Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mother Ocean

Just back on the mainland from a brief sojourn on the island of Oahu.  I was pleasantly surprised.  This was my third visit.  The last two times I was there I saw distinctly that the famous aloha spirit was either dormant or extinct. Being a haole I generally got no play from Hawaiians on Kauai and Oahu.  They were more than happy to speak with my Japanese-American wife, all I got was resentful glares.  While I think I understand why, it was naturally not a lot of fun.

I must give credit where it's due though, and say that this time there was a laid back friendliness that reminded me strongly of the people on Mo'orea in French Polynesia, where everyone had that attitude. We drove from the airport out to the house we inhabited for a week between Kualoa Regional Park the town of Kaaawa on the Windward Shore and along the way there were a couple of moments where I waited for another driver to proceed in traffic and received a shaka in return.  Getting that friendly, courteous feedback made it easier to relax and give it back.  It didn't only happen in cars.  I encountered this in person as well and never got the glare.  It's almost as though someone spread the word about what happened last time.  Or, maybe people are just feeling better about life out there.  Who knows?  All I can say is that the Hawaiians lived up to their rep' this time out. 

The trip was not really intended to be all that relaxing because our two children, 10 and 6 years old, just ain't into the concept of relaxing.  We knew we'd be goin' goin' goin' much of the time, and we were when my wife's phone and son's iPod would give out.

Yes, I know, I should've banned the use of the iPod anywhere but on the plane over, but I'm weak and I didn't feel like fighting.  I needed to reeeeeeelax.  The one place I truly did relax was in the gentle surf of Kahana Bay.  Just north of the town of Kaaawa lies Kahana Bay Beach Park.  It must've been about a mile and a half of curving beach; soft white sand ringed with coconut palms and other bits of jungly verdure.  The kids saw this and charged straight into the surf.  My wife walked straight in.  I stood and stared at it for a minute, struck by the fact that around the whole huge beach were maybe a dozen other people.  It was a classically beautiful tropical seashore day.  There were intermittent, short sharp showers, a nice breeze, and a warm ocean.  Ah yes!  I wandered in, took a look to make sure the kids were good, then fell face first into the salty delight.

There were hilarious attempts at body surfing, great dramas played out from the cranking imagination of our children, and a lot of staring up at the green mountains, sandy beach and slightly cloudy sky from somewhere beyond the tiny surf. 

Sand flew through the air as holes were dug and castles built on the empty beach.  Thank you park people for the showers in the picnic area.

Huge amounts of Uncle Bobo's shave ice were consumed after each visit.  If you are ever out on the Windward Shore of Oahu, go there.  Very nice people, great food. 


Blogger Don said...

I went out with a lady last week who half plans to move to Kauai. Take her small daughter and get away from family and everyone else and start over. Sounds bad but sounds good, and you fill in a lot more on why it sounds good. I couldn't do it, though: I think on an island I would get claustrophobic right quick. I like looking out and knowing the road goes ever on and on.

All that aside, man. Sounds REAL nice.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Roy said...

Sounds like a great diversion!


I was a toddler in Honolulu, and later went to a portion of the second grade around there somewhere. I remember the stigma of being a haole, but also walking far, far out into the ocean at Waikiki, until the people on the beach looked like little tiny dolls.

6:34 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

Thanks for the comments guys. Hawaii was cool. Oddly enough, one of the things I enjoyed the most was the Hula Show at Waikiki. It's a thrice weekly show at the "hula mound" near the Duke Kahanamoku statue near Prince Kuhio beach. A trio composed of two young guys on guitar and stand up bass and a large, rotund avuncular guy in his late Sixties I'd guess with huge hands playing a tiny ukelele.

The stand outs were the little girls and one little boy. They ripped it, if you can call it that where hula is concerned, and were incredibly cute, especially when they did the Hawaiian war dance. I should post the photos.

Honolulu is kind of like a slice of LA in the tropics in spots, a real suckatorium, but it has its moments.

8:15 AM  

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