Thursday, June 9, 2011
TTT: Save Laborless Labor Day Retreat
My favorite travel posts that I’ve put up here are probably about my favorite beach on this island. Not only is it a picture-perfect pristine beach, but it is filled with memories from the last twenty-five years.
My husband and I discovered it while dating and it became a favorite spot right away. Our day off ritual during the summers, when the giant waves receded and the ocean became our own private salt-water, snorkeling wonderland, were most often spent on this beach.
When I graduated from UH with my BA, we rented a beach house and stayed for two weeks with friends and family to celebrate. I love the photos from this trip (but not enough to go digging through boxes). That was 1988 and my friends and I all still had youth on our sides. We’d actually pose in our swim suits. My sister was working as a bartender in Florida at the time, and at the beach house she’d use her mad skills to make us the yummiest Pina Colodas in the tropics. She’d blend them like ice cream shakes, garnish them with fresh pineapple, and bring them down to us on the beach at sunset. We’d stretch out on our lounges like a string of Ban de Solie sun worshipers and sip our drinks through straws; then, with a nice little buzz, we’d all dive in for one last swim before we retreated to the deck for dinner.
Two years later my dad rented that same beach house for a family gathering to celebrate the birth of my daughter. I remember the first evening was surreal in its serendipitous and mystical magic. A few nights earlier I had dreamed that I was visiting with my Uncle (who had passed away several years before). I was flying through the clouds, just floating along and I ran into him. We sat cross legged on a cloud and he told me he was so glad we were all going to get to spend time together and for “us girls” to take care of our dad (his younger brother). During this dream in the clouds it was sunset and the colors were so magnificent that when I woke up it had stayed with me for hours. Crimson, mauve, purple, gold, and dusky blue in long sweeping strokes and swirls. It was like being inside an impressionist painting, but instead of Mary Poppin’s London version, I was immersed in the soul of the Universe.
That first night at the beach house I had my four-month old baby girl on my hip and was whipping up something in the kitchen when everyone called me to come outside and see the sunset. It was like stepping into a rose tinted glass ball. It was, to a tee, the exact sunset from my dream. I had no doubt by Uncle was up there smiling down at us.
Fast forward sixteen years later and several of my friends decided to rent a beach house on the North Shore for Labor Day weekend. This was the summer of 2006, the year I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. That summer I had just finished chemotherapy and had begun radiation treatments. As one of my friends put it to me, “We’ve been talking about doing this for years and your getting sick made us realize we can’t put things like this off. We need to do it while we are all still alive to enjoy it.”
They selected a house with a lanai (deck) that was perched high with an amazing view, but was surrounded by palm trees and made you feel like you were in a tree house. This was especially important for me as I was not supposed to be in the sun during radiation treatments. They selected the house because the beach was to die for: sapphire blue sparkling water perfect for snorkeling, a wide sandy beach with an endless walk for exercise (if one was inclined) and shell collecting. They selected the house as it was affordable and the property manager was willing to rent it to us for the weekend versus many of the houses that wouldn’t rent for less than a week.
And yes. Coincidentally, they rented the exact same house I had rented with my family on two very special vacations all those years before. My friends had picked the exact beach and house that were my favorite on the entire island.
We called it Laborless Labor Day and have been returning without husbands, without children, and having a glorious time for three glorious days and nights these last five years.
Last year the woman who owned the house passed away.
Her adult children selected a new property manager.
The new property manager raised the price considerably and will not rent to us for the mere three days.
We are trying to save Laborless Labor Day weekend. Perhaps it is not meant to be and time is moving us toward other adventures.
But I am giving it a bit of a fight first and emailing a link to this post and all comments to the new property manager.
Leave a comment if you would like me to post from our special beach house this Labor Day!
Please link on up with your own travel tips, adventures; stories from the past, present or future. Daycations and staycations.