Happy National Hawai'i Day!
Maui, Hawai'i is definitely in my heart, simply because it is home too (totally unbiased! lol)
Today was the day Hawai'i was granted statehood. It also happened to be the 50th state to do so. Eight islands make up the beautiful Aloha State: Hawai'i or the "Big Island", Maui, O'ahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Mihau, and Kahoolawe.
Hawai'i is full of incredible history. Nearly 2,000 years ago, Polynesians navigated the Pacific ocean coming from the west. Captain James Cook sailed to the islands in 1778 and later died on the Big Island. For generations, Hawai'i was ruled by the hand of the Kamehameha dynasty. King Kamehameha is still honored in Hawai'i today. King Kamehameha Day is celebrated by all the island dwellers.
In 1874, a new king was elected - King Kalakaua, known as the Merrie Monarch. He developed a reputation as a diplomat as he set out to tour the globe in 1881. As a result, he would become the first monarch to travel around the world. It would take the Hawaiian leader an entire year to complete the voyage.
Hawai'i, specifically O'ahu, has long been a strategic military installation. Its location in the Pacific has been vital to U.S. Naval operations for decades. On December 7th, 1941, the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor shocked the nation and is what ultimately caused the United States to join World War II.
The islands' beauty and traditions consistently draw visitors for rest and relaxation. Hawai'i's pristine beaches, majestic volcanoes, and exotic atmosphere speak to a richly diverse heritage that is welcoming and fascinating. Dance, music and song taught from one generation to the next keep traditions alive in a lush environment surrounded by ancient history.
Some of my favorite spots on my homeland, Maui are:
The Commando Hike
Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge
Mermaid Pools (a secret spot on the west side)
Kapalua‘s Iron Beach
Baby Beach in Paia
La Perouse Bay
HaleaKala Crater National Park
I consider it one of the wonders of the world where silence has a very unique and particular sound that grounds you like nothing else, and at the same time gives you an unimaginable high. It's such a powerful and transcending place to me. It's also home to the Nene bird and many other endangered species. The Haleakala silversword plant is another threatened nature gem. Hiking this crater with my friend and trail expert, Gail Rice, was the best! It is always such a blast to be in her company, and I miss her tons.
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