Aloha And Goodbyeha (Hawaii part 1)


Remember the old days when your neighbor would go on a family trip and when they got home you would be subjected to a 3 hour slide show of their vacation photos?

No? You must have been born after 1990 then.

See, children, back in the olden days, we used cameras that took something called “film.”

(Paul Simon wrote a song about it: )

And no, our cameras were not a featured application on our non-existent cell phones, but a separate unit designed for nothing other than taking pictures.

Unless you had a Polaroid camera, which shot out instant photos, you had to take your dozen film canisters into your local camera shop or drug store to have them developed. This could take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks. One hour photo came along in the 80’s, but you’d end up spending about $20 to develop a roll of 24.

When people went on a big trip where they took lots of pictures, they often had them developed into slides. Slides were film negatives placed into a cardboard frame. Often they came in round carousels like this:


and then the images would be projected up onto a screen or a wall. Or, often, a bed sheet.

I remember several of these occasions. Hours of the Black Forest in Germany, Big Ben, giant palm trees, the same faces over and over positioned in front of different monuments and statues.

Although I have just returned from a week long trip to Hawaii, I have no intention of subjecting you all to a  mind numbing virtual slide show. I will be including photos to go along with the stories, but will try to limit them to the most relevant. I’m breaking down the trip into bite-sized morsels (several posts), because, as was reinforced on this trip, people today have little to no attention span. No wonder twitter is so popular.

As expected, everyone I run into wants to know, “how was the trip?” And I want to enthusiastically respond, “It was so great, exactly as I imagined!” But I can’t muster it. There were moments of greatness, don’t get me wrong, but mostly I learned a lot of lessons on this trip- about myself and my family.

Lesson one: Whomever sang about “changes in latitude, changes in attitude” was a liar. It’s just not true. More accurate is the phrase, “Wherever you go, there you are.”

Lesson two: When you constantly indulge, there is no ultimate satisfaction. Indulgence eclipses gratitude.

Lesson three: You learn a lot about people when driving and navigating  through unfamiliar streets.

Lesson four: It’s nearly impossible to make 7 people happy at once.

Lesson five: When it comes down to it, simple is better. We would have been better off skipping the “must sees” and just rented a house with a pool and a secluded beach. Their favorite moments were swimming in the pool and jumping the waves.

We landed in Honolulu on Friday the 11th at around 7pm. That’s 10 pm Seattle time. We hadn’t eaten since 2pm Seattle time, except for Zoe, who managed to score a free fruit and cheese platter because the volume on her rented entertainment device wouldn’t work. By the time we got our luggage and our rental car, and made it to the hotel it was about 8 or 830.

Sydney was so exhausted she just went straight to bed. We decided to go downstairs and find something to eat. We settled on a New York style deli, but their only available seating for 6 was up at the counter. We were like zombies. Parker fell asleep face-first into his burger. Zoe fell off her stool and injured herself.

The next morning at 6am Parker was wide awake, since it was 9am our time. He and Jeff started talking and although I grunted out, “no talking!” It didn’t matter. The sun was up, and so were we. (The top picture is what Jeff took the first morning when he took Parker out to explore.)

We got everyone going and decided to hunt down breakfast. We were staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, which is several hotels on one site, plus shopping and restaurants.

Since we had gotten in so late, they didn’t have a lei greeting for us. When we walked through the lobby, the woman was there, so we all got leis. Parker in particular had been fussing for one since the night before at the airport. The orchid leis don’t smell like the plumeria leis, but he was happy.



They have a penguin(why?) and turtle display, which Zoe was excited about since turtles are her favorite animal.

119 She was forced into this picture, in case you can’t tell from her strained smile.

After looking around a bit, we decided to get breakfast at the buffet. Parker was pissy because he just wanted to go swimming. Everyone was cranky and tired. Our vacation was getting off to a rocky start. Breakfast for the 7 of us came to $200. Parker had two pancakes and a piece of bacon. At that moment I made the decision that I would go grocery shopping and stock up the fridge at the condo.

Saturday was spent at the pool and the beach. When I got back from the grocery store, Zoe greeted me with, “I saw a gecko and got pooped on by a bird.”

One of the things we hadn’t anticipated was how busy Waikiki would still be in October. When we started calling around for places to eat Saturday night, most places were an hour wait, several were up to two hours.

We ended up back at the deli. They were starting to know us.

For this meal, Zoe was the one pouting because she had wanted to go to the expensive Italian place upstairs, but had been vetoed. There probably wasn’t a single meal where SOMEONE wasn’t pouting for one reason or another. At one meal, Parker was mad because we had dragged him away from his third consecutive viewing of “Shrek 2.”

Zoe’s birthday was the following day, and we had big plans. After she went to sleep I dragged out the giant singing balloon I had bought and the small amount of gifts and cards we were giving her. (This trip was supposed to be the main part of their gifts.) I set out tropical fruits and tried to make it look festive.

As I made my way back into the master bedroom, Jeff, who had come down with a cold, asked me to bring him some Kleenex. I tried navigating my way to his side of the bed through the dark, only to trip over Nathan’s suitcase and land hip-first into Jeff’s suitcase.

IMG_6408 This is the side of my thigh 3 days afterwards

Like I said, the trip was getting off to a rough start.

Coming up- Zoe’s birthday extravaganza. Sea turtles! Filet Mignon! A massive tantrum! Stay tuned…




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