Day 1: Landed in Hawaii after a grueling 6000-hour flight, two of which were spent on the ground at the terminal waiting for what the captain called “an anomaly” to right itself. I’m not sure what the problem was, but whenever Captain Kirk from Star Trek mentioned an anomaly, it was never a good thing, and the guy in the red suit never survived it. I was wearing pink, thank goodness.
Day 2: Jet lag sets in. We went to Waimea Valley where we hiked up to a waterfall. We would have taken a refreshing swim, but the water was about minus 20 degrees. That’s about 100 degrees more refreshing than is comfortable for me. Light mist (read rain) was with us most of the day. The kids went snorkeling in Shark’s Cove. It was not possible for sharks to swim into this protected area, so I can only think it was named after the ferocious fish to keep visitors out. It didn’t work. I didn’t snorkel anyway, because snorkeling when it is misting out is somehow against the laws of nature. They put me in charge of the keys to the rental car. Not a smart decision. I dropped them in the trunk and closed it while all the doors were locked. It cost us $90 to get rescued. I blame it all on jet lag.
Day 3: I got a good night sleep finally, but my family made sure I never took possession of the keys again. We drove to the International Marketplace in Waikiki and bought a bunch of stuff to sell in our next garage sale. My youngest son left his Crocs at the beach yesterday. I told him he’d have to wear his water shoes for the rest of the trip unless he could find a pair of sandals for less than $5. He learned to haggle at the Marketplace. It rained all day again. Optimistically, I suppose, we bought beach towels. If we didn’t use them for swimming, at least we could dry the rain off of us. Near Waikiki was Diamondhead Crater. After climbing one and a half miles to the rim, in the rain, we snapped some incredible pictures and limped back down. It was totally worth it. My sandal broke halfway up and I went barefoot to the top and back. It’s a claim most people can’t make because they are smart enough not to wear sandals on a hike. I let my son haggle for more sandals. He was getting good at it.
Day 4: Legs were screaming for mercy this morning. The humidity here has caused my hair to explode. And how does one get so sunburned when one has not seen the sun in three days? Beaches were out of the question today. My legs would not have cooperated. I would have had to transport myself to the water the same way a turtle does. We visited the Dole Pineapple Plantation instead, and rode the Pineapple Express train. It beat walking. Couldn’t resist the offer of fresh pineapple, either. I have two canker sores to prove it. Continuing our journey, we arrived in Honolulu at Iolani Palace, the last home of the royal family. Iolani Palace was on the smallish side as palaces go, but it had every modern convenience available in the late 1800’s, including electric lights, telephone, and flush toilets. Of all the things we saw, my youngest boy was mostly interested in the toilets.
Day 5: My son’s glasses broke so, after a bracing downpour, we went in search of Krazy Glue. We never found the Krazy Glue, but we found an outdoor farmer’s market. We bought a chicken pastela to eat and a banana caramel one as well. Then we ate our feast at a local park by the water. It doesn’t get any better than this! It was decided that since my son wouldn’t need glasses for swimming, we would beach ourselves for the day, or at least until the rain started again. On the way home, we stopped to watch some parachutists. Well, all except for my son. He was relentless in letting us know he still had no glasses with which to see them.
Day 6: Bought some Krazy Glue and boogie boards. We would not be using the two together, but I’m sure the cashier wondered. Took the boogie boards to a beach and watched the kids “boogie” while my husband and I developed second degree burns on the parts of our anatomy that didn’t get sun screened. Our haphazard distribution of sunscreen gave us both a rather mottled look; something akin to a Dalmatian, only redder. Tomorrow we plan to simply sunscreen the burned spots, so as to even out our future tan.
Day 7: Saw some “real” Hawaiians today. Those are the ones who wear grass skirts according to my daughter. It was great that the Hawaiians finally showed up on our last day. Ever since we told my fourteen-year old that Hawaii Five-O was filmed here, he has been fixated on how much crime there is on the island. The youngest only wanted to talk about the size of the garbage cans and recycling. My daughter was the official picture-taker. She took 942 pictures this week! Not one was of a garbage can or a robbery. Every siren we heard was followed by a rousing version of the Hawaii Five-O theme song. In hindsight, I think we should have rented a larger car… or spawned fewer children.