Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii’

I love to travel, well actually I just love to be “there,”  wherever there is.  I am not a fan of the ‘getting there’ part.  I used to travel, marketing my artwork, cross country by car: sleeping in the van, shampooing in rest stops.  Now, I am opting for some type of teleporting transportation.  Come on, Obama, get us high speed trains.

Okay, we have airplanes and I do so love to take off in an airplane, but, as I have stated before, I hate being trapped in a steel tube.  It’s just not fun once you have been through lift off.   I’m not deathly afraid of plane wrecks, even though I have been in a plane that “lost” it’s engine.  The Lost Engine to Hawaii – Part three « Savanvleck’s Weblog

I am not sure whether I wrote about our overabundance of luggage on that trip and I am too lazy, obviously, to read all ?five? posts about Hawaii to see.  So, I will quickly recap what might not have been caped at all to begin with.

It was my mother’s dream trip and I got to ride along.  She found sets of luggage and purchased each of us a set.  They each had a large bag on wheels and a small bag that was eitheron wheels or I could strap over the handle of the large bag,  and then some little bags to put inside.  Me, not thinking (what’s new you say!) that mom was getting weaker already at that point and I would have to do all the tugging of luggage. 

Oahu one was no problem.  We got to our hotel and that was it for the week.  By the time we took Hawaiian Air to the second island, I had definitely had my fill of pulling four suitcases.  Why didn’t the travel agent mention there were laundries in most of the hotels.  Obviously, I am not a world traveler.  What I am, is an overpacker.  So, the next morning, on the Big Island, I drove our rental car to a post office, purchased two boxes and went out to the car and filled them up with clothing we were not going to wear.

It helped a lot, cost as much as one plane ticket and we received our clothing back about a month after we landed back on the mainland. 

Crazy Aunt Purl tells us how she travels light.  This is what I want to do, if and when I fly again.

Shortly after our Hawaiian trip, I cut out an article on how to travel light.  It is somewhere.  As I remember, you can fit two pair of dress slacks, one skirt, one basic black dress, a few bits of underwear, a one-piece bathing suit (with the right type of top to it), and a sweater, all in basic black and tan, along with four knit shirts in brighter colors and make yourself four hundred and twelve different outfits.  Or something like that.  You bring a pair of sandals that do duty as slippers and shower shoes and, if they are sparkly enough, evening shoes and you’ve got it made.

Me, I’m opting for wearing hiking boots, blue jeans, tshirt, over shirt, sweater and jacket on the plane.  I am padded enough for a minor wreck and warm enough when we hit 20,000 feet after leaving tropical Hawaii., that I will still be warm  And, I can probably find a way to stretch my wardrobe to five hundred outfits with it.

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Were you ever in a relationship where you woke up one morning and said, ‘This person is making me old.’?


It’s not that they are actually making you old.  Mother Nature does a fine job of that on her own and when your genes add something like heart disease or cancer to the mix, it is scary. And, it is not that I am afraid of death, because I am not. And, someday I will explain that when I am feeling very psychic and ready to open my soul to the world (plus a death experience- not my own though).


What the thing is, is that I want to enjoy every minute of this life while I am here.  It is way too short not to.  I used to hike, picnic in the Dunes State Park in the winter, ski (cross-country and downhill), and just explore.  I went camping every chance I got.  Daughter-of-eleven and I once went camping with the tent and a roll of aluminum foil.  Seriously, I forgot blankets, bedding and utensils.  I stopped and bought a spatula and a blanket.  You can make a very good bacon and egg breakfast on foil, over an open fire.


I have visited every state in this union except Alaska. I have camped in Canada and spent two hours in Mexico.  That’s a whole other story.  I have whale watched and driven a large cargo van up a gravel mining road in Colorado.  That MAY just be what is wrong with daughter-of-eleven.  She was with me and never quite got over that adventure.  She did not mind going up so much, it was the backing back down the narrow, steep, drop-off, gravel mining road that did her in. 


The point is, and I am sure there is a point somewhere; I am not ready to sit in a rocking chair yet.  I have given up most things for years now because it seemed so unfair to my husband to do things without him.  He cannot help being disabled, but I realized a few years ago that I was getting older than I should be because of not living and it was not doing him any favors either, that I was declining.  He does what he can and I need to do what I can.  As I said, life is just too short.


I started out taking violin lessons.  It was something I had always wanted to do and I inherited my uncle’s violin.  So, the last year and a half I was in Wyoming I studied with Rainer Schwartzkof and, if I do say so myself, and actually, my teacher did; I’m rather an advanced case study on violin.  It may have been the years of music in school. and teaching myself to play organ.  But, by the end of the year and a half, we were doing Mazas duets and, oh, how I loved that.  I gave that up when I moved.


So, now that I am all better (my chest has been opened and my heart repaired) and I again have health insurance to get some rehab to help me get exercising again, I am anxious to get back to the violin.  My goal: to play Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida by Wolff; Three Pieces from Schindler’s List by John Williams and I have a book of Classical Solos to tackle.  I am also anxious to get back to painting.  


Until they get me settled in rehab, I walk (on our four acres), and I tend the garden (getting my pulse rate up a bit) and I take pictures, and I write. Irritating Chihuahua accompanies me and occasionally sneaks away, but when I am out of doors, it recharges my batteries.


Life is too short, not to live it.

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I have not visited my search terms in a while. I do occasionally glance at them but it’s not too interesting but, this morning there were a couple that stopped me in my tracks.


“How much do Chihuahua way”:  Now, I’m not really big on spelling or on punctuation, but You can spell Chihuahua but you can’t spell weigh?  If you are a foreign speaking person, my most humble apologies.  I have tried to learn foreign languages and you have my sympathy, as well.


Fondling mom:   Okay, now that’s just sick.  How did that lead anyone to my site?


Fondling sleeping mom:  Sick and perverted, people!


Pringles can abuse:  I have written about making Pringle can, pinhole cameras and I have written about child abuse. But, this takes me places I don’t want to go and leaves an image in my head, I don’t want to have.  Oh, where my mind takes me.  Perhaps they are just interested in abusing Pringles’ cans?  Just step on it.


Cheryl klein bill gates: Okay, Ms. Klein, is there something going on we do not know????


Airplane wear Hawaii:  What can I say to that?   Airplane wear??? For Hawaii?? Or An airplane wears Hawaii.  Sounds painful.


Rabbit lips case: I know rabbits are not on the endangered species list but would you really kill a rabbit for a case? I mean it would have to be a small case. They don’t have a lot of lip.  OR is this in conjunction with some Law & Order case.  “The case of the missing Rabbit’s lips.”  I should go check visiting bunny now because maybe she is sitting in her food dish and pooping because someone stole her lips.  It would be tough to scream out “HELP! Someone stole my lips. If you didn’t have any.


Can you leave dead cows on property?  Okay, folks, I posted once about a dead cow on a piece of property daughter-of-eleven was looking at but, you know, I am not an expert on what to do with dead cows.  I imagine you can leave them on the property but geesh, would you really want to??? Get a shovel!


Drunk driving men vs. women:  I gotta tell you.  Whether man or woman, they are not going to drive really well while drunk.


Anthony Bourdain in jail:  Maybe that should have been Anthony Bourdain eating pigs heads and I’m sure he has spent time there, in jail not in a pig’s head, most likely in the drunk tank.  On second thought, I’ve seen him find pig’s head on the buffet and he might spend time in them.


And, my top search term:   Come on everyone out there say it with me —- TA DA!!


Viggo Mortensen



Viggo Mortenson:

Viggo Mortensen girlfriend

viggo mortensen august 2008 girlfriend d


In any spelling, in any form, the guy is #1.   As Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom knows.

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Kauai: Discover Kauai – Official Tourism Site of the County of Kauai They said it all on their webpage:

“To visit Kauai is to quickly lose yourself in the quiet majesty of the island’s lush tropical setting and extraordinary natural heritage. Come, discover the legendary aloha spirit that abounds in this friendly garden island paradise.”

I don’t have any pages of notes in my Hawaii trip book, just maps and circles. It was wonderful, relaxing and beautiful. Don’t you wish, at this point, I would just leave it at that, but no, can’t let it go, for one thing I made a boyfriend at my hotel.


They had a thing where they let local artisans set up a table and sell their crafts. For some reason, this one fellow took a liking to me. What in the world made him think that he could win me over by wagging his tongue at me and doing Groucho Marx eyebrows?  I guess I should be happy that was all he wagged at me, but I took to going over the balcony and walking around the outside to reenter the hotel at the front desk, rather than going through that hall. My mother laughs about my “boyfriend” yet.


We landed at Lihue airport and took our rental car north on 56, stopping at Lydgate State park on the way to the Kauai Coconut Beach Resort in Kapaa. Most evenings we sat in their courtyard, having an iced tea or stronger and listening to Hawaiian music and a luau dancer.


I know that we ate at about four luau’s but I couldn’t tell you where they were. One was attached to either this resort or to the hotel on the Big Island and was barely worth the price. Although, mom did enjoy most of them, we still would have rather spent another evening at Germaine’s.



The next day we drove north on 56, making stops at Anahola Bay and the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge with the Kilauea Lighthouse. Mom loves lighthouses and birds and really enjoyed this stop.


We ended the day at the Hanalei Valley lookout. This may have been where the quaint little town was with the fish and bamboo wind chime. Hanalei is where the movie South Pacific was filmed.


Another day was spent traveling west and stopping at Lawai Bay to see the Spouting Horn, then the gardens of Kukuiolono Park, and then the little town of Hanapepe. I wanted to see the black sand sunset at Waimea, and I do remember stopping there but I’m not sure I made it at sunset. 


Finally, we ended up at Kokee State Park. There was some awesome scenery there.


I have to say though, that the memories that are clearest in my head are little moments: like the small mall area we ate in that had little girls doing the hula. They were just so adorable. I loved the quaint little towns, like Pahoa and historic Old Koloa Town.



Probably the nicest thing in the world though, was when we touched back down in Honolulu and were met by my mom’s penpal and her husband, graced with Lei’s and macadamia chocolates and taken to dinner. It was a fantastic meal with fantastic people. On our first stop on Oahu, they picked us up and took us sightseeing and for a nice visit to their home.




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True to form, I asked for three full days on the Big Island and our travel agent booked exactly a day and a half, which was way too short for two tired people.


Arriving at the airport earlier than needed can get you an earlier flight. However, you have to hurry, like you are boarding right now, and you take whatever seat is left. I did like the seat over the wing though; I spent a lot of time watching the engine. It was fun to see the islands from the air.


Not wanting to wait in line, when we arrived on the Big Island, we sat down, at the car rental, and enjoyed the ocean breeze. I mean you have your car reserved right?


Ah, gotcha, thought it was going to be another flap up didn’t you? No, this time it turned out great. Instead of a compact car, which I doubt our luggage would have fit in, we were given a Jeep Grand Cherokee for the same price, as they had given out the last compact car.


LESSON LEARNED: Get to the END of the line.


We checked into the Royal Kona Resort, in Kapaa. It was a great hotel and north of the airport, so we checked out things on 56 between the two, like Lydgate State Park and drove up the Kona Kohala Coast a bit. We checked out the beaches and little market areas but spent the day relaxing.


Next morning, we headed out early and hit WalMart for some cooler summer clothing. (I told you I did everyday shopping in Hawaii.) Obviously, besides taking way too many clothes, we took all the wrong clothes. If I was doing it again, I would be so much smarter.


I would pack light, maybe even getting it all in my carry on. Every motel has a Laundromat. You can get by on sandals, one nice pair of slacks and a nice skirt that doubles as a daily skirt. Then a couple of light blouses and a pair of shorts, plus the undies. Hawaii is a casual state. Wear your jeans, hiking shoes, light sweater and coat on the plane. These are all bulky items that take up room and weigh a lot.


You will thank me when you are returning from Hawaii, dressed in your bulky clothing, and the plane is at 20,000 feet without heat. That is when you need the coat, the light sweater is all you need in Hawaii. It’s evening wear. We were on the plane home watching people pull out their carryons and every scrap of clothing they could find because they were still in sandals and shorts. It was freezing up there with no head on the plane, especially after being in a perfect 78 degree temperature for ten days.


I was smart enough to grab two blankets on our way to our seats. Mom was covered with both blankets and my leather coat,and was still shivering. By the time I complained, for the third time, the flight attendant got that look in her face that said, ‘one more complaint and I’m handcuffing you to your seat.” Meanwhile they were busy collecting handfuls of $5 bills for headphones for the movie.


But, there I go digressing again.


After WalMart, we stopped at the United States Post office, where I purchased two larger boxes, and packed everything we didn’t need, plus souvenirs to ship home. We arrived home about a month before our clothing did and this was not cheap.


We took the Queen Kaahumanu Highway north, over to 19 Kawaihae Road and the Hawaii Belt Road. We probably did a few too many stops at little shops and such but we went all the way around the coast. We saw black sand beaches and green sand beaches. We stopped at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens and mom enjoyed this more than just about anything else we did on the trip. We walked through a rain forest and took a ton of photos of flowers and plants.(they are somewhere in those unmarked Rubbermaids.) We had a great time and it was just beautiful. We kind of missed Hilo. I have no idea how, but we did.


It was getting late, so we headed west on 11 and straight for the volcano. I did not realize, that volcano viewing is not good for heart patients. But, it’s not recommended. Mom said to go ahead and she would stay in the car. She did go into the visitors center and saw a good movie, which she thoroughly enjoyed, while I was out photographing lava tubes and swirl patterns. I have to say that I am very glad I did this then, because now, I am a heart patient.


The volcano was awesome and I didn’t even get to see active lava. But, the ground was warm under my feet and you just knew it must be flowing deep under you. I would love to see an active flow sometime.


The first day with our rental car, mom was feeling a bit off and wanted to eat some popcorn to settle her stomach. When we made a stop, she set the open bag of popcorn down and we got out and toured. We got back in and she picked up her popcorn and you never saw a little old lady move so fast in your life. That bag was full of roaches. There is a reason that you smell bug spray everywhere.


So, there was no taking food on the drive today. We had been warned that there wasn’t anywhere to eat on the way to the volcano and it was a long drive.


We drove on down to where there may have been an eruption, but the road was closed. We had really debated this, because we had not eaten and it was getting late, but you are only there once.


We were getting hungry and decided to head back to our motel, thinking we would find somewhere to eat on the way. People had told us not to take the southern route but someone else said, “No, it’s fine.” YEAH RIGHT! It was 110 miles of dark, wind, rain and closed restaurants. The only good part was that my upgraded Jeep Cherokee handled like a dream. I want one!


I will post photos as soon as I find them.


Next episode is the end of our trip.


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 I am afraid this Hawaiian tour is beginning to be an epic novel and I still have not found my photos, but I have borrowed some that mom had copies of.

Grand Circle Island Bus Tour: Oahu Grand Circle Island Tour with Dole Plantation – Trusted Tours and Attractions – eTicket Center- At $63.67 for an adult, it is a bargain, when you consider the cost of renting a car and purchasing gas.

I am not really a group tour person. I like to shoot off on my own and discover new things, and we had intended on taking the tour and then renting a car one day, but we never did rent a car on Oahu. The public transportation is excellent and most of the outlying things we wanted to see included free shuttles to get to them. And, mom’s penpal of sixty years (and her husband) took us on their own tour one day. Our driver was an excellent guide who made the tour interesting and personal. He was from Wisconsin and told us that living in Hawaii wasn’t any more expensive than living in Wisconsin (what with heating oil, winter clothing and winterizing a car) and it was a heck of a lot warmer.

We saw the Dole Plantation, where mom could get her fix for a pineapple soft serve, Halona Blowhole, Sandy Beach (with an awesome kite display), and Windward Oahu (I think that is the west coast). I enjoyed Byodo-In Temple and mom liked feeding their gold fish. There was north shore beaches and Waimea Bay and Kona Coffee farm. It was 120 miles of gorgeous scenery with enough stops, and time at them to be enjoyable. It departs around 8:15 am and returns around 5:45. It’s a really good tour and they pick you up at most of the hotels.

I believe we stopped in Haleiwa and, unless I am mixing it up with another town, it was a charming little town with artisans. I still remember the ceramic fish with bamboo chimes that I fell in love with and wished I had gotten. I go more for quality and hand crafting now-a-days and would rather have spent a bit more on it than on purchasing t-shirts and such.

GERMAINES LUAU: Aloha Top Ten > Activity Details > Germaines Luau 

ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY,  THE BEST LUAU ON THE ISLANDS, at least that we found, and we hit at least four of them. We were picked up near our hotel, included in the price of the ticket, and taken twenty-seven miles from Waikiki to a private beach. “Cousin K” (enough to make the trip worthwhile right there) entertained us on the bus and got everyone in the mood to party. Although, if I never have to hear, “Just hang loose, ust have fun, sipping on a drink and lying in the sun, Don’t try to fight it, it ain’t no use. When you’re in Hawaii, you should just hang loose.” I will be eternally grateful.

Mom is a reserved lady and I wasn’t getting up on the stage doing the hula, but I have to admit it, we had a blast. I’m sure the three free drinks you are given doesn’t hurt the mood, even though it had busloads of tourists, it still felt like a party with people you know. My only complaint was, as I remember, I wish it was right on the waters edge. We were in the sand though and they had tables, in front, where you sat in the sand at a low table and then regular style picnic banquet tables for those who needed to sit on a bench.

But, the biggest treat was the all you can eat traditional Hawaiian Buffet. It was the BEST FOOD in HAWAII. And, that was considering I was not over my Bacterial Bronchitis, and on nasty medication and barely ate more than one bit of anything. However, it was still the best of them all.  The menus is on the link above. Well worth the $66.13 per adult, when you consider there was several hours of entertainment. And they definitely had the best entertainment, including the most awesome fire dancers. 

I have admitted now to being a lame tourist, but you can be as reserved as you want and still have fun or you can go dance on the stage. Other luau’s do not come close.

Atlantis submarine: Atlantis Adventures

This was one mom wanted to do, even though she worried about getting down into the submarine. She did fine with the ladder and they were very helpful. The coral reef was fairly new though, I believe they had sunk airplane or ship hulls to build it and this was nine years ago, so is probably better. It was still fun and I would do it again. We saw some neat fish, turtles and a shark. It’s not something you get to see in Indiana, obviously and they have the sub on three of the islands.

Polynesian Cultural Center: The Official Site of the Polynesian Cultural Center and Alii Luau

This is a pretty interesting, yet all tourist attraction. The drawback is that you will never see all the village shows you want because they all start at the same time. They have villages for Hawaii, New Zealand, Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga as well as other exhibits. Their mission is to “preserve and portray the cultures, arts and crafts of Polynesia.”

It’s on 42 acres and has a nonprofit center so that students of nearby Brigham Young University Hawaii can work their way through college by “sharing their island heritage with visitors.” They have hands-on activities and exhibits going on throughout the day and then at designated times, they do demonstrations and therein lies my complaint.

The demonstrations, as I remember, were always spaced two hours apart and each village did them at the same time, so that you could never, in one day, see all of them. You have to decide where you are going when. At the end of the day there was a canoe pageant that was cool. But, our favorite part was the evening show.

Their “Horizons” night show (and I do not believe you can do the luau and the show) was awesome and held in an open air auditorium and, at that time told the story of Hawaii. We really enjoyed it and for $58 per adult, you get admission to the seven villages, a tram tour, IMax and the night show. It is a good deal.

 Before we left Hawaii, we would return to this island one more time and see Hilda Silva, mom’s pen pal since that was one of the main reasons for our trip. They have written to each other, since they were teenagers. Which for all you young folk, means hand writing on paper and sending it through the Postal service.

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I should state here that Military grandson is probably on his way to Hawaii this month, or next, for a tour of duty. Talk about luck. This boy has the best guardian angel ever. I’m just grandma, so no one lets me know what’s going on, of if he has arrived yet.


This photo is of my mother, during the 40s, in an authentic grass skirt and Hula wear that her penpal sent to her. Mom has always loved Hawaii and wrote letters to two Hawaiian’s at that time. One, Hilda, remains a friend and penpal to this day and had visited the mainland once to meet mom. This was mom’s chance to visit Hilda in her home. Mom looked her other penpal up in the phone book on the Big Island, and found his name, but did not call him. She remembers him fondly yet.


I loved Hawaii. I was not joking about moving there. I love the place. The air welcomes you, the people welcome you, the ocean is heaven, rainbows in the sky, flowers, nature, blowholes, fish, cute Hawaiian men. I mean what more could you want? And, since BrainDebris will probably be traveling to Hawaii next year, I want to fill her in on all the stuff to see and not to see. So, off we go— 


Our erstwhile travel agent set it up for us (she deserved her jail time for this part alone- see part one), to have a complimentary breakfast with the “Pleasant Hawaiian” people who, she told us, would book the things we wanted to see. Later, in touring Oahu, I saw numerous kiosks where you could walk up and purchase tickets for the sights you wantto see, on the schedule you want without being held captive, for half the day, as we were.


I really wanted to go to the Urasenke Foundation Tea Ceremony that morning. I probably made a mistake in trying to plan our trip to get everything in and that is never possible. But, it didn’t matter anyway as we were held captive by the “Pleasant Hawaiian” people until noon and we were not getting out of their grip without a fight.



First thing was this pleasant picture. Pretty Hawaiian girl, nice lei’s, sappy tourists. They took our pictures, they took the lei back. REMEMBER: almost every lei you are given is for a photo op. You will give them back the lei and you will pay for the photo. The flowers in these aren’t even real.


I have to say that Oahu was the touristiest island we were on. I live in a tourist county, so I do understand. Everyone makes their income off of the tourists and since tourists are generally happy, the locals are happy, pleasant people.


I would highly recommend going to Oahu first and then relaxing on another island or two last; where the memories you take home will be a better picture of the real Hawaii. Also, save some money for the real treasures of the other islands.


Back to our complimentary breakfast-They gave us a commercial of an hour of slides. It was interesting but I would prefer seeing the sights in person. Breakfast was cold scrambled eggs, fruit and one cup of juice. ONLY one small cup of juice. I know because the woman at our table asked three times for more and was told no. Forty-five minutes later, we finally got water, but no pats of butter for your roll; nope, not allowed. It was like prison food.


Booking, in this situation was bad. You had a roomful of thirsty tired, hungry, angry people sitting in a lunch room only a few people to actually book your tickets for you. There are kiosks to book shows, tours, etc all over the island and your hotel can do this also. Skip the bad breakfast.


Then we were escorted to Maui Divers. Mom is a jewelry nut and she had a ball picking out jewelry. I did enjoy the tour of the jewelers at work, and we were given complimentary Champaign to open our checkbooks. Okay, I have a teeny cynic somewhere deep inside me.


Do not forget, we were still being held by the “Pleasant Hawaiian” people, who then put us on a shuttle bus and waited at every exit to direct us back to our bus, lest we escape and they lose their cut from the stores they took us to. One of the neatest, and maybe saddest, things we saw was in their parking garage. An open truck load of coral was being brought in for jewelry making.


Downstairs from the Maui Divers was the cheaper jewelry store. They wait with a bucket of oyster shells in hand to wrangle that last dollar out of you. I am pretty sure our upstairs purchases put us in the two pearl bucket category. For four dollars we each picked a shell and I’ll be darn if we both didn’t get double pearls in our shell. What are the odds of that happening? Wouldn’t we love to buy this gorgeous $150 earring setting? I handed her $8, for the shells and left with our pearls in a plastic bag. There were stands all over the island that you could try your luck with an oyster shell. 


 It’s kind of fun though. Okay, I’m a lame tourist.


Next stop, Hilo Hatties. It is considered a “must stop shop” but it was rather expensive and we found better deals elsewhere. I think there are a few things you can only get there though. I did purchase a pineapple candle and some candy to send back home. Eventually we were let off the leash and I could breathe fresh air again.


I don’t want you to think we did not have a good time, because we did. Oahu has some great sights.



What we missed: Mom did not want to go to Pearl Harbor. She felt it was too depressing. If I were going back, I would definitely go to the Waikiki Aquarium. 


TOMORROW: What we did see on Oahu: The best Luau around, A great bus tour, Diamond Head, Polynesian Cultural Center, and mom’s high school penpal. A reunion made in heaven and more

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I found my Hawaii trip book. While we were on the trip, I kept a journal of the interesting things that happened. When we got home, I had some spare time and made a Hawaii trip book. I was teaching art to homeschoolers; with the Casper Area Christian Home Educators and we were going to create some books, so my excuse was education.


But, I now digress, as if I don’t all the time, to insert some illustrations, make corrections and add a few forgotten items. 




The illustration(and photo)above, on the left, is Robert. I think it is too small to see, but he’s waving out of the pinkish van. Robert was a cute little bowlegged two year old (not four), who had fallen in love with my mother. Mostly, all he could say was “Wa at?” (This meant “What’s that?”) He was a curious little boy with bananas and pop tarts and a buzzing raspberry noise, that sprayed juice on everything, every time a car passed by.


When the van arrived in Douglas, Wyoming, we were transferred to a small bus and eventually large bus. In Denver, we purchased tickets for yet another bus to take us to the airport and were told it would leave in ten minutes. Four requests, and an hour and a half later, I again inquired as to when it was actually coming. We were told that the bus had left the bus barn and not been heard nor seen since. They did not seem too concerned over losing a bus. I guess it happens frequently.


They did pay for mom, myself and a German law student, to cram into the back of a cab, with our luggage. I was afraid to ask what the cab driver had in the trunk that took up all the room, necessitating us to hold our luggage.


The illustration above (picture on right) makes us seem like we are merrily singing on our way, but we were NOT. Screaming, yes. Singing, no. Trust me on this. We were white knuckled as we pray for our lives in this 90mph wild ride to the airport.


Mom and I then called the motel to get our ride from the airport. When we arrived at the motel, we were met with stunned silence upon learning that we had to be at the airport at 3:30 am. Bless his heart, the poor driver who took us, from airport to motel, offered to take us back in the wee hours of the morning.


Mom’s luggage was flagged to be checked at the airport in Denver and she was hauled off to a private room to watch her undies being pawed. We were never sure what contraband she carried, but we think a little odd folding flashlight may have been deemed dangerous. I insisted all my rolls of film be checked by hand and they were NOT happy with that either. This was before 9/11 and I found it hilarious, later in the trip, when I set off one of the airport security machines in Hawaii. They stopped me from emptying my pockets, and turned their machine off before waving me through, unchecked, stating it was probably just my hair clip.



The plane was worse than riding the bus or taxi. I’m not a big fan of flying. It is crowded, claustrophobic and boring.  I still had bacterial bronchitis and was on some heavy duty medicine, so every time the plane banked, rose, dropped or moved, I had intense vertigo. That lasted for one hour, 23 minutes and 16 seconds, until we landed in Salt Lake City. The next plane was larger and either, I adjusted, or it was a smoother ride, because the vertigo stopped and two hours later we landed at LAX.


Mom being a small town girl and not having worked in Chicago for many years as I did, never learned “street” rules and big city eye avoidment. So, a “friendly” man followed us around the airport in the early morning hours until we caught our plane for Hawaii. She was a bit nervous about this. My response was, “I told you not to look him in the eye.” I’m not at my best when I have to go through two 6am’s in one morning.


We had our first Hawaii touchdown in Maui. It was a short lay over so a group of us stood out on the lanai and breathed in our first breath of tropical air. It is heaven on earth. I was ready to put down roots and still dream about it. I wanted to call home and tell them to sell everything, ‘cause I was staying.


The air smelled with a delicate scent of flowers and the temperature was perfect. It is like being enveloped in a perfect cloud; not too hot, nor too cold, not too dry, nor too wet.


Tomorrow: The little plane that couldn’t, Our lower floor reserved room on the 16th floor, and being kidnapped by Pleasant Hawaiian with one pat of butter and no water refills.

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