So the good news is that I finally downloaded all of the pictures that we took in Hawaii off of our big cameras onto the computer. The bad news is that I still haven’t started to go through them all to decide on my favorites. I know, I know, I’m such a terrible blogger, but I just feel so overwhelmed when I start thinking about all of the pictures! So, instead of posting about what all we did, I thought that I’d post about what we learned while we were on the islands! Just to preface this post, this is what we learned while visiting Maui and Kauai, it might not apply to the rest of the island.
- Most roads on the islands go around the island, not through the island- One of the first things they teach you when you’re in Geometry is that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. It’s not just a principle that you can apply to Geometry, you can also apply it to your life in many ways, but most often when you’re trying to go somewhere, whether it’s driving or walking. Unfortunately, you really can’t do that in Hawaii because the islands are so mountainous. So be prepared when driving places, it might take you longer to get somewhere because you have to drive around the island, and because the speed limits are so slow (also because of the crazy roads).
- All beaches in Hawaii are public- So warning to all of you celebrities that are reading this blog post, if you buy some ocean front property in Hawaii, anybody can access the beach that you’re on. It’s a state law! Our tour guide in Maui was telling us about how Paul McCartney from The Beatles tried to block off the access to the beach in front of his house, and basically the police showed up to his house, and told him that he had to have a pathway for everyone to access the beach. The thought process behind the law is that everybody should be able to share the beaches, which is pretty awesome in my book!
- Most hotel lobbies are actually outdoors- One of the most common things in any Hawaiian home is a lanai, basically an outdoor porch or veranda, because the weather in Hawaii is usually incredibly nice. A lot of the hotels try to incorporate that into their lobbies, which means that when you walk inside the hotel to check in, you actually walk outside again because it will be partially opened to the outdoors. It’s pretty awesome!
- The airport is not air-conditioned- Like I mentioned previously, the weather in Hawaii is pretty nice year round which means that you don’t need air conditioning that much. I guess because of the nice weather, or to save money, the airports opt to not have air conditioning, except in the gate area, and basically make the rest of the airport one huge lanai. The only problem with that is that it some areas don’t have any windows to catch the breeze, which makes it very, very hot! So just some friendly words of wisdom, make sure that Starbucks at the Maui airport is really worth it because you are going to be sweating a lot while you wait for it!
- There are an absurd amount of wild chickens in Hawaii- I don’t know how they became wild, but there are seriously a ton of chickens running loose on the islands of Hawaii! We saw them everywhere, and there were even some cute baby chickens running around too. We asked a few of our tour guides if people hunt them, but they said they were too tough from being wild to actually be worth eating (think wild turkeys). And here’s another fun fact for you, there are more wild chickens on Kauai because there aren’t any mongooses (mongeese?) on the island.
- Black sand beaches are actually few and far between- It’s actually pretty hard to create a black sand beach because the lava has to hit the water a certain way in order to create the sand instead of the lava rock. And once it’s created, apparently they get washed away pretty easily from the rough tides. Thank goodness we got to see one while we were there!
- The kids in Hawaii go to school year round- But don’t feel too bad for them! They get big chunks of time off during the year for breaks, and also some random days off because the swell is too good that everybody has to go surf. Yeah, life is pretty rough on the islands.
- Sea turtles have very light sensitive eyes- One of the coolest experiences that we had on our trip we weren’t able to document. At dinner on one of our last night we started talking with one of the locals that told us that we could actually see Sea Turtles on the beach right near our hotel. We started walking to the beach, and sure enough there were 3 or 4 of them just chilling on the beach! We wanted to take some pictures, but some other locals on the beach told us that sea turtles’ eyes are actually pretty light sensitive so not to take pictures with the flash. We tried to take some pictures without the flash, but unfortunately they didn’t turn out. At least we still have the memories!
- There aren’t just active volcanos on the Big Island- The Big Island is the home to National Volcanoes Park, which is where you can see active volcanoes spewing actual lava. What you might not know is that other islands have volcanoes that are active as well, they just aren’t spewing lava, and Maui is one of them! Haleakala, the volcano we biked down our first day in Hawaii, is actually considered an active volcano, even if it’s not spewing lava. So beware when you visit, but I don’t think you have anything to worry about!
- The Hawaiian Ginger isn’t really ginger- One of our stops on the Road to Hana was at a flower shop, where they gave us this beautiful flowers, which they said was Hawaiian Ginger. When you first smell the ginger, you don’t really smell anything, but then when you squeeze the flowers, a wonderful citrus smell is released. The funny thing about Hawaiian Ginger is that it’s not really a Ginger flower, which is pretty funny!
I know I learned way more on our trip, but I’ll have to fill those in on our trip update posts. Today I’m linking up with Christine at A Keane Sense of Adventure and Bonnie at A Compass Rose for their Travel Tuesday linkup!