December 20, 2017
According to a card that my dear friend, Anne, sent me, “Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, love, peace, compassion, mercy, and hello among other sentiments of a similar nature. It is used especially in Hawaiian as a greeting meaning hello and goodbye. Variations occur on circumstances when used as a salutation.”
So today was our last full day in Hawai’i. We will fly home tomorrow, and as I think about our time here, I wanted to use the quote above to begin my blog because Aloha is Hawai’i. Ken and I have experienced the spirit of Aloha multiple times each day, and especially with the generosity and hospitality of our hosts, Alan and Dawn, and Dawn’s mother, Doreen, and her sister, Michelle, and brother-in-law, Dani. You made our time here memorable, and Gaye’s visit from the Big Island was another special Aloha time together.
Ken and I will leave tomorrow with Aloha blessings, and every Christmas from this point forward will bring warm memories of our time here in Honolulu.
Today: We had a special beach day planned, so even though the weather did not look promising, Dawn drove us out to Hanauma Bay this morning after picking up her mother. We all brought our swimming things, and I even had a new cover-up. We found parking, which is unusual for Hanauma Bay, but when we got out, it started to rain a little. We weren’t sure what to do, but I wanted to see the beach, so we got tickets, watched an orientation film, and then boarded a shuttle to go down to the bay.
The beach was full of people, and I could definitely see how fun it would be to go into the water and do some snorkeling. But, quite frankly, it was simply too cold to even think about going into the water. I guess my wild days are over, in this regard.
When the rain started to thicken, we decided to leave the beautiful gold sand and quiet water of Hanauma Bay to drive up the road to see a nearby blow-hole in the cliffs. After that we sent to another sandy beach and there, people were surfing. I had fun taking 4-K video of the surfers. The newscaster tonight said that it was unusual to have surfing like this in December in the Diamond Head area.
It was a lovely outing despite the rain and cold temperatures in the 60s, and on the ride, I got to ask Doreen a little about her mother who was a pastry chef at Halekulani Hotel, the site of our marvelous tea yesterday, and my favorite pastry, strawberry- earl gray eclair. Doreen said that her mother worked hard to perfect pastry baking and mentioned that red velvet cake was her specialty. Mmmmmm.
Then it was time for lunch and a rest before our final dinner tonight at Phuket Thai in the Ward area of Honolulu where we saw a swimming pool on a high rise strangely jutting out over the street and a building decked out with green and red lights.
Christmas in Hawaii. Mahalo Dawn and Alan. We will miss you and Honolulu. I told Doreen today that one has not really been to Hawai’i unless they’ve come to Honolulu. Aloha.
And one last thing-We will miss little Joy, Doreen’s sweet Pekingese-Chihuahua mix. That dog was our favorite “Paws in Paradise.” If we could have, we would have slipped her into our luggage.
Mosquito Moment: Hawaiian Airlines. They have such a goofy situation surrounding their check in and seat assignments. Dawn and I spent our late afternoon and evening changing our seat assignments and trying a print a boarding pass. To get better seats, Ken and I decided to upgrade to “comfort” seats for $80 a piece. You’d think that the online web system would accept our payment, but it wouldn’t-even after trying multiple times, calling, asking lots of questions, and getting no real answers. It looks like we have the new, pricier and supposedly more comfortable seats, but we couldn’t complete the transaction for the upgrade. Do we still have the seats reserved even if we can’t pay? “Yes,” said the HA representative, but apparently we need to go tomorrow and stand in line to straighten everything out with an agent first. I asked why, but I got no clear answer. Such a hassle with this airline Mosquitoes are operating the place.