Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Island in the Sun

OK, I have to do a better job of blogging...but I had to get The Cutest Boy in the World off to camp and I have been helping GOTT and TTG with drama camp.  So I have been busy.  You all seemed to really love my silly story about my Daddy, Paris, and the bidet so I think instead of whining about my weight and the fact that Dimples ABANDONED me (no, he did not really...but he did move...for the best reason ever because his super gorgeous fiancee got a fabulous job out of state) I will tell you some more silly stories from my childhood.

This story is about one of my favorite places in the world---Hawaii.  And it is also the best story I have that demonstrates how you can learn a lot on vacation (but not about bidets)...and how you can learn a lot from other people.  And yes, like "Le JR" and the bidet fountain, every crazy word is true...

My mom took my 2 sisters and my brother and me to Hawaii when I was 15.  I had been before but it was the first time we went with just my mom.  We flew to Oahu first and then moved on to other islands.

While in Oahu we stayed at my favorite hotel in the world---the Kahala Hilton (which is no longer a Hilton but is still the Kahala).  I love love love the Kahala.  I"m pretty fond of the Hilton Hawaiian Village too and the Royal Hawaiian but the Kahala is...special...

My mother was a jogger at the time so the morning after we arrived she went out for a jog.  While jogging along a man pulled up next to her in a convertible and asked her to stop.  He was British.  He asked her "excuse me but do you have a piano?".

Yes, he asked her with no preamble if she had a piano.

My mother replied that she was just visiting but that our hotel had a piano.  He thanked her and drove off.

He was Dudley Moore (Arthur).

She came back and got on the elevator with a blonde Scottish man with shaggy hair and a very tall blonde woman and some kids.  They were all arguing.

The man was Rod Stewart.

While waiting for my mother to return from her jog my sister Noel and I ate an entire pineapple by ourselves and our tongues were numb for the rest of the day.  I do not recommend consuming an entire pineapple with just one other person if you plan to eat anything else the rest of the day.

The next morning we went to breakfast in the hotel.

My brother spilled his juice for the 189th time.

My mother informed my brother he was not getting another glass of juice.  He started to pout a bit.

A few minutes later another glass of juice appeared in front of my brother.  My mother told the waitress to take it back because she did not order it.  The waitress said "I know...he did" and she pointed to a man at the next table.

The man looked at my brother and said "I spill my juice all the time...that glass is on me" and then he knocked over his own juice (on purpose) to make my brother feel better.

The man was Don Knotts (Andy Griffith Show).

After that we went into the swim suit shop in the hotel and ran into the dad from "Happy Days".

So the lesson learned?

NOT that you see a lot of celebrities at certain hotels in Hawaii but rather you just never know who might notice you spilled your juice...or will need a piano.

We moved on to the Big Island (Hawaii).

I love the island of is such a contrast...lovely cliffs and beaches and then all that lava at the south.  I love the airport there because you feel like you are landing on a lava field.   And it's all open air...

While there my mother invited an old friend who lived on the island to come and visit us.  Her name was Mona and she was about 92 years old at that time.  She adored my father---he had been visiting her in Hawaii since he was a child.  She raised the same kind of cattle that we did and she had a beautiful ranch on the island.

My siblings and I were very annoyed at having to spend lunch with an ancient old woman...especially because we had to get dressed and eat in the hotel formal dining room instead of laying about on the beach.  But we got dressed and dutifully waited for Mona in the hotel lobby.

In she walked...with her special fabulous cane...and I realized that this was NO ancient old lady.  She was special.

We went to the dining room and as we walked Mona told me that each morning she enjoyed having her driver take her out for a drive to look at her cattle.  She liked to take a thermos with her...and she winked at me as she said "and sometimes I add an eye opener to it".

At the time I had no idea what she was talking about.

Years later I realized she meant she dropped a bit of whiskey in it...more power to her...she was 90...she could do what she wanted.

So we get to the dining room and a waiter whizzes by with a dessert cart laden with all kinds of incredible looking temptations.

Mona waved her hand and flagged him down.

And then she proceeded to order 2 of everything on the cart!

We hadn't even ordered lunch yet.

She then informed us all that "at my age you eat dessert first because you don't know if you will make it through the main course!'.

Now that was some spectacular advice.

We only ate dessert that day...and it was one of the best meals of my life.

Mona warned us that there had been a small earthquake in the ocean overnight and that the undertow would be quite strong and to be careful when we went into the water.

We thought she said "underTOAD" and spent the rest of the day saying "beware of the undertoad".

To this day it is still the undertoad to me...

After our lunch with Mona, who sadly I never got to see again but dearly hope when and if I get to heaven that she is there waiting for me...with dessert...and an eye opener...

Lesson learned...well there are 2:
1) old people can really be a lot of fun
2) eat dessert first

Noel and I decided that our hair needed conditioning and that we really wanted to look like Malibu we greased our bodies with baby oil and then stupidly put it into our hair to condition it while we were on the beach.

So fully greased up we hit the beach...and the undertoad.

We decided to go body surfing...despite Mona's warning.

The undertoad was strong...and we kept getting pulled under and eating sand.  There were a few times I panicked that I might not surface again.  It brought back flashbacks to the time I got pulled into a wave and my Aunt Jane (the best person in the world) had to grab my hand and pull me out.

Noel and I were scraped by the sand and covered in it.

Baby oil gets sticky.

But the worst part was our hair....the sand and salt was good and stuck in our hair with all of that baby oil.

My mother was not happy.

We ended up pretty much using an entire bottle of Flex Balsam and Protein shampoo trying to get the sand and the oil out of our hair.  It didn't come out completely.  I spent the rest of my vacation with greasy hair.

I do not recommend baby oil as hair conditioner...another lesson learned.  Olive oil works much better and comes out without having to use an entire bottle of Flex Balsam and Protein shampoo.

I'm not sure they even make Flex Balsam and Protein shampoo any more...and what the heck is balsam anyway?  (I know it is some sort of tree sap stuff but what does it do?)

After a fun visit to Maui and then back again to Oahu we headed back home with a stop in San Francisco.

There was a hotel worker strike going on in San Francisco...we barely got a room.  There was no maid service and we were lucky to get towels....but it was still fun.

My greatest memory of that part of the trip was that we managed to lose my brother while we were shopping in you lose a 10 year old blonde and blue eyed boy with a bowl haircut in Chinatown is beyond me but we spent a frantic hour searching for him.

It escapes me where we found him...and for years I cursed that we didn't just leave him there. (Yes, I love my brother and NOW I am happy we found him but there were a lot of moments when I would have been happy knowing he was working in a Dim Sum restaurant).

Now I know that this story doesn't top a bidet fountain, but hey...that is my BEST travel story...but I hope you learned some things and were amused.

Inspiration Song: my favorite summer song of all time---Island in the Sun by Weezer!  I love it...makes me happy whenever I hear it...

Aloha dessert first, have fun with old people, don't put baby oil in your hair and beware of the undertoad...and don't lose your children in Chinatown...

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