I was born and raised in Hawaii, primarily in Hilo. My dad's family are primarily of Native Hawaiian/European descent, and our family roots can be traced back as early as Hawaiian history. It's been fascinating to read of some of the "real estate holdings" and fascinating stories of my ancestors hosting international guests even in the 1800s. My mom's history also weaves a fascinating tale of plantation life in Onomea after her parents immigrated to Hawaii from the Philippines.
I truly didn't appreciate growing up at the rim of Halema'uma'u at the military camp and seeing eruptions and lava fountains 2000 ft. high, or living in the sleepy town of Hilo. As soon as I was able, I left for the mainland, and lived the next 30+ years in the midwest, and CA. I visited most of the states in the Union, lived through over a decade of winters in KY and even the cold of northern and southern CA, and truly missed home. I am home again with ohana, while making many new friends from locals and visitors alike! I do feel very blessed to once again live the Hawai'i Life!