Of all the botanical gardens I have visited in the United States, the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on the Big Island of Hawaii is my favorite. It spans 40 acres of untouched rain forest and is home to over 2,000 species of tropical plants. However, it is not just a botanical garden but also a breathtaking tropical nature preserve and sanctuary. With its multi-tiered waterfall, numerous streams, and a picturesque oceanfront walk along Onomea Bay, this garden has earned its reputation as one of Hawaii's most magnificent destinations.
The adventure begins before you even reach the Garden…
With my interior design background, I am always interested in unique and interesting architecture. The Painted Churches on the Big Island of Hawaii certainly fall into that category. If you are an architecture or art lover or just like to visit churches, I would consider the painted churches as must-sees.
Just be aware, these painted churches don't give away any of their secrets on the exterior. It's necessary to go inside to discover their beauty!
I have a funny story about that! On one of our visits to St. Benedict's, my husband was out in their fantastic garden, mostly trying hard to stay out of my way. :-D He was enjoying the quiet and the birds when a car hurriedly wheeled into the parking lot. This guy jumped out of the car and loudly proclaimed, "I'm not sure why they call this the Painted Church. It's just white!" Before my husband could tell him to go inside, he was back in his car and had sped away.
Visiting Waipi'o Valley on the Big Island of Hawaii had been on my bucket list since 2006. At that time, we were on a seven month assignment on Maui and had hopped over to Hilo for a weekend visit. We planned to hike the volcano, see waterfalls and drive down into Waipi'o Valley. I had done all the research, rented the jeep, was raring to go, and then we simply ran out of time. Not realizing how much larger the Big Island was to the other islands, I failed to plan for the driving time. Plan accordingly, from Hilo, it is an hour and fifteen minute drive and from Kailua-Kona, you are an hour and a half away. That's no stopping to take pictures or sightseeing but straight drive time.
Fast forward 11 years to 2017, when I received the news of the Big Island assignment my first thought was, "I finally get to see Waipi'o Valley!"
I am the 8th photographer in 4 generations of my family. Back in 2006, my husband accepted a job traveling, and I jumped at the chance to go with him.
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