Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sweet Memories


Writing my last post, I realized that many of our beach adventures were not labeled "beach." Every now and then I try to organize the archives, which is a huge undertaking. I look at old posts and make sure the code is holding up, the images are still publishing and consider what labels are best to categorize the posts in. It's time consuming.

So, anyway... I was keeping an eye out for stray beach posts and I figured there must be tons from our Hawaii days, and that is when I made a surprising discovery: I could not find a post for our summer 2005 vacation. That was a big deal. The trip was made with our best friends, James and Deanne. It was our last time vacationing in Hawaii. How could there be no post? I was rummaging through the archives and trying to piece this mystery together. I could see from other posts that I had had some computer failures and of course life itself was keeping me very busy. Then I remembered that I did devote a huge chunk of time to making a DVD of the memorable trip... but no post? Hard to believe. Finally I found two image heavy, semi-posts. This old one is slightly wordier, but still a bit brief.

It's ironic that I sometimes think of quitting blogging and then I find a gap in the journal keeping and find it totally unacceptable and disappointing. Yes, Chickenblog is a journal, our family scrapbook. I forget this sometimes, and it was many years before I even recognized that the blog is a record keeper, a memory book. Then instead of quitting, I want to work harder to organize archives and do more for the blog overall.

And gee whiz, aren't you glad that I print my entire thought process before launching in to the actual point of my post?
Ramble, ramble, ramble.

Basically, my memories of this time in Hawaii, indeed all time in Hawaii, are so precious that I knew I would have to post more pictures and talk story about that visit. I also know that this is going to be an emotionally wrenching journey.

I miss Hawaii. I miss the dreams we nurtured, the plans we made. I miss what we had there...


Sweet Memories
I will remember you long after this endless summer is gone. These lyrics from Gary Haleamau, and Darlene and JJ Ahuna's album were some of the very first I ever heard from Hawaii... they still stir my soul. I just never expected them to be so bittersweet, not this soon.

James and Deanne had already vacationed on Oahu and loved it, so we knew we would have to go to Hawaii together some day. We got our chance the summer of 2005. Maria was eight months old. The boys... oh my goodness... I wish I could go back in time and hold them one more time. I am blessed to be able to hug them today. My mom came to Hawaii with us in 2000, and we had a couple of visits there with Holly and Rich. I always imagined there would be more times like these. Anyway, our week long stay, playing tourist and just plain playing with Deanne and James, was a lot of fun.


James and Deanne were all for seeing the sights and exploring the Big Island. We had such thorough tour guide training with Ruth and Corm, that we were thrilled to be sharing our second home with friends. Waikoloa Resort is a must see for Island luxury and amusements. If you don't know this already, you can explore the resorts and all of the amenities without actually staying at the hotels. Often there is art, entertainment and cultural events to enjoy. Some things may require a small fee, but the boat ride through the resort was free and the views were free too.


We had fun finding the Chinese zodiac statues, and rubbing Buddha's belly.


When we weren't mooching off of the freebies at other resorts, we were submerged in our hotel pool... sweet luxuries.


Ten year old Alex. His smile still melts my heart.


Max had just turned six years old. That steady, studied gaze. He is taller, but the gaze, the intentness is still there. Check out the sandy bottomed pool. Love.


Now Maria is sitting on my lap and asking about these pictures. "When did that happen? Where were we?"
I wonder where the DVD is.


This was a fancy dinner. Deanne may remember which hotel we splurged at for this meal. I remember the cool drinks, with the buzzy hit, the setting sun and the pleasure of being in a beautiful place with family and friends. Of course in Hawaii we have always found cool drinks, a dreamy sunset and the beauty of being with family and friends... the fancy dinner is optional, not necessary.


So, I know some of these pictures have been published before, but I feel remiss in our story telling not recalling the trip (some more), and the special moments we enjoyed. It's not as though we cannot go back to Hawaii, but we know it cannot be the same. I don't believe there is a more dear way to be welcomed off a plane, home, than with a lei greeting. This was the last one, and I am glad I can recall the fragrance, and the kindness, the aloha.


From the airport we went directly to Tutu's office in Waimea. Had Maria started chewing on her dendrobiums by this time? I don't think so.


Shaved ice. Not a snow cone. Not a smoothie. Shave ice is the best, and if it is not memorable and a delight to eat, then you might not be eating a good one. Best on a hot day, but even on this cold day I could go for some li hing mui.


It makes me so sad to realize I am already forgetting places and names. Tutu, where is this place? On the way to Hilo... is it Honomu? Yes, the small town before Akaka Falls.


We went to Hilo and Volcanoes National Park. We hiked through the Thurston Lava Tube.


I still feel bad that we didn't make a second pass through the ancient lava tube, like Max wanted. What was our hurry? Seems silly now.


No hurries on this day. Sitting next to Max is the B&B kitty. There was a sign in the parking lot asking guests to please check their car for the curious cat... curious hitchhiking cat, I guess.



On the Kona side I took the children to their favorite park, Higashihara Park. I think the boys would still call it their favorite and Maria would absolutely love it there. It was community designed and built, and all of its fun and unique details make it favorite for many.


Another Kona favorite is Turtle Beach :: Kahaluu. This is the same beach where William learned how to swim, where Geoff and I first swam in Hawaii, where we celebrated Alex's fourth birthday. Where James lost his wedding band... okay, so not all memories are "sweet." But hey, technically they do know where it is. It's at Turtle Beach. I wish we were at Turtle Beach.

William, remember snorkeling here? Staying out until sunset? You probably remember best of all.


Hoppin' all over the Island. Back to Hilo side, to Honoka'a, to Tutu's house.


Maria, Geoff, Corm and James. It smells like sweet grass and coffee flowers here. All over the five acre ag lot are the trees that Ruth and Corm planted and tended. The boys know where the guavas grow. I know how to cross the gulch. I cannot say more... some day the children may want to know more, but for now the emotions these memories evoke leave me in a puddle of tears.


Love.


My favorite drive. And I have been on some good ones.
Unbelieveable... I went to Google this and two Chickenblog posts came up under "highway between havi and waimea." Seems, I have written about this drive before. Well, the best drive in my whole world is the 250 from Havi to Waimea. And now I cannot think of anything else. I want to drive it right now and stop to take hundreds of pictures, then do it again.


Maybe starting at the top of Waipio Valley.


Definitely including a stop at Spencer Beach County Park...


with a hike to Ala Kahakai.


Yes. This is the beach I was thinking of when I began this memory journey.


I will remember you,
long
after this
endless summer
is gone.
I will remember
too
every bright star
we made wishes
upon...


There. We have one more beach post.
Now, was there anything else I needed to do today?

5 comments:

  1. Wonderful photos Natalie! And such wonderful memories! That last photo of Maria is great!

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  2. So beautiful, and such sweet memories. I am so glad you went into your archives. I feel the same way about Hawaii. Often I think about it, and just want to be there.

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  3. The picutures and story you tell are so wonderful. Thank you for continuing your blog. :)

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  4. *heart melting*...just LOVE, love all the photos, Natalie... that one of Marie at the end...*swoon*... :o) ((HUGS))

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  5. Now I just want to go to Hawaii...right now! Those pictures are so beautiful and what makes them so special is the fact that all but one has at least one family member in it. The one of Maria sitting on your lap is so gorgeous...lighting is perfect...and that last one of her sleeping, oh my goodness, it just takes my breath away!

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