Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Paradise found, and lost, and found

Well, it's back to reality this week, after 10 days in paradise.

And, I guess I'll be back to blogging regularly now that the wedding is behind us. It's funny. You spend the better part of a year preparing for an event that's essentially over in 15 minutes.

Oh, well. Can't complain. Love of my life. Great weather. Great backdrop. Bunch of friends. Best family. Even WBIR-TV showed up.

Hawaii was heaven, paradise found, perfect. I'll tell you more about it in two stories running in the Shopper-News next Monday. Meanwhile, let's just say it would take Shakespeare to do it justice and I'm not so sure the Bard wouldn't have trouble telling you just how beautiful it really is. Don't take my word for it. Go see it yourself.

But, I gotta tell you about a brief moment yesterday that made me grin.

I was actually doing a pretty good job of shaking off the Monday malaise. Life is good. I enjoyed getting back into routine. You can do that when you love what you do.

But, I could still feel the islands calling, taunting, enticing me to return to its sanguine shores.

So, I flipped on the online audio feed of a station we got to listening to while on Maui. Made it worse. Turned it off.

But, as I was walking to the car last night, a woman stopped me.

"Are you Jake?" she asked.

"I sure am," I said, flashing my best Monday afternoon smile.

"I just love to read your work. We just love reading this paper so much."

I thanked her profusely, grinned again and headed home happy.

Paradise Hawaiian Style may be hard to beat, but being back home ain't too bad, either.

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Blogger Lola Alapo said...

Love it! Welcome back :)

9:00 AM  
Blogger Chuck said...

You're right, Jake, home is just home, the place where we are comfortable in our lives. But Hawai'i, it is paradise. We left the South in 1968, and moved to San Diego - about the most perfect place I've ever been.

But we always had friends in San Diego who made annual vacation trips to The Islands. I just didn't understand why. Then in '91, my wife Melody, a travel agent at the time, won a contest for 7 nights at any Hyatt in Hawaii with a stipulation that 3 nights had to be spent at the Grand Hyatt Wailea on Maui.

We planned the trip around my birthday in November, and spent one night at the Hyatt Waikiki. We toured Pearl Harbor & the Punchbowl, then flew to the Big Island for 3 nights at the Hyatt Waikoloa, followed by the obligatory stay at the Wailea.

I marveled at the open restaurants, the ever-present trade winds, the local people's attitudes (the hang-loose hand signal), and an unexplainable, euphoric sense of well-being. We finally understood the attraction.

In the intervening 20 years, we've been back at least 10 times, explored most of the islands, and discovered music of The Brothers Cazimero, Amy Hanaiali'i, Kapena with Kelly Boy DeLima, the DeLima Family, and, before she died, Aunty Genoa Kewae, the 85-year old grand ol' dame of Hawaiian music.

We always start our vacation watching the sunset at the Mai Tai Bar of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, the pink palace, and spend many afternoons drinking Mai Tais and eating Ahi at the Banyan Tree Bar at the Westin Maona Surfrider. We don't spend much time on the beach, but we have discovered China Town, the Iolani Palace, the Bishop Museum, Hilo Hatties, and many other interesting places.

So here we are, leaving in 3 weeks for another de-pressurization visit to The Islands. Jake, we'll toast you and your lovely bride Jennifer at sunset from the Bar at the Royal Hawaiian, knowing that y'all will be back.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Jake Mabe said...

You put it so well, Charles. Do think about us while you're there and drink one for me!

I didn't get your message in time to get over to the Banyan Tree Bar, but that's on the list for the next visit.

I hope you all have a wonderful time!

9:45 PM  

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