Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation

For those of you who know coffee, you know that the Big Island is home to the only place in the United States where coffee really thrives: the Kona Coffee Belt. This summer, I had the pleasure of visiting the Big Island of Hawaii, and one of the things I desperately wanted to do was visit the Kona Coffee Belt and learn as much as I could about coffee.

Kona coffee is known around the world for its unique flavor, produced from the rich volcanic soils of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa—two of the Big Island”s volcanoes—on the slopes of which Kona coffee is grown. One of the primary reasons coffee thrives so much in the Kona Coffee Belt is the climate. With sun every morning and afternoon showers that are practically guaranteed, the area makes for ideal coffee-growing conditions.

On a warm, clear Thursday morning, I left the place I was staying and started the twenty-minute drive into Kona. As I neared the town, the weather quickly changed. (For those of you who have visited the Big Island, you know that the climate changes every twenty miles or so as you travel around the island. And for all you ski-bums: Yes, there’s even snow on the top of Mauna Loa.)

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A Taste of Ketchum

For the Fourth of July this year, my family and I headed up to Sun Valley, Idaho to spend a few days vacationing together. Family vacations are usually interesting for me. I handle my family well when I have my space, but when I’m crammed into tight quarters with them, it becomes much more difficult. So I was a little worried about this vacation, and despite a few run-ins, the trip actually turned out to be quite nice.

My mom and I arrived in Ketchum late in the day on Thursday, July 1. My dad and sister had arrived earlier in the day, but due to my mom’s work obligations and my need to be in class, we weren’t able to leave until later. At any rate, we started the trip off right with a nice meal at a Mexican restaurant in Ketchum. I ordered a chicken quesadilla, and I must say, it was quite delectable.

As the trip progressed, I found that the more pictures I took of Ketchum, the more I loved this little town – so much so, in fact, that I one day hope to buy a small condo in the town. With Tully’s Coffee on the corner across from where we were staying, I loved getting up each morning and enjoying some coffee delight while diving headlong into a good book.

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