Sunday, January 23, 2011

Missing :: Part Five

Happy Birthday Geoff
This may be one of those rare years when you actually get what you ask for... a low key birthday. No fanfare, no surprises, no guest list, no themes, certainly no clowns... I would never. Every day you do something, or many things, to show us your love and devotion, and every day I am happy we have you in our lives. Today, extra specially, I hope you see that we love you, and are devoted to you.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Our visit to Hawaii, 2004, is almost through. We spent that birthday celebrating with Geoff at the farm acres in Kalopa. There were gifts, and the promise of an all boy camp out. Rain wasn't part of the plan, but it came anyway. It was an interesting night...

Being pregnant, desiring sleep and indoor plumbing, I went into town to stay in a quaint, rustic, local dive place. It was comfortable and charming, with a great view, and some interesting extras.

Meanwhile... back at the farm: Geoff took a queen size inflatable bed into the tent. You can clear cane grass from the Island slopes, but you can never remove all of the lava rocks, which seem to rise sharply from the earth no matter how often you try to make the ground clear and comfortable.

Believe it or not, Hawaii is cold in winter. It certainly was cold on this trip, in the rain. In the tent, as I am told, the boys settled in, making use of blankets and beach towels, for warmth. They probably tried reading by flashlight. They were probably looking forward to sleep... but Geoff heard a hhssssssss and in the dim light, tired and cold, he found the culprit... a jagged, mean rock poked a small hole through the air mattress, and they were going down. Determined not to lose sleep or warmth, Geoff, like a true Dutchman, reached under his mattress and stuck his finger over the hole, and firmly decided he would hold this position for the entire night. Poor Geoff. Poor boys. It was one of those memorable camping trips, when the night goes on forever, cold, damp, and unprotected from lava rocks rising from the earth.

Back at the Inn of Rustic Charm, I was settling in for the night, and trying not to hear the honeymooners in the next room. Single panel walls, and open transom windows made privacy an impossibility. Small towns tend to close down after sunset, but it seemed that all traffic had left the quiet streets and moved to the hallway of the hotel. People were coming and going and talking story late into the night. Friendly voices at least. Down the hall, where the bathroom was, I noticed there was a common refrigerator for guests. Taped securely on the door, a friendly reminder: Guests, Please Do Not Store Your Drugs In Here. Good to know.

Geoff and Corm

Reunited the next morning, we all had our own stories to talk, about our sleepless night. Good thing we were on vacation. Taking things easy. Island Style.

Tutu and Max, watering the pineapples

We headed back to Kona. Back to beaches, and wild turkeys, back to bake a birthday treat for Geoff.

My very first impression of Hawaii, came as a surprise. Having seen lush tropical beach postcards, and resort images all my life, I was really stunned to arrive in Kona and find it looked like a ginormous baked brownie. Wide fields of sun baked lava flowing for miles, with ripples and cracks, like rich, dark chocolate... I have never forgotten this impression. And from the airport, south to Kailua town, people take the sun bleached white coral and write messages on the brown lava... they make well wishes, and Ironman cheers.

The coral is a temporary graffiti sitting on the lava field message boards, and this was the inspiration for the cake we wanted to make for Geoff's birthday. We baked him a brownie lava field, and then looked for coral substitutes. Marshmallows were too big, and too sticky when we broke them down.

We ended up using walnut pieces and gave Geoff birthday Aloha spelled across the brownie. We were amused, and pleased with ourselves!

Max and Tutu, reading a favorite book.

And the rest of the day, thankfully, was restful and quiet. We squeezed in last bits of fun. We packed for the flight home.

Going back to the TreeHouse, to our cats and rabbits, to school books, and laundry. I am so glad I brought out these pictures, that we have these lovely, sweet memories.



judy in ky said...

I love driving along that road from the airport, reading the messages in coral on lava. On our most recent visit, I saw one that said "Hi Judy". I took it as a sign that I belong there. (I am a big wishful thinker.)

Cheyenne -Millie said...

Happy Birthday Geoff!!

Thank you for sharing these interesting memories Natalie! Oh to be pregnant in paradise!

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed your reminiscing, Natalie -- such good memories of friends and family and even sleepless nights.