Aloha is hello and goodbye for us visitors but in the Hawaiian language it means affection, peace, compassion and mercy. And that is exactly the way I felt the entire festive week I spent on the largest of the Hawaiian Islands which is the original home of King Kamehameha and the landing spot of the first Portuguese explorers. You could call it the island that started everything but just don’t call it the Big Island! The locals hate that.
It is home to one of the worlds most active volcanoes (kikiuea), the tallest sea mountains in the world at more than 33,000 feet (maunakea), the most massive mountain in the world (maunalua) and the largest park in the state (volcanoes national). Impressive. However, we did not see any of them. In fact, we never left the premises of Hualalai. Why would we? It’s gorgeous, relaxing and incredibly accommodating. Everything we needed was at our fingertips, even wildlife. The food was fresh and delicious, the gym and spa (ahh…the lomi lomi massage) was perfect, complete with a little yoga studio. The property is bookended by golf courses and beaches. One of my favorite afternoons was the annual sunset “barefoot and drunk golf tournament” organized by our crazy California friends. And the winners were… female… who were obviously not drunk enough. Surrounded by family and great friends during the holidays doesn’t get better than being in this magical place. But you are going to need a second mortgage on your home for a piece of this happiness… we’re going back next year!
Mahalo… “thank you”!