First Impressions

People are really sleeping on Hilo, Hawaii.

Spurs up or Shaka? You decide. 

My dad and I flew from Baltimore to Phoenix, then Phoenix to Kona. Once we landed, we drove on the Saddle Road to Hilo (the two cities are on opposite sides of the island).  The Saddle Road is particularly unique in that it goes up and through the mountains in the center of the island, reaching 6,600 ft above sea level at its highest point. The entire drive is incredibly scenic, passing through desert, lava fields, and rainforest, passing Mauna Kea.

Before I left, I had multiple people warn me that Hilo wouldn't be what I was expecting from Hawaii, but I think I might already be in love.

My dorm building: Hale Kehau (House of the Early Morning Breeze Bearing Dew)

The city is quiet, charming, sustainable, pretty much perfect. The ocean is blue and clear and beautiful, the air is a perpetual 80 degrees, and Mauna Kea looms in the distance, presiding over the city below. Today was my first full day here--obviously I haven't even scratched Hilo's surface (let alone the island's surface)--but my time here so far has been indescribable. As every second goes by, I realize just how insane it is that I'm here, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, living in Hawaii.