We recently had the privilege of a two-week family vacation and reunion on the Big Island of Hawaii over Christmas and New Year's. Though I did not keep a true journal, I kept notes and wrote about three of our days, and may possibly do another page as well. Sorry, I have not been able to post photos on Gather for six months. These are from the public domain. I plan to post some to another site.
On the tail of the plane, the Eskimo guy wears a lei. Nobody is wearing a lei on board, but there was a single fragrant sprig of a plumeria blossom resting on the counter in the lavatory. We can get POG juice (passion/orange/guava) and later, a complimentary Mai Tai, if you want it. A few straw hats came on board, and some people were already dressed in their whites. Everyone is involved in their own little world. The parents entertaining their little kids, older families (like us) passing snacks back and forth, reading books. I am wedged in between my husband and a son. Have been reading Naomi Wakan’s poetry collection, Segues. D. is reading Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton. We got to see the southern islands of Puget Sound, the Hood Canal, and the Olympics as we headed southwest. Food and beverage carts are trundled by. The male flight attendant is wearing a Hawaiian shirt. We are all asked to refrain from eating peanuts, as there is a very allergic person aboard. We will avoid our trail mix. I hand out cheese, crackers, carrots, and kale chips to our group. Later, we view a sky full of Georgia O’Keeffe clouds, looking just exactly like her enormous canvas. Further on, the Pacific is completely cloud-covered. And then the clouds break up again.
Nearing our destination, we see a coastline below us, and a black mountain peak poking through the clouds. Are we there yet? Not quite. Continuing on, we pass a barren black volcanic mountainside that plunges straight into the ocean, except for one flattened area that has some green sprouting from it. We pass by that island...Maui? Or is it the big island's southeast side? The flight attendants pass around Mai Tai’s and pog juice, plant and animal declaration lists, and announce the winner of a drawing for two leis--today is my husband’s lucky day! His lei is made of some large brown seeds and tiny white shells. We look conspiratorially at each other and decide to give it to our youngest son’s girlfriend, who is going on the trip with us. She is getting excited as the plane descends. She can’t wait to see Hawaii for the first time.
Similar to what we saw...minus the steam...
We exit down the rear stairs of the plane in the middle of the afternoon to moist balmy air smelling faintly floral. There is a lineup of airport/airline employees whom we walk by. None of them look at us or smile. In retrospect, I wish I had gone up to someone and shaken their hand. We pass through the gate. Some of us strip off our extra layers of clothing. B-Dawg wishes he hadn’t worn his long johns. Grandma and Grandpa have awaited us at the gate, and drape lovely, fragrant yellow and purple plumeria leis over the necks of us gals, and hugs and alohas are exchanged. Grandma is a “local”--she grew up in Hawaii.
Above.. the (so-called) good old days...
We split up, some of us heading over to baggage claim in the open-air airport, while others go to pick up the rental cars. We’ve been warned that the lines are long at the rental car booths, and about forty minutes later, our rides pull up at the sidewalk to transport us to our digs. Traffic is bumper to bumper past Kailua, and it takes us about an hour to get to our condos. We have time to settle in and take showers and relax a bit before thinking about dinner and groceries. We check out the kitchen and facilities. The owners where we older folks are staying love fish, whales and dolphins and have many carvings and paintings of these, as well as some silk orchids. We gals get all excited again, because #1 on our list of things to do is to swim with the dolphins...we head out for a late dinner and find a Thai Cafe, the Royal Thai Cafe, with exquisite food, and they are familiar with a gluten-free diet. I get a Thai chicken salad with peanut dressing, and Grandpa lets me eat some seafood and veggies off his plate...then after picking up some breakfast groceries at KTA we headed back to the condo to relax on the lanai awhile, before falling into bed and asleep, to the melodious sound of the voices of our young adults on their lanai across the lawn.
Aloha po...good night!