I just had this thing where I thought, "That was awesome, and I would do that again."
We went to Hawaii Island (The Big Island) with plans to hike, and watch sunsets and swim and do the stuff you do in Hawaii. We did that stuff! And we did other stuff that never occurred to me because that's what happens when you travel with other people. You do stuff you didn't plan. It's helpful for us psycho control freaks to clock in to island time once in a while and let things happen without shoving them in a particular direction. I think that's what Hawaii is all about. I was so relaxed, nobody annoyed me! Unheard of...
- My skin tone went from, "Probably a North-of-England Bloodline," to "Obvious Tourist But Not a Complete Amateur." Completely acceptable.
- Rental car upgrade, to a Cadillac SRX with a kick ass engine. I wanted to take the car home with me because I love it.
- Freaked everyone out while having the Best. Time. Ever. driving a curvy road cliff-side in the Cadillac. It was all quite tame and I never left my lane, but the four other people in the car were white knuckling it. Meh. Nobody died.
- Grouchy traveler (me) bitched and moaned to the airline about the seat shuffling that ended with us sitting all over the plane, not together. Airline response: travel vouchers! You get a voucher! You get a voucher! Everyone gets a voucher! Complaining works. This is a good thing, because it's one of my very few marketable skills.
- I had a cold. A miserable fucking cold. People with whom I was traveling were annoyed with the constant coughing, coughing, coughing. The only way to get them to not complain about the coughing was to say, "If you think its annoying to listen to, try living with it for a week!" That helped so much at 2AM when my coughing woke people. They were so happy with that.
- We hiked Pololu, but just looked at Waipio. That's a fail, for me but, see "I had a cold," above, for my excuse. Next time, Waipio. You too, Pu'u Wa'a Wa'a.
- Had to skip Mauna Kea--looked at it the entire time we were there, but didn't drive up because of the being barely able to breathe at sea level, thing. In fact, all altitude changes were straight-up painful--an ear popping horror show. All because of a stupid cold.
- Hiked Volcanoes National Park. Again, it was not as much as I would have liked but, we had a good walk and saw the fire hole. It's called a fire hole, right? (Ignore me, I'm an idiot.)
- Swam with the fishes and had only a brief, mild panic about the whole "breathing" part of snorkeling. When I was a kid, I was like a fish in the lake--we used to play a game with a pop can filled with rocks. Someone would throw it, it would sink to the bottom, and we'd dive in and get it, no mask, no snorkel, eyes wide open, well over our heads. Those were the days. It was hard to learn to snorkel because even the minimum equipment is just so unnatural to me. Last time we were in Hawaii I tried mightily to dive the way I was used to, but the ocean is much stronger than I, so, it sucked, even at very shallow depths. Skimming the surface for a few hours with a snorkel turned out to be pretty good, though, when we found the right place. Lots of great fish, here, and happily no pop cans at the bottom.
- Swam some more, with no gear, because one must. I would live in the water if I could.
- I finally got with the tikis. When I researched this trip over a year ago, one of the first things I saw was a pic of the tikis at the Place of Refuge. Ancient, carved wood tikis, weathered grey. (That pic of me grinning like a dork in between the two angry-looking fellows was taken there.) I was inspired by them and I made a little design of a tiki surfing, with the water under the surf board made into the shape of the words "Big Island". Some of my best work, if I do say so myself. I made a bunch of t-shirts for us, with that design on it, and they turned out great. I suppose I could have worn the tiki surfing shirt when I met the actual tikis but it turns out they stand on sacred ground and probably my best work would have been super-tacky...just like all my other work.
- I did a "tourist" day during which I walked around in a sun dress and sandals, carrying a handbag and buying things. One of the things I bought was...another handbag. This was all incredibly glorious after all of the hiking, during which a Camelbak day pack was my "purse". Neon yellow backpack vs. purple leather Coach bag. Both OK, but only one says, "girl" and sometimes you need that.
- Kona Brewing Company waiter, we would have bought a lot more food and drinks from you if we didn't have a plane to catch...definitely dreamy, but at the same time reminded me of an ex-boyfriend of mine who was a bit of a flake. But...surely Hot Waiter Guy isn't a flake, right? I'm sure he is one of the few intensely great looking men who is perfectly mature, stable and balanced. You can say that about someone you will never see again. He can be perfect for our purposes...
- People on Hawaii Island are incredibly nice. I want to hug them all. They're all rolling their eyes right now, aren't they? Stupid tourist...
- Thanks Hassid family, for letting us use your amazing house. Expectations exceeded. Wonderful place. If you go, Waikoloa is excellent!
- Home again, no luggage lost, and weirdly hit almost all green lights between the airport and the house. I can hear the men building a patio across the way, and the singer doing his voice lesson a couple doors down. Cats don't seem to hate me and my bed still accepts me. All good.