Kristine Heimstad, Staff Writer

While Park Hills turned cold and snowy, I was enjoying sunny Honolulu. I’ve been having a hard time trying to find an adjective to describe my trip, and no word is good enough. The places I visited, the other foreign exchange students I met, the food I tasted, the stunning nature I saw, and the full schedule of activities made the trip memorable for a lifetime.

Hawaii was like a dream vacation; one you only see in movies. We enjoyed every day to the fullest and doing the most things possible. It started with sightseeing to explore the island. I saw the crystal blue ocean, white beaches, rare animals, fruit plantations, breathtaking views, and I hiked up to the volcanic crater–Diamond Head. One of the countless highlights was to spend time by the Pacific Ocean. To learn how to master a surfboard or how to breathe while snorkeling were first-time experiences. Sailing on a catamaran and watching the sunset was stunning and definitely something I will remember.

One of my favorite moments was visiting Pearl Harbor. I found it interesting and powerful to set foot in such a historical place. The week ended in a huge traditional Hawaiian Luau Party, where I learned to hula dance on a stage. Not only did I leave Hawaii with about five pounds of sand in my suitcase, a few leis, and a tan, but I left with wonderful memories as well. I simply fell in love with the island and there is no doubt in my mind that I will return.