Hawaii, June/July 2012 Day 8, Part 1

Boohoo.  Our last day here.  Thankfully, our flight wasn’t until evening, so we had one last day to explore the island.

Saying goodbye to this view from our balcony was hard to do:

But…we managed to pull ourselves away.  We got in the car and drove north to check out the nearest State Park, Hapuna Beach State Park, and Kaunaoa Beach, which I had read about being on of the Top 10 Beaches in the US according to Condé Nast.  My family was humoring me this day with all my picture-takings.

The first thing I noticed about this public beach was the grove of trees that sheltered picnic tables and camping sites.

I quickly became obsessed.

Of course, I had to get the gratuitous 2 monkeys-in-a-tree picture.

I’m thinking I *might* have a problem, so I turned my attention to the beach 🙂

I loved the unruliness of the vegetation.  It was not in a contrived, perfect formation.  It just *was*.  It made me think that this is what the beach might have looked like even before it became a maintained state park.

The junction of sand, rocks, sky, and water gave me an almost primal feeling.  In that moment, I was blown away by not just nature, but the beauty in unadorned simplicity.  I did not take the moment for granted and, thanks to my patient family, I was able to just sit in reverent wonder.  I cherished it doubly, I think, because I live in Suburbia, where everything is planned and homogenous and perfect.

Sigh…onto the next Most-Gorgeous-Place-on-Earth…

This beach wasn’t as crowded.  Although it was open to the public, in order to gain access, you had to enter the grounds of the Mauna Kea Beach hotel, drive through and around the lush golf course, and sign in with security to get a pass to park.  Then you had to make sort of a hike down to the beach itself.  It was totally worth the hassle.

While my family remained under the shelter of trees, I couldn’t resist a walk down the beach.

Ka-pow-ee! I captured some of my beloved sun-flare!

I happened upon a guy hanging out on a low rock wall.

I must have scared him off, because I was able to take his spot and get this fun shot.

To be continued…

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