Jen from Sprite's Keeper is guest blogging today. Jen hosts the Spin Cycle each week and is a great storyteller, not to mention one of the sweetest bloggers out there. Her post was penciled in for Sunday, but I think my SPAM detector ate her email. Here it is a bit belated - thanks Jen!
Aloha! Welcome to Pseudo's site! A hardy welcome to those who visit regularly and a big mahalo to those who followed me over from Sprite's Keeper. It's also Vodkamom's birthday (belated)! Time to break out the liquor, the baked goods, and raise a toast to life!
Okay, folks, gather round, Pseudo has introduced you to her Hawaii, the Native's Hawaii. Today, we're going to talk about the tourist's Hawaii and a time back in June of 2000 when a young engaged couple (Yes, it was John and me.) wanted some excitement in our lives. We wanted something different. Adventurous, and we wanted it to be somewhere near family so we could save on hotel costs..... OAHU!
We decided to leave the hot humid air of Fort Lauderdale and travel 9 hours by plane to the...hot, humid air of Hawaii... Hm.. hindsight's a bitch. Anyway, we had seven days to explore the island of Oahu and visit with my sister, whose husband was stationed there for the Army, and my nephew whowas only months old at the time. (Now, he's almost as tall as me.)
John absolutely loved cruising the perimeter of Oahu in our rented little Neon, stopping anywhere we felt good about, and just walking through thepalm trees down to the beach, or discovering the local flora of Waimea Falls. We saw giant sea turtles near the North Shore, whales breaking the ocean's surface just across from Aloha Tower, and climbed Diamond Head with all the other tourists. Diamond Head can be an easy or hard climb depending on how physically fit you are. My then brother-in-law scaled the entire thing in less than 20 minutes while we took our time looking out over the water, sipping our drinks, BREATHING. He took a lot of pictures of us from up above and we looked like tiny ants in those shots. (In fact, the only way I was able to discern myself from the other small forms was that I was the one flipping him off every time.)
While John and I enjoyed our time there, one thing we could not come to terms with was the expense. Back in 2000 when movies were about $7.50 foran evening show, the Waikiki multi-plex was ahead of the game with ten dollar prices. We were warned by my sister to stay away from the touristyspots like Don Ho's place on the main strip since we could expect to part with most of our budget by the time appetizers were ordered, but enjoyedourselves anyway, coming back with less cash and more Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts covered in chocolate and a pound of Kona coffee. (Best coffee I have ever had.)
I think our biggest adventure though was when we visited Dole Plantation. You see, the route we took to the North Shore from Schofield Barracks is a long long road cutting between two distant carved mountains (every time I see "Lost", I remember those mountains) and thousands of pineapples buried in their red dirt nests, just the fronds peaking through. A pineapple farm! In the middle of what seemed like nowhere!
The more we passed those fields, the more I craved pineapple. We finally made a pit stop one day halfway through our vacation and toured Dole Plantation where we got to pick our own pineapple (my theory on ripeness was the stabbier the sweeter) (and it totally worked too!) and watch them cut it up for our immediate consumption. But once it was cut, it didn't look like enough. So, we bought one more, sure to have enough to share with my sister. Back in our car, we drove some more, enjoying thescenery, me feeding John pieces of juicy pineapple, and of course, biting into it myself.
By the time we made it back to Schofield, the fruits of our labor was down to only rinds. We had wolfed our way through TWO large pineapples. Our lips stung with redness from the citric acid. Our blood pressures pulsed from the flush of sugar. Our bellies ached with the overload of tartness. We finally realized our mistake after the first two trips to the loo. And were punished through the subsequent twenty trips over the next day until the sugar finally worked through our systems. Insulin shock may have been a factor at some point, but we made it out alive. (Although we wouldn't buy pineapple canned or fresh for years after.)
Since coming home, we still talk about Hawaii as being one of the best weeks of our lives and if money wasn't an object, Sprite wasn't so prone to trying to injure herself and others, and I wasn't so afraid of flying and that death thing, we would be back at least twice a year. (More than that would be greedy.) I think that's why Pseudo's tales of the island appeal so much to me. She reminds me of the Hawaii I've seen and tempts me with the Hawaii I haven't. (She's good like that.)
Okay, everyone, time to clean up. Let's leave things a little nicer than the way we found it. Could someone please wipe the cake icing off the walls? The food fight was fun, but Captain Dumbass will be here tomorrow and any mess should really be on his head, not mine.