Monday, February 13, 2006

Aloha Travelblog, Days 1 & 2

OK, so I'm feeling a teeny tiny bit guilty in beginning to detail our gorgeous trip to the islands so soon after the eastern seaboard was hammered by what sounds like the greatest snowfall in history, but maybe you readers covered in two-plus feet of snow can find some vicarious warmth in these images and tales.

Here goes:

Day One: Travel day from Orange County airport to Kona airport. DIRECT! Yeah, baby! With two kids, a carseat, a booster seat, two carry-on backpacks, one stuffed puppy, and two collapsible strollers in tow, even a five-minute layover would have sucked.

The flight went as well as could be expected--no major meltdowns,
and the kids were good, too--and we soon arrived in amazing Kona to the smiley, warm reception of our lovely friend Olivia (at right), who gave each of us hugs, kisses and lovely ti leaf leis. (By the way, it's true: Whatever warm and fuzzy feeling you get by landing in the state of Hawaii is always somehow enhanced when someone greets you with a lei. It's like coming home. And Olivia? She's just brimming with the aloha. But more on that later.)

We checked into our rental condo across the street from an inviting beach described as Magic Sands Beach. We soon learned that it's also called Disappearing Sands Beach because--guess what?!?--the sand that's so plentiful and hospitable during the summer months vanishes during the winter and it's entirely lava rock and crashing waves (see photo at left). Presto chango! Gone like my tan will be by tomorrow.

Sure, it's still breathtaking and made for a great view from our lanai. But not to worry, because the cool thing about Hawaii is that there are about, oh, four thousand other beaches and pockets of serene beauty on which to park yourself and absorb the warm sun and water. Hell, the parking lots are even beautiful in Hawaii. (Guess where I took most of the scenery shots on yesterday's post?)

Anyway, back to Day One for those of you who are actually still interested in this stuff (Hi, Peggy!) After a quick dip in the condo pool, where we promptly broke Unforgiving Pool Rule #4 (No Children Permitted In Pool Who Are Not Pottytrained, Not Even With Swim Diapers, And We Mean It. Even If She's Cute), we dragged our drenched, gradually more weary, and stunningly starving selves out for a quick bite of Thai food. Once in the restaurant, baby Shea decided to finally end her two-day bout of constipation at the precise moment our food was delivered to the table. The girl's got some timing! And we soon wondered if maybe the condo pool Gestapo knew something we didn't when they kicked little Shea out of their pool. You know, fearful of her Magic Sands, and all....

Day Two: Five o'clock in the morning, February 1st. It's John's 40th birthday and, due to the two-hour time change and excitement of being in paradise, EVERYONE in our condo is awake. To really take advantage of every moment of his birthday celebration, John was picked up promptly at 6am by our friend Kirk (No way! I don't have a single photo of Kirk! Bummer...), who took him surfing at a break called Pinetrees. A great way to start any birthday, but especially so for John, who hasn't seen a regular surf schedule since before Shea was born.

Later that morning, after John returned wearing one of the biggest post-surfing smiles that I've seen on his face in a long time, we all met up with our friend Heather (at right, in blue top) and her two beautiful kids, Jasper and Ila, at a little slip of a docile beach they called Harbor Beach. Finn and Jasper, who are only three months apart in age and were only about 18 months old the last time they saw each other (see top of two photos of the boys, circa December 2003), got along famously once again and, proving that boys will be boys no matter the terrain, were quickly dashing to the far reaches of the beach to unearth sticks, hunt for bugs, and hurl rocks into the water.

Baby girls Ila and Shea, who are only four months apart in age, met for the first
time at Harbor Beach and I'm hoping that it's the photo at right that they look at and laugh at years from now when they're great friends because the prickly expressions on their faces and their guarded body language suggest anything but at this point in the game.

1 comment:

pat said...

Happy Birthday John