07/23/08->07/30/08 – Hawaii Vacation

So, these past few days I was in Hawaii. What a beautiful place it is! We stayed for the majority of our time on the Big Island which is the biggest (hence the name), and still growing, island out of all 5 major islands. It still has an active volcano that we got to see via helicopter, it was an incredible sight. Both myself, father, brother and brother-in-law are big into golf so of course we played about 5 times in total. There were some magnificent golf courses out there.

We also took a tour to the top of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano that hasn’t erupted in over 4000 years. This could be why there are so many observatories located at the top of the mountain, ten to be exact. This was a breath taking sight, literally. We were over 13,000 ft above sea level and the air was pretty thin up there. I was struggling to breath and got light headed rather quickly. Nonetheless that didn’t stop me from taking advantage of the beautiful sunset and the great view. Well, we had a nice view of the top of the clouds at least. This mountain top is so high up that it sits above the clouds.

After the sun had set, we made our way down a couple thousand feet and to a remote location for stargazing. Never in my life have I seen so many stars. Granted, I live in the city where there is terrible pollution in the air, both smog and light. This was truly a jaw-dropping sight. I gave my best effort in taking some long exposure shots of the sky but was not too successful. Its just something you’re gonna have to experience for yourself!

This was a cool sea turtle we saw on the beach waiting patiently for the tide to come in so she could get back to the water. Every once and a while as the water came in she would flap her arms a little trying to move out of the sand.

sea turtle

This was on the helicopter tour. Some spectacular views from up there!

volcano 1

As the lava flowed under ground it eventually hit the cool water and exploded violently.

volcano 2

volcano 3

All over the island they have this “graffiti” of white rocks people take and organize to spell out whatever they want. Danielle (my girl friend) and I decided to make one of our own, except we put it in a still fresh water pond to ensure no one will try to mess with it :)

B&D

We also had a hula dancer put on a show for us. It was great fun.

hula 1

hula singers

During the trip we also visited a black sand beach. This was cool to see. The sand is so much finer and softer than traditional white sand.

jeffkim kiss

And while we were there my sister and I, with the help of my dad later on, put together a rock arch using some of the many rocks that were all over the beach.

rock arch

Here’s where we got near the top of Mauna Kea.

megchrismatt

Here’s a shot of me and Dani that I set up and had my brother take.

meanddani

And finally my long exposure attempt at capturing the many many stars that filled the sky that night.

starry sky

-Brian

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