Sunday, September 25, 2016

Charon's Hawaiian Adventure, September 2016: Wrapping It Up

The rest of my trip was nice and lazy and boring. I made another unsuccessful beach finding attempt in Pa’ia, where I passed up two beaches because the surf was too high. 


A disappointed beachgoer
 I stopped in Pa’ia because it was lunchtime, and I ended up having a shave ice for lunch (lilikoi, guava and li hing mui).

Pa'ia, the town where I was gestated
Then I went to what the locals call Baby Beach, which is underneath the airplane approach path.  It was smooth when I arrived, with a few swimmers and some little kids paddling around in the shallows with their parents, and some dogs. But after a few minutes, the surf roughened up and everyone retreated.

So I headed back to the hotel pool to take aquatic selfies and get sunburned. There was a narrow strip of un-sunscreened flesh on the underside of each arm which got scorched, plus I managed to wash all the sunscreen off the back of my left hand at some point, giving myself a red demi glove of sunburn. Fortunately most of the time I can just put aloe on my sunburns and they turn into suntans.

Seawater hotel pool -- no waves! No runoff!

 I offended my mother’s ghost by eating more fish (it was delectable): mahi, with lilikoi beurre blanc and some green beans and fries, from Koa’s Seaside Grill.
I also ate rich pancake breakfasts at 808 Grindz, a tiny place behind Foodland that serves delicious local style food.
Blueberry pancakes with coconut syrup and kalua pig hash
I made a court appearance at the Lahaina courthouse museum.

And I went touristing on the submarine, which was lots of fun.
Ahoy, it's a submarine!

Life is the bubbles

We got no troubles

Under the sea!

The best gecko - a nice fat green one with a yellow tail

Sunset surfside table at Cheeseburger in Paradise
When I’m vacationing in Hawai'i, I get little memory flashes, all the time.  The scents from tropical plants trigger them, or tastes such as li hing mui and lilikoi, or sometimes it’s just the way the breeze moves. About ninety percent of these memories contain no people, or animals, or specific events aside from “that time I was sitting on the beach and the sun looked particularly nice” or “the time I was coming home from school and something about the trees and the grass just made me incredibly happy.”  The islands themselves, telling me not to sweat the fact that I had weird parents because the sun and the surf and the weather and the trees and the creatures would be there for me, always, and that promise still holds true, even in the face of 500-year storms.
“Touristy” is sort of a funny concept in my world. Sometimes I hear tourguides outside my house. And I grew up to strangers appearing in our front yard to photograph our poinsettia hedge. Somewhere at the back of my mind is an insinuation that if there are no tourists, you must be in a terrible place which nobody wants to visit. I understand people wanting to avoid touristy areas, I rarely head to Fisherman's Wharf unless the craving for In 'n  Out Burger is strong. And yet I like living near a certain amount of touristy-ness, with interesting people constantly washing up on your shores.

I think about moving back, but I’m not really inclined to do it. I’m too accustomed to mainland living and I don’t want to contribute to the gentrification, but I do love to visit.  Besides, I’d have trouble figuring out what island to live on, since I love them all.

At the airport with my One-Ton Chips
My flight back to San Francisco landed without incident, and I enjoyed the new CGI Jungle Book movie on the way. I’m relaxed and I’m rejuvenated. Time to finish this book!

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