Sunday, January 14, 2007

letting the aloha live

We're just back from a splendid, luxurious TWO WEEK vacation in Hawaii. The length, the ocean, the pineapples and the company were all splendid.

Growing up in Nebraska, my sense of Hawaii lacked nuance. It just enchanted me with dreamy pictures of swaying palm trees and tropical ocean scenery.

Now, I can distinguish the difference between Waikiki's urbanized and developed strip of hotels and the rural coffee fields of the big island.

In disbelief at the number of ABC convenience stores in Waikiki, Matt and I decided to count them on our walk back from dinner one night. It was a pleasant stroll--less than a mile. And, we passed 11 ABC stores (plus, one that was about to open in a new shopping mall). More incredible to us, though, was that we passed 3 Coach stores. (And knew that if we walked further, we'd find another one a block later.) We picked Coach to count, but there were other choices for fine handbag purchasing... It occurred to me, in one unfolding walk, that many people must vacation with purposes other than seeing swaying palm trees. But I'm still incredulous that THAT many people buy expensive handbags on vacation.

As for me, I'm especially grateful for some sea turtles, 2 whales off the big island coast, spectacular waves on the North Shore, and one exquisite sunset (which we enjoyed from an indulgent Waikiki hotel beach cafe). And for my dear husband, and his family, who we got to hang with during our time away from Oahu.

the exquisite sunset

the turtles

our family portrait at volcanoes national park

I bought no Coach handbags.

I did, however, feel a growing sense of connection between my Nebraska roots and the Hawaiian soil. My favorite local big island station played songs that, while also borrowing from reggae and using more ukelele, felt distinctively like country music. Turns out, there've been cowboys on Hawaii for years. And folks who go "big pig hunting," and sing songs about it.

Who knew?


karen said...

The sunset and the moonrise are spectacular, but my favorite photo is of those sea turtles.

I'm so glad you had such a good and long vacation in such a wonderful place with such great people -- particularly that guy with the large-format camera.

But I'm also very glad you're back.


RevErikaG said...

Glad to hear that you all had a great trip! Had I realized you were headed to the Big Island I would have encouraged you to go to my favorite coffee place. I hope you had some good java while enjoying the glorious islands! Welcome back.

molly said...

Mmmm... Coffee.

I found some tasty coffee. And good chocolate, too. ;)

feminist_mom said...

Go ukeleles and grass skirts...... rather like fancy ear muffs don't you think?....... oofta, mom