This year, I had a conference to attend on the Big Island. The sad thing for me was that we didn't have ANY extra time in Hawaii this year, so I didn't get to see very much of the island. (although I saw a whole lot of the inside of the window-less hotel conference room along with 250 other people) But Michael had a great time seeing the sights and on the last day we had a few hours between the end of my conference and the time our plane left so I got to see a few of the highlights.
When we flew in it was dark and we had a two hour drive to our hotel. It was raining and we couldn't see a thing! There are very few lights on the roads there. When you do see lights, they look very strange. They're long rectangular lights that point straight down and are a yellowish/amber color light. This is a terrible picture but you get the idea.
We checked into our hotel the first night and because everything was so dark, we could have been in the middle of a corn field somewhere and not have known the difference! But when we woke up to see this view...we knew we were far from corn fields (and snow)!
While I was busy working, Michael got to drive. A lot. The Big Island is just that...big. It takes several hours to get from one end to the other. There were a few places where he could hike, but most of the time he was in the car...which I'm thankful for because if he had taken his time and gotten out of the car more, I would have been sitting by myself every evening waiting for him to come back! :) Michael saw lots of this:
Sam Choy has been on a couple Food Network shows (Chopped and Emeril). Since we love being 'virtual foodies' watching Food Network - we like to try food from chefs to see what the fuss is about.
We did have good dessert one night after a meal at our hotel. And another beautiful sunset.
Kilauea, an extremely active volcano. This was the crater of a different volcano, smoking from the hot lava inside it.
Akaka Falls and is 442 feet!
Our last meal on the island was another Food Network place. Sad, I know. Earlier in the week Michael had stopped at Ippy's Hawaiian BBQ in Waikoloa and found out that Ippy (from Food Network Star) was working at his mom's italian restaurant in a different city. We stopped there for lunch (no fish this time) but didn't get to see Ippy. But we recommend Solimene's italian restaurant. It was good and really laid back.
Overall, the Big Island is quite different from Maui. And since those are currently our only two experiences in Hawaii (other than Honolulu and Pearl Harbor), it's hard not to compare them. There were some amazing features on the Big Island but Maui is hands down our favorite. I hope someday we get the chance to see Kauai and also see the non-Honolulu parts of Oahu so we get a better picture of the whole state. If you've never been to any of the Hawaiian islands...GO!