Though I could use this outlet to tell you about my life’s recent tragedy, I decided I should spare you the boring details and rather talk about something less depressing and more uplifting.
Two weeks ago, I had the once in a lifetime opportunity (I say this because I doubt I’ll be going back anytime soon) to visit the group of islands that form what we know as Hawaii. Since my husband and I live in Mexico, well, it isn’t either cheap or close. However, fate aligned itself and we found ourselves in a place that gave us exactly what we needed at the time: a total disconnect from reality. (Which is what I need right now, though reality demands my attention so I can’t just go away again).
Hawaii, like I said, is a group of islands, each with its unique natural beauty. We stayed in the island of Oahu, where the capital, Honolulu is located, among many other attractions such as Waikiki, the North Shore, and Ko Olina, where our hotel was located.
Like it tends to happen whenever my husband and I travel anywhere, we weren’t short on adventures. First of all, we barely made it to our connecting flight in L.A. Let’s say, it doesn’t help when you have only two immigration people for one plane full of mexicans, and one even bigger plane arriving from China at the same time as us. Luckily for us, when it came our turn to pass, we didn’t get as grilled as it used to happen right after 9/11. Yet, I felt like at any government office here in Mexico where there is only one person seeing to the needs of many waiting in line. The only difference is here in Mexico we complain audibly that the government provides such low quality service. When you’re in line at the immigration building, you just smile and look at your watch and pray you’ll make the next flight.
Our next adventure took place when we collected our bags at Honolulu International Airport. My bag came first, and then my husband’s. Mine felt a bit lighter than it had when I checked it in back in Mexico, but I figured my stuff shifted during the flight and it had miraculously arranged itself. We then walked outside to pick up our rental car and as we were putting our stuff in the trunk, I noticed a very strange tag on my bag. As I read it, I realized with a sense of panic that I had grabbed a bag that looked identical to mine. In hindsight though, I should’ve also noticed that this bag looked way newer than mine. Still, once I noticed this, my husband grabbed the bag (remember I said it felt lighter?) and he ran back to the terminal. Luckily, my bag had already been set aside and no one seemed to be looking for the one we had taken by mistake. Needless to say, when I saw my husband walking back, pulling my heavy and old bag, I sighed in relief.
I guess the thing I loved about Hawaii is that it has the best of both worlds: an amazing vacation spot, yet a great place to live. Now, I know I’ll probably never live in Hawaii but I now have two places where I’ll one day have a place to stay once I become rich and famous: Country Clare, in Ireland, and Hawaii Kai, which is like a sort of neighborhood in the island of Oahu.
People, those who live there and those who are visiting, are more relaxed and more friendly. Even driving around Oahu proved to be less stressful than I usually feel when I have to drive anywhere in the U.S, such as in Darien, Connecticut, where people have little tolerance for anyone who is driving carefully because she’s never driven there before. I loved the balance between following all rules regarding driving, and this sense that you can let go every once in a while. Like I said, the best of both worlds.
The views are spectacular everywhere you look. Green giants standing in the background, while the ocean shines light blue, dark blue, like some coveted jewel. And who wouldn’t want to live in a place where there are rainbows every five minutes?
We had the opportunity to drive all around the island of Oahu, which gave us a sense of the things you can do there. And no, I didn’t stumble upon any of the Hawaii 5-0 cast, though one person did ask about them during a very heartfelt explanation about Pearl Harbor. What does Pearl Harbor have to do with a T.V show, I have no idea.
My husband learned how to surf, well, right until the moment he started saying he was dizzy, his hands felt all tingly, and he couldn’t continue. Me, I have a very respectful relationship with the ocean, so I tend to stay on the dry side of things. Which made our hotel even better, because the beach was more like a lagoon, and the water was very calm and friendly.
Waikiki is where all of the action is. The restaurants, most of the hotels, and the stores are located on the main street, and it is a very nice place to take a stroll just as the sun is starting to set and maybe later have a bite to eat in any of the restaurants there.
I wish I could say I’ll be back soon, but I guess I am glad I got the chance to visit.