Hawaiibelle got it right on the head with what she said about Hawaii. Hollywood has totally changed people's perception of the islands.
They've given Hawaii south-american style rainforests and bora-bora style lagoons. Unfortunately, these islands are quite different, but beautiful nonetheless.
Hawaii has its rainforests, and its beaches. But we also have deserts and cattle ranches, grasslands and plains. On the Big Island we even have Skiing!! Hawaii is more diverse than people think, and the sad thing is that alot of people get here, find out it's not what they had pictured, and become disappointed.
To really know Hawaii you shouldn't look at pitures, and you shouldn't believe everything Hollywood throws at you. You have to experience Hawaii FOR YOURSELF! You have to spend a great deal of time here to truly understand these islands.
Some poor photos will make an island look ugly, but if you're here to take in the whole picture, you fund everything is quite lovely, more beautiful than you could even imagine, because you have to look at beauty in ALL THINGS.
When you first move here, as I did, the surf can be annoying, trust me on this one. If you're near the shore, the sound never ends. The surf is always there. But the more you hear it, the more the surf mezmorizes you, it places you under a spell and you begin the LOVE the surf. So much you can't live without it. The sound of the waves battering the shoreline becomes a lovesong, the essence of the life of the islands.
The wind blows through the valleys and lifts up your soul. The scent of nature fills your every sense, you become pert of the islands, and the islands become a part of you. But one must find these things, which are invisible to the eye of the tourist.
I have to have mountains, and I have to have sea. Hawaii delivers. I don't think I could live anywhere with sand and sea that doesn't have high mountains. Hence why I could never live in the Caribbean. And the people here are fantastic. Granted you wil have you people who make a mess of things, and you have a little crime, you have that everywhere, but it seems as if most people have this spirit within them that comes only from the islands. A peice missing from every person can be found here, if you only open up your eyes and look.
On first sight, Hawaii is not as beautiful as people claim. But when you open up your heart and look at all things with love, you begin to see beauty tha tyou never knew existed, you find yourself in a place that couldn't possibly exist, for it is too beautiful. And this is why I love Hawaii. I can look at a mountain, and see beauty. I can smell it in the air, I can feel it on a breeze. Hawaii has a soul, and you have to open yourself up to it before you can appreciate her true beauty.
Hawaiibelle, you have a great advantage. You've lived in the island all your life. I'm a newcome, Haole, and was, like everyone I'm sure, a bit disappointed at first with a few things. And alot of things I loved from the start. But as more time went by I grew to love these islands and I couldn't live anywhere else!
For everyone, think of Hawaii as a painting. You have your areas of light, places of jaw-dropping beauty that are unimaginable, and you have your areas of dark, your not-so-pretty areas that at first degrade Hawaii's image.
Now step back, and watch light and dark blend together to create a beautiful, fantastic picture. This is Hawaii, the perfect blend.
Don't let Hollywood show you Hawaii, come and see it for yourself. To really love it, stay away from the hotels. Camp. And camp here for a month, at least. And then, surrounded by nature, over time, you will see and love the real Hawaii, not the one served to you on a plate.
And I'm sure Hawaiibelle would agree. I'm oving on over to O'ahu here in a year or two for college, so maybe I could meet up with you. That is, if you like (No hidden meaning!
BTW- G Dubya, you shahbait kine, eh? LOL