my trips in order, so why start now?
- Just in case it wasn’t clear in Planning To Get Lei’d, the person who insisted we go to the Big Island so that we could tour coffee plantations was little ol’ me.
I’m just going to pause here for a moment and let all the people who actually know me stop laughing.
For those of you who do not know me and/or haven’t had the pleasure of dealing with me sans coffee, the easiest way to describe my love of coffee is to say that I’m 99.9738% certain that my blood type is C for coffee–or perhaps more accurately, K for Kenya and Kona, my two favorite types of coffee.
So there was no way in hell that I was going to fly allllllll the way to Hawaii and not go to Kona. Period. End of discussion. Perhaps that is why everyone acquiesced to my suggestion of visiting the Big Island. Of course, I could have easily made the entire trip about coffee, but I didn’t. Since my darling friends were kind enough to agree to travel with me to the Big Island, I was kind enough to agree on visiting only one coffee plantation (the parameters set to me went something like “fine, we’ll go to A coffee plantation. You pick. You pick ONE.”)
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Yes, that’s right. I’m a big, fat tease and am NOT going to tell you about our trip to the coffee plantation–just yet. First I want to introduce you to Hawaii, the Big Island.
The best part of the Big Island (aside from THE best pina colada I’ve ever had in my life) is that every where you go, Kona coffee is on the menu. I was like a kid in a candy shop anytime we went somewhere and I saw it on the menu. I mean, sure you expect it but when you get there and see that it is an actuality, it’s quite delightful. Well, delightful to me–I’m not sure everyone else in the group felt the same!
Here are some more delightful…or rather informative tidbits about the Big Island. Most of my information comes from hawaii.com, which should be your first stop when planning to visit Hawaii. And they’re not even paying me to say that, although I would be perfectly a-okay if they wanted to pay me to say that–and visit more often. Just saying…
- Hawaii, aka The Big Island, is so named because it is the biggest of the Hawaiian islands. Just in case you were confused, thought they were being ironic, or wanted to be argumentative.
- It is just over 4,000 square miles and is the youngest of the islands.
- It has 12 distinct climate zones ranging from rainforest to snowcap peaks.
- It was formed with 5 volcanoes, although only two of them are still active. One of which is Kilauea, the longest continuously erupting volcano in the world (this eruption phase started in 1983!).
- One of the most fascinating aspects is how different the weather is on each side of the island. Hilo boasts an average rainfall of 128 inches, whereas directly across the island a mere 75 miles away is Kawaihae, who only receives about 10 inches of rain a year!
- It is home to four coffee regions: Kona, Ka’u, Puna, and Hamakua. There are approximately 790 coffee plantations (do you know how hard it was to only pick one?!?!?!) on the Big Island, however, the largest coffee planation is actually in Kauai!
- The Big Island is home to both a green sand and a black sand beach (more about those later!).
- The southern most tip of the Big Island is actually the most southern point in the United States.
- And just in case you thought it was all fun and games and coffee, Captain Cook was captured, killed, and eaten at Kealakekua Bay (just south of Kailua-Kona).