Somewhere in the noodle-like recesses of my brain, I have this idea of Hawaii. It is humid and white sands and blue waters and it smells like plumeria. It is also full of pasty tourists and crowded resorts and McDonalds. I'm sure all this exists somewhere in Hawaii, but we didn't find it on the Big Island. What we did find was an incongruous beauty, beauty that ran into itself and opposed itself and merited a lot of silence as we observed it all. Desert and rainforest, country side and beach, fresh lilikoi and hardened lava - who could dream this stuff up? Also, how is this crazy place even part of the United States? We lapped it all up with wide eyes, stilled tongues, and history podcasts. Big Island, you are way more than I imagined.