I woke up thinking about Hawaii

by Lorin Michel Sunday, August 9, 2015 8:55 PM

I love the desert. I love the harshness of it, the beauty of it. I don’t even mind the heat of it. I love the monsoons that arrive with a vengeance and wreak havoc on the land and houses below. I love the dryness mixed with the moisture and humidity, the reality of it. But every once in a while I find myself missing the ocean. This morning was such a time.

I’ve been to Hawaii just three times, once with husband number one, twice with Kevin and Justin, always with the destination of Maui. The first time we took Justin, we went by way of Honolulu so that we could see Pearl Harbor. I didn’t particularly like Honolulu. Just another big city, lots of traffic, though much prettier than LA.

When I went the first time, it was business retreat for first husband’s company, so we went with a bunch of people I didn’t know. I was probably the youngest in the group at 25 or 26. We stayed on Wailea Beach on the rainy side of the island, at the Stouffer Resort. It’s no longer there, replaced by another resort, but it was absolutely gorgeous. I remember the water sparkling, clear down to the sands below, regardless of the depth. It was warm, tropical. When we sat on the runway, preparing to leave, it was the first time I could remember not being ready to go home.

This was right after the top of an Aloha Airlines plane had ripped off in mid-flight. It was sitting on the runway.

Years later, after Kevin and I had gotten together (though I’m not sure we were yet married), we took Justin. When he was little, our summer family vacations had two goals: have an educational component, and be fun. We went to Washington (DC), Maine, Cancun. We chose Hawaii because both Kevin and I always loved it, we hadn’t been together, and we knew Justin – little fish that he was – would love it, too. We started in Honolulu, staying at the famous Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach. Justin was in the ocean within a half hour of arrival. We went to Pearl Harbor and saw the USS Arizona Memorial. Justin was surprisingly saddened by it. He was probably 7 at the time, but it affected him deeply. After Oahu, we flew to Maui for the rest of our trip. We snorkeled, we chartered a big sailboat, we had a wonderful time, so much so that we went back when Justin was a sophomore in high school. This was not a wonderful time. We took the road to Hana, through the rainforest and past the various waterfalls. We took the back way down, which you’re not supposed to do. In some places the road is barely wide enough for one car. It is often right on the edge of the mountain with no guardrail. We encountered cows, leisurely lying across the road. We went through a blackened lava field. It was like the dark side of the moon. But Justin was in his horrible-teenager phase. We couldn’t wait to get home; we were disgusted that we’d spent as much money as we did. That was our last big family vacation.

Our second trip to Hawaii, with our horrible teen

This morning, I woke up thinking about Hawaii. I have no idea why; I haven’t seen or read anything lately that would be lurking in my subconscious just waiting for an opportunity to manifest in a dream. Maybe I’m missing the ocean. Maybe I’m missing the tropics. Maybe I’m missing the slow, lazy pace of it. Maybe I’m missing the peace of it. When you vacation in Hawaii, you simply let the sound of the lapping waves, the wind dancing through the palm trees, the smell of fresh salty air carry you away. You sit on the lanai and you relax completely.

Maybe that’s why I woke up thinking about Hawaii. Maybe it’s my subconscious after all, telling me that after months of flying through life, it’s time to sit on the lanai and do absolutely nothing but listen to the waves and the palm trees, breathe in the wonderful coconut and salt air of the islands. And live it out loud.

Comments (1) -

8/9/2015 10:40:25 PM #

When do we leave?

Bobbi Jankovich United States

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