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03 August 2009 @ 07:04 pm
(Backdated to 2 weeks ago) Screw the rules, I have a time machine!  
Hi guys, I'm back from Hawaii! Okay, so I really got back two weeks ago and I'm just super lazy for not posting pictures earlier...but...Hawaii was so awesome! If you ever get the chance GOOOOOO!!!!!! I would drop everything and move there right now if somebody asked me to. Seriously, I would. It's kind of like tropical version of Missouri...just with mountains, volcanoes, great weather, rainforests, gorgeous beaches...okay, so it's really nothing like Missouri, but I would still be living there right now if I could afford it! I got to snorkel with sea turtles (kicking myself forever because I didn't buy an underwater camera <--fails at life), went on a zipline tour, ate some of the best food of my life and got a 10th degree sunburn! Good times were had by all. :)


Here's a buttload of pictures from my trip...well, more like 20 or so, which I narrowed down from the 1000+ I came back with anyway. I could spew my new found knowledge about Hawaii all day, so if you have any specific questions about what I did or anything in the pictures just ask. I'm going to try to keep the comments to a minimum so I don't annoy the hell out of you guys with my rambling which I'm probably doing right now in fact...




On the way over we had a 3 hour layover in Denver and then got to fly over the Rocky Mountains on the way out. I almost wanted to stop the trip right there and vacation in Colorado instead. Glad I didn't, but man, I LOVE Colorado!
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I took this somewhere over Arizona or New Mexico I think. I was staring out the window at sand, sand, sand, rocks, sand, then this. Those little white specks in the water are boats.
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After flying over the ocean for about five hours, we finally made it to Maui. Happy to say our plane was snake free the entire way.
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The first couple days we stayed at the Ritz. It was nice, killer swimming pools and a great private beach, but it was really empty. It seemed, since we were there during the off season, there weren't that many other guests. I felt kind of like I was in a tropical version of that hotel from The Shinning or something. The fact that the hotel had an ancient Hawaiian burial ground right in the middle of the resort didn't help the creepy empty feeling either. 0_o This was the view from our balcony in the morning.
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I can't even describe how blue the water is there, except to say it's so clear you could see to the bottom of the ocean practically everywhere no matter how deep it is.
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Skipping around a little here, but after we'd been there a few days, we decided to drive up Haleakala Volcano. It was my favorite place on the entire island.
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Not only do you get up above the clouds, but it's a good 30 degrees cooler up there than it is everywhere else on the island. My sunburn greatly appreciated that.
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It was amazing up there, almost like being on another planet. Oddly enough though, when I bought a postcard from the gift shop and flipped it over, what did I happen to find but a quote from Mark Twain! I like how I can't get away from Missouri even when I'm at the top of a freakin' volcano.
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Ohhhh, look, it's Mars...or the top of the volcano. I so wanted to hike down there in the crater (which really isn't a crater but I can't remember what they did call it). They had a path so you could actually do it too, but without any supplies and only sneakers on I probably would have been pushing it I think. Ah well, there's always next time.
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We switched hotels at some point and this was our new view. As you can see there's really no bad views in Maui. No matter where you are on the island it's all beautiful.
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Up till now you've been looking at pictures of the south side of the island. That's the side where the wind blows about 40 mph all the time, they have forests of cactus and it only rains about 2 inches a year. On the north side it's totally different and like a rainforest. There's massive bamboo forests, black sand (more like black rock) beaches and artsy hippies.
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I loved the black beaches and the contrast of the white waves against the black rocks. You don't even want to know how many pictures I took of it. This beach wasn't even that big really, just a few 100 feet or so and the only really busy beach that I saw on the entire island.
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Apparently the big island has massive black sand beaches that stretch for miles! Another thing I'll have to see if when I go back.
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I wouldn't be me if I didn't take random picture of the local flora and fauna (which happen to be free range chickens. Chickens everywhere I tell you!). I have no clue what this is, but it sure was pretty.
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People were selling pictures like this for $200 dollars in some of the art galleys I peeked in at one of the local malls. Phhhffff, whatever. I'm in the wrong business. I could live in Hawaii and take pictures all day long.
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My dad and brother actually swam in this waterfall. Someone who had a first hand account with swimming in it said, "HOLY CRAP, THAT'S COLD!"
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We decided to drive all the way around the volcano on a one lane cattle path at one point. There's not much to see on that side of the island except for old lava flows, BUT we did catch this rainbow as the sun was setting, which made the bumpy 3 hour car ride well worth it. It went right into the ocean by where we were driving. So cool! XD
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Sunset is an odd time of day in Hawaii. ALL, and I mean ALL, the tourists come out and take pictures on the beach at sunset. It's kind of like some sort of ritual. I felt like I should have been chanting in Latin while I took this picture or something.
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I apparently found one of my true callings in life because I'm pretty dang good at the snorkeling, if I do say so myself. It may just be because I'm extremely buoyant and just float on the surface of the water without even trying, but hey, natural selection, baby, it's working for me! Hawaii is great because, even though everything there is protected, they let you get as close as you want to stuff as long as you don't mess with it. Like this turtle for example. I got to swim with the mother flippin' sea turtles! I could have stayed down there all day if they would have let me! That was by far one of the most amazing things I've ever done in my life. I was jumping up and down like a kid going, "Let's do it again! Let's do it again!" afterward.
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Ziplines, putting yourself in a para-sailing harness and flinging yourself off of extremely high places going upwards of 40 mph with nothing but a very small pulley to keep you attached to a steel cable thousands of feet above the ground. A little scary the first couple of times maybe, but after that it was like, "A half mile long zipline 2000 feet off the ground you say? Sure, let's do it!"
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I was a little homesick for the first hour or so after I got there, but if there's anyone who actually wants to leave Hawaii after they've been there for a while, they must be some kind of weirdo or something (or extremely fair skinned like I am), because I would have stayed in a heartbeat if I could have, sunburn and all. Unfortunately my boss e-mailed me part way though my trip with a message that just said, "We miss you" which I took to mean "Things are going to hell in a hand basket around here! HELP!" which given the state of things when I got back, wasn't far off from the truth.
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So it was back to reality with me, and that's where I'm currently located, 100% Mid-west humidity and all. Here's one last picture though of what my brother and I deemed our official trip theme song while we were there. We were indeed, at one point anyway, on a boat.
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So I fail big time at the short commentaries. =P Later all!
 
 
 
Sister Rail Gun of Compassion: WTF? - Volcano - Lava fountainstormbringer986 on August 4th, 2009 05:14 am (UTC)
These pictures are so amazing. I particularly love the one of the sea turtle. I've never been to Hawaii but looking at these pictures makes me want to go.
ellen: bunnyellen_the_snail on August 4th, 2009 12:35 pm (UTC)
Oooh, the sunset is my favorite but they were all awesome. Thanks for sharing. (: