Return to Paradise

Corpus Christi Travel Blog

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The family arose at 4AM today to embark for the Islands.  Most folks don’t realize how remote Hawaii is, but since my two previous visits began from Maine I can share an interesting perspective.  You fly 3,000 miles from Maine to Los Angeles and then board a flight to go practically another 3,000 miles!


I realize the international voyagers on this excellent site will laugh at this slight distance and a mere three-to-six hour time change…but I suspect it might be a rude surprise to fellow Americans.


There’s a part of me that is reluctant to squander precious time returning to an exotic locale when there is so much else to explore, but whenever I do it is magic!  The first time you witness the completely alien topography of Hawaii you are stunned.  But the beauty is enhanced when you come back…and the comfort from knowing your way around helps you savor it so much more.


Thanks to gaining five hours in time, we still managed to arrive at our accommodations mid-afternoon.  The rooms at the Outrigger on the Reef hotel may be a bit tattered, but it enjoys a pricey location on Waikiki Beach and the lobby still exudes grandeur.  Kim & I took turns watching our daughter play in the pool as we awaited a call from our friends Don & Martina, who live here.


Don rang me around 3PM and extended a dinner invitation to Sam Choy’s that evening.  Don’s wife, Martina, is a native Hawaiian and both she and her husband define the spirit of aloha.  I asked Don for directions and his instant reply was “we’ll pick you up” - welcome news for a human who literally arose at 11PM last night!


Friendships are invaluable, and it was with great glee we saw Don & Martina pull up to the hotel.  I was pacing the entrance with my backpack stuffed full of gifts for our friends and their children.  Previous experience taught me that we would need to reply to their shower of leis.  When you visit Hawaii, you will assuredly be adorned with a lei upon arrival…though it will likely be plastic or some non-descript, non-fragrant flowers.  The beauty of having beautiful friends is that we knew our greeting would be marked by being gifted with exceptional leis.  As Don hit the brakes, Martina opened the car door and immediately draped wondrous leis upon us.  All were formed from gorgeous flowers possessing amazing scents.  Spencer’s was adorable and Kim’s exceptionally fragrant (a ginger leaf concoction).  Of course mine featured ti leaves, the traditional component of a “male” lei.


Hugs & kisses were exchanged and off we went.  Sam Choy is a buddy of Emeril and his motto is “never trust a skinny chef”, lol.  His Honolulu diner is exquisitely decorated and the service is exceptional.  After getting seated the catch-up began.  During the five year absence in our friendship, Don & Martina have added two lovely children to the planet which Kim & I had not yet met.


If you endured my Kalalau blather, you already know Martina is a medical doctor who tends to the last few lepers on Molokai.  She was a little late, but only because of a flight delay returning from her regular bi-weekly check-up on Molokai…so who was I to complain???  It was a brilliant reunion, conversation dominated by discussion of the decimation of Hawaiian culture…but that’s in another blog…
cotton_foam says:
Our relationships with good friends brings out the best in us...I enjoyed reading this entry, Vance!
Posted on: Oct 31, 2014
Globevoyager says:
I totally agree. Meeting old friends again is great!
Posted on: Dec 21, 2008
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Corpus Christi
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