When I turned twenty-one–shockingly, a few years ago now!–I spent the happiest birthday of my life at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel with my mother and sister, strolling on the shore in the early evening and catching the greatest sunset of my life. I remember feeling the wind gently toss sand onto my slippers and watching in awe as the sea turned into opalescent glass, sky and ocean alike illuminated by deep purple, pink, and orange.
I’ve never seen a sunset that can quite compare to that amazing birthday gift, but Hapuna Beach remains a favorite northern Kona hangout of mine. A nearby twin of Mauna Kea, Hapuna offers protected coves, a beautiful long beach for walking, and relative proximity to the best shave ice on the Big Island. That’s enough for me!
We were lucky enough to enjoy a beautifully clear day with a phenomenal mountain view right from the shore! Though the sand was well-printed with footprints of all sizes and kinds, the beach itself remained fairly deserted: another perk of arriving early. Hapuna has a slightly larger (and more secret, in my opinion) public beach access parking situation than Mauna Kea, though, so those who prefer to sleep in before hitting the beach might very well find Hapuna enchanting.
During those rare times when I have the joy of seeing the Pacific in person, I lie back on the sand and study it, trying to commit its every wave, every tide and crest, to memory.
I tried to capture a few breaking waves with my camera, and I love the way that the water’s color changes with each forward movement, transforming as sand churns and spins inside it.
As I write this post, I’m dizzy and jetlagged from a moderately-delayed journey back from my islands, and these photos are my lifeline: they’re magical looks back into a land that I left too soon. Expect many more episodes of my Hawai’i adventures over the next few weeks: I’ve got lots more to share, and it’s the only way of dealing with my homesickness…