Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Oahu: Day ½

[Backdated to reflect the day on which these events occurred.  Right?  Onward!]

Miss V's early-out day is every Wednesday.  This is especially handy if you decide to scamper off for an island vacation around midweek, as we did.  I picked V up from school at noon and we proceeded to cover all the last-minute details... like, uh, packing.  Pretty soon I drove off to pick up Captain Midnight, who does a great job of hurrying things along.  I would never get anything done without CM.

By the time we reached our gate, Miss V's fun light had gone out.  A TSA screener at SeaTac had pulled her out of line because she'd forgotten to remove her school laptop from her backpack, she hadn't eaten since breakfast and her blood sugar was dipping low, and we were already cutting it close, so there was no time for a meal.  She filled the gap with a peach smoothie before we boarded, but was still hungry on the plane.  A flight from Seattle to Honolulu takes a good six hours.  So we caved and bought some airline food.  Not precisely ambrosia, but it wasn't bad -- especially when a flight attendant gave us a chocolate truffle bar to thank us for waiting patiently.  Twist my arm, won't you!

Otherwise, Captain Midnight napped.  Miss V played games on his tablet.

Me?  I crocheted.  A lot.  Used what may be the world's biggest ball of pink yarn to finish one baby blanket and start another.  (An older passenger congratulated me on "being so productive" as she passed by in the aisle. Heh. I guess you could see it that way, but it's not as though I was going to stare at the back of an airline seat for six hours.)  By the way: no, Mom, I have nothing particular to report.  These blankets are a church project.

When you disembark at Honolulu Airport, you get the immediate feeling you're not in Kansas any more.  Hawaii is a U.S. state with a unique culture, due to its former status as a separate island nation and its current status as the de facto crossroads of the Pacific Rim.  You'll see untranslated words and phrases in both Hawaiian and Pidgin, the airport uses the blunt-to-American-eyes term "toilets" rather than the widespread euphemism "restrooms," and -- maybe the strangest sight of all to a mainlander used to periods of inclement weather -- there are no visible precautions against cold, because there's no point.  (Hawaiians are so acclimated to year-round balmy weather that they put on socks and sweaters when the temperature dips into the 60s at night.)

We wandered past an open-air cultural garden right in the middle of the airport, taking in the marvelous scents of flowers along with the warm night air.  Caryn met us at the baggage claim, embraced us and presented us with leis.  Did I take any pictures of this?  Nope. Once again I'd forgotten the camera in my purse.  (Don't worry, though; I eventually remembered it was there.)  We wandered out to the car rental area, where CM picked up our car, and where Miss V got hit on by some random guy who wiggled his eyebrows at her every time she looked in his direction.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser cannot lie.
Then we drove to the place famed for selling the best Spam musubi on Oahu: the Aloha Gas Station and 7-11 in Kāne'ohe.  (Gotta love a place where you can buy quality musubi at the gas station.)  There we met up with Brian, bought a couple of musubi and a manapua filled with char siu, and proceeded to fill the car with the joyous sounds of OMNOMNOM while driving up to the North Shore.  (And asking ourselves the Zen koan of the night: Why is Spam so awful?  Yet why is Spam musubi so tasty?  Ponder this strange alimentary paradox with us now...)

Darkness had fallen, so we couldn't see much of the scenery on our drive in, but on several occasions the road ran right along the beach, and we could catch a glimpse of the long curls of breakers gleaming white against the darkness.  Sometimes the waves blow spray across the road.  It took us a while to get to our destination on a "highway" where the average posted speed limit is 35 mph, but eventually we made it to La'ie. And there we found the niblings: Miss E, Little C, Bonz-I and Goldilocks.*  There was also Teddy the Wonder Dog, aka the Jack Russell Terrier on Valium.

Little C (who is not all that little any more) seemed pleased to see us.  And we were pleased to see all of them.  But most of all we were pleased to see the bed, which we promptly hit with gusto and vigor.

What of tomorrow?  Stay tuned.

*as always on this blog, names of people under 18 have been altered. I don't want anyone to be under the impression that my in-laws named their kids with the intention of starting a rap group.

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