Monday, September 05, 2005
Aloha, I'm Back!
Island Girl: Me, relaxing last week on the beach at Hanalei Bay, on Kauai's north shore.
We returned from Hawaii on Saturday evening, and I've been in mourning ever since. I miss the laid-back vibe, the sun, the waves, and, of course, all the ono kine grinds (delicious Hawaiian food).
Remember that old 60's song, "Puff, the Magic Dragon" by Peter, Paul and Mary? ("Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea/And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee/Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff/ And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff.") The composer penned it while at Hanalei (a.k.a. "Honalee"), where we hung out. It really is an idyllic place. As you can see.
It's the eve of the first day back at work in almost two weeks. I've got a lot to do before my head hits the pillow tonight, so here are just a few random observations on my vacation/honeymoon until tomorrow, when I have more time to post:
1. Oh, You Too?! It seemed that half of the island of Maui is composed of honeymooners or married couples celebrating their anniversaries.
2. Breakfast of Champions. I ate way too much Spam Musubi, the Hawaiian version of the power bar: a slice of Spam splashed with soy sauce and seared, then laid on a small oval of rice, and wrapped with a piece of nori seaweed. Heaven for $1.35 at the local supermarket. Mainlanders (that's you and me) usually don't get it. But I did. A bit too much. They were just the right mix of protein and carbs to energize me for my morning hill runs.
3. "Tough Little Nut." That's what R., the Aussie who gave me a surfing lesson, called me after I kept paddling back, smiling, to catch another wave, after the ocean slammed me to shore again and again, rattling the teeth in my head and bruising me badly.
4. Aloha Diner, Pono Market .... The best food almost always is in the small, local diners, supermarkets and deli counters, not in the flash, over-priced restaurants on the beach. The best ahi poke (raw tuna spiced with green onions, sesame and ginger) I'd ever eaten was from a local Maui grocery store.
5. A Long Way Down. Waimea Canyon, in western Kauai, really is the verdant, green version of the Grand Canyon, as Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), famously said.
6. No Reading Allowed. The novels I brought along were no match to hiking, surfing, running and sailing between the islands.
7. Chill, Brah. A friendly smile goes a long way. Hotels/car rentals/cafes will comp or upgrade you if you're cool and not the usual ignorant malihini (tourist). And it's best to mellow out. No point in rushing from one place to another, as Kauai and Maui only have a few main roads, and slowpokes seem to rule them. Eh, bruddah, you're on vacation, what's the hurry?!