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In July of 2009 my job took me to Hawai'i, the Big Island. I spent most of the month working and touring this beautiful island paradise. I stayed in a very nice hotel, the Hilo Hawaiian. If you go I suggest getting a room overlooking Hilo Bay. The town of Hilo and surrounding area was beautiful, laid back and friendly. It's not the real touristy part of the island so you get to see more of the real Hawaii. They do have some wonderful shops and galleries here, more locally owned and non-franchised. What I like to call Island born. The shop owners were locals who were very knowledgeable about their past and how their products reflect the history of Hawai'i. I found this part of the Island more lush and tropical than the tourist side around the more famous city of Kona. I spent one day in Kona. It has a few nice beaches, a ton of major stores, serious charter boats for fishing or diving and a lot of tourists. A wonderful city but not my cup of tea, so to speak.
I drove along the coast and found many beautiful areas to visit. One such spot, that is really easy drive right by, is Whittington Beach Park. The water is too rough for swimming most of the time, but the waves are gorgeous. Several of my best wave pictures were taken here. It's a nice place to take a picnic lunch and enjoy a peaceful afternoon. Another wonderful place and possibly my favorite is the Hawaiian Botanical Gardens. This place is along a scenic road, north of Hilo, which goes through a couple areas where rock walls covered with flowering vines and bushes tower overhead. When you get your trip to Hawai'i, these gardens are a "MUST" visit. Go early and don't be in a hurry to leave. There are an amazing number of flowers of various types and every color. Almost everything in these gardens has some type of blossom. Unfortunately for me, I found this place on one of my last days on Hawai'i. I spent most of the day there and really could have spent another full day and maybe I'd have taken all the pictures I wanted. A "wonderful" place.
I took so many pictures that it is taking me time sort through and pick the best to show. So visit my Hawaii Gallery regularly to see any new additions.