Yellow flowers in Hawaii

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Yellow flowers represent friendship and happiness. In contrast to the deep blues and greens of Hawaii, the yellow flowers easily catch your attention and make you want to stop and admire them. The first four are yellow flowers in Maui. The fifth photo is one of my favorite yellow flowers we saw in Lanai: the popcorn orchid.IMG_6559

The flight to Hawaii

There is no way around it. Hawaii is an isolated destination to reach if you are not lucky enough to live on one of the islands. It is, after all, the most remote island chain in the world.

The Hawaiian Islands are nearly 2,400 miles from California, nearly 3,900 miles from Japan and if you live in New York City, you are in for a nearly 5,000-mile flight.

Then there is the time zone change. From the U.S. Central Time Zone, Hawaii is either a four or five-hour time difference.  (Hawaii doesn’t observe daylight saving time.) After the long flight over, my inner body clock has me up around 2 to 3 a.m. in the Hawaiian Time Zone for the first few days. So, yes, the time zone changes and distance are challenging. But then you might find yourself looking at this view in Upcountry Maui, complete with a rainbow in the distance.

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Or, there is this view from the main road to West Maui. If you are visiting from a location with long, cold, snowy winters, the colors are a feast for your eyes.

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And before you know it, your stay is over and you find yourself heading back to the airport for the return flight home, which is often an overnight flight if you live in the United States.

Is the long flight worth it? Absolutely. Bonus: Even the signs in the airports in Hawaii are charming.

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The breathtaking end of the road

A visit to the Big Island is a study in ecologic and geographic diversity. Drive in any direction and the landscape and weather are likely to change, often rather dramatically. Now, I am not an expert in climate zones, but depending on the classification system used there are at least eight on the Big Island—from humid tropical to arid and semi-arid, to temperate and even polar on the tops of two of Hawaii’s mountains. Yes, skiing and snowboarding in Hawaii. It’s possible and yet another reason to love this island.
 
One way to spend an amazing day on the Big Island is to drive to the northern tip, past the charming town of Hawi. Be sure to stop at the local stores and restaurants on the way. There are some gems here and besides, you aren’t in a hurry.
 
Be sure to enjoy the jaw-dropping twists and turns of this road and drive slowly (and quietly) to take it in.
 
When you get to the end of the road on the Big Island’s Northern Kohala Coast, you are in for a stunning, gorgeous vista—one of the places forever ingrained in my mind for its breathtaking beauty. Welcome to the Pololu Valley Lookout. This is the image one might imagine from a postcard or calendar of Hawaii. The cliffs and the sounds of the waves crashing against the shores. It’s almost overwhelming. Stop and look—and listen. This is a sound that never gets old.
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More to come in future posts on this gem, including a hike down to the beach. For now, enjoy the view.

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