When I was 13, I was taken on a Hawaii family vacation with my grandparents and my aunt and uncle. My uncle’s parents had a beach house in Kailua Kona on the Big Island and this vacation would be my Bar Mitzvah present.
When I arrived to the island and the house, my first thoughts were that this was the most amazing place that I had ever been. The house was set about 100 feet back from the water, separated by a backyard and about 40 feet of lava rock (the same lava rock that composed most of the island). The entire back of the house was open to the ocean, with removable panels that were always pushed to the side. Every day we were able to go in the backyard and pick fresh mangos for breakfast.
The trip itself exceeded any expectations that I had. We ventured all over the island. We went to macadamia farms and sampled the freshest and most delicious nuts I had ever tasted. We went to a coffee farm and tasted fresh 100% Kona coffee, which I now know, as a heavy coffee drinker, to be some of the best coffee in the world.
We went to the volcano Kilauea. That was probably one of the best moments. The volcano was actually active and lava was flowing on the ground and into the ocean. I was able to get really close to the flow and it was one of the coolest (hottest!) things that I had ever seen.
Finally we got to go out snorkeling. That was amazing. The amount of fish that we saw and all the colors of them. I even learned the state fish of Hawaii and can still say it today, humuhumunukunukuapua’a! (maybe not spell it though). It was to this day one of the best vacations that I have ever been on. I still want to go back and it remains high on my list of dream vacations as an adult. I will always remember my Big Island vacation.
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