Sunday: Easter in the Air
The Easter Bunny did not “pass” this year as we say in Louisiana. I double checked outside our door this morning just to be sure.
I’m guessing he got stopped at the airport trying to bring agricultural products, i.e. decorated eggs, into Hawaii, and besides that, who wants to deliver melted chocolate bunnies in this heat??? John and I haven’t exchanged Easter baskets for years, so missing Easter at home wasn’t a big deal. We’re in the plane now, even as we speak, reminiscing about our time in Hawaii and American Samoa and comparing favorite moments.
John did indeed return unscathed from the gaping jaws of rabid dogs. He thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Samoan health issues (94% rate of obesity and high rates of diabetes), and he was fascinated to learn more about their culture through conversation and beautiful traditional entertainment.
Any lingering doubts I might have had about not going with him to American Samoa quickly evaporated when he told me about his stay at the Sadie Thompson Hotel, not to be confused with The Four Seasons.
If the buckles in the carpet like sand dunes on a beach, the tiny windows letting in just enough light to grow mushrooms, and the sign on the TV informing you to not even think about Cable weren’t enough, perhaps the fact that one of his colleagues at a different hotel had to request fumigation in his room to control the bug infestation would have convinced me that I made a good choice.
While American Samoa is certainly not without stunning natural beauty and intriguing, rich culture, it is still pretty remote and undeveloped for tourists. Johnny thinks I would have been bored to death, but I’m thinking, I could have used my time there working as a stray dog whisperer given my great affection for wild dogs and all animals. I can see me now, playing a little flute as I stroll the streets at night with hundreds of wild dogs behind me, a veritable Pied Piper of Pago Pago, if you will.
Johnny returned to our apartment in Waikiki early Friday morning in our new car, a rented Subaru Impreza. We packed up for the day and made our way through the ritzy Diamondhead neighborhoods and on to Kailua, where I hear the Obamas used to vacation. We didn’t run into them but we did have the best kalua pork sandwiches there. The town is quite developed with lots of shopping and a big Target and Whole Foods store to offer a little something for everyone.
We enjoyed browsing around a bit and then drove on toward the fabled North Shore, home of world famous surfing beaches, breathtaking shorelines and lots of local food stands promising the best garlic shrimp EVER.
We made a couple of stops to take pictures, but Johnny’s overnight flight from AS was starting to catch up with him, so we pulled over at a public park on a beach to take a little snooze. We opened our eyes to sparkling blue skies crowded with rows of cloud puffs framing the sway of palm trees. To us, the blue, green and white portrait overhead, the cool breeze gently blowing and the soft lapping of the nearby ocean defined in that moment what it meant to be relaxed in Hawaii.
We wound up letting this day be more about a drive than trying to see all the tourist sights, and it was perfect. We got home around six and then walked next door to a favorite patio restaurant at The Modern and enjoyed a tasty adult tropical beverage and dinner while watching the Friday night fireworks from the Hilton Hawaiian Village. We were very touched that they chose to salute us in this way for a second time in a week.
John had a planned massage on Saturday morning, and all of our afternoon activity ideas for an expected rainy day—-museum, movie, shopping, didn’t seem half as appealing as a quiet day reading and lounging in our apartment.
The quiet day won out and the rain ended by mid afternoon. We spent our last evening at the storied Royal Hawaiian hotel Mai Tai Bar having dinner and sipping tropical rum drinks, one, because they’re delicious, and two, because they came with a tiny umbrella in case it rained again.
We enjoyed the live music perfectly paired with a relaxing evening and couldn’t think of anywhere else we’d rather be to mark the end of this wonderful vacation. We walked home on the sandy beach shoes in hand, savoring the moist, cool massage on our feet while the brilliant moon guided our path.
We’re about to enter our descent into Seattle as the flight attendant just informed us. This Easter was about being in the air but it was also about taking some time to feel grateful for the opportunities we’ve been given to enjoy our lives so fully. Hawaii was a wonderful Easter gift, even if the Bunny didn’t pass.