Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Last Night in Hawai'i

I am sad to write that tonight is our last night in Hawaii (or, Hawai'i, as it is more properly written). I am writing from our room in a big resort on the big island. When I say big, I mean effin' huge; this place has not only a monorail but also a boat system with several stops each for guests to get around the hotel complex! As it happens, that game show Wheel of Fortune is being filmed here at the moment! Not sure if this is a one time shot or a week's worth of shows or what...have not seen either of the show's famous hosts, though. (Not that I would care, to be candid!)

Anyhow, let me back track a bit and take you through our last few days. When we left our lovely rental house on Sunset Point, we said goodbye to my brother and SIL at the airport. They went back to Seattle and we went on to the big island. Our luggage arrived on the same plane that we did, thank goodness. ;) We drove from the airport in Kona to our hotel in Keauhou Bay. It was a low(er) rent resort, but it has what we expected (a kiddie pool for Captain Adorable to play in) and our whole little family had a good time getting tired out playing in the giant, almost empty, pool. Later that evening we went out to dinner at a famous place called Huggo's. The food was good but not super and of course the vegetarian choices were inadequate at best. Oh well, Captain Adorable got to eat a bunch of shrimp and scallops (obviously so did Captain Obvious) and it was lovely to sit by the water and eat dinner. After putting Captain Adorable to bed, Captain Obvious and I sat on the balcony of our partial-ocean-view room and had a bottle of wine. It was rather romantic!

The next day we got on the road early to get to the volcano. It was a 2+ hour drive (never fun for my little one), but we all survived. We dropped our bags off at our Bed and Breakfast (if you know me in real life you might know that both Captain Obvious and I hate B&B's, so it was weird that we were staying in one, but it looked so damn good on the web site!) and we went to the park (minutes away). The volcano is amazing. Really, truely unlike anything I have seen before. Fascinating. (I have no pics to post right now, but I will, I will, as soon as I have a chance.) It was more interesting and dramatic than I expected it to be. That afternoon we went back to the B&B to rest and poor Captain Adorable was unhappy and loud and was tired, so therefore was difficult to handle for two tired parents. Then he also burned his hand on the towel warmer (I had no idea those things were so HOT or I would have had it turned off!) and cried loudly. Well, the neighbors were giving us dirty looks later on...and I felt kinda bad about it, but it was 3:30 IN THE AFTERNOON when all this noise happened, so I did not think too much about the matter.

We drove down to see the lava flowing into the ocean--another hour+ drive, poor little Capt. Adorable, but he did sleep for most of it, so that helped a lot. It was very exciting to drive over lava fields on the way to the parking area. The anticipation was building as we got closer and closer and the giant plume of steam from the ocean (and the edge of the island) got bigger and bigger. We parked the car and walked down to the viewing area, which was a cool walk. Of course there were a ton of other folks there, and everyone had a camera (Capt. Obvious had two and I had one, so I am including myself in that last statement!). Captain Adorable was in the carrier (Ergo) on my back, so he was safely contained, but he was not calm enough for me to sit down. I had to continually move and find new vantage points from which to view the action. He was very interested in the lava and the steam, so that was cool to see him experience. Plus, he loves waves, and we were right close to the edge of the island, like I said, so right near where we were, the waves were crashing into the coast of lava cliffs. Night was falling--it is best to view in the dark as it is most dramatic then--and the moon (a bit larger than 1/2) was shining above. At one point I looked from the firey, steaming lava-falling-into-ocean part to the beautiful moon, and then my gaze drifted to catch the sight of a wave crashing into the lava cliff and splashing the very top onto the surface where we were standing. It sounds so cold and overly described here, I suppose I am not being very poetic, but it really felt...hmmm, what is the word? It felt naked, primal, ancient, new, rough. It felt like it had nothing to do with humans or human time. It was beautiful. That said, I wish we could have been closer. It was much harder to see the actual lava than I had hoped.

But night was falling, we had stupidly not brought flashlights, and Capt. Adorable was restless, so we decided to walk back to the car. Once back at the hotel, I noticed a piece of paper on the floor with our names written on it. I thought it was a nice note from the staff to welcome us to the place. I was partly right, but the real point of the note was to inform us that our neighbors had complained about the noise our son had made and that we should keep in mind their thin walls this evening. I was shocked and angered (mostly because I was hurt). It made me nervous and super/hyper worried about any noise AT ALL that we made. Captain Obvious had to leave so that I could put the baby to sleep (and also because he wanted very much to take pics of the caldera at night since we were told it glows! Yes, pics of that later too...). Well, of course Captain Adorable (over-tired and grumpy from being in a car All Day) cried and yelled at this event. I was sooooo stressed, trying to calkm him down quickly. It was awful (fortunately, my son is easily cheered, and I distracted/redirected him by getting him to look at the fire, which was a gas stove, in our room, while I held and walked/rocked him to sleep).

Later, when Captain Obvious got back, we sat out on the balcony (huddled in long pants, socks, jackets, and the provided robes on top of all our clothing against the cold) and shared a bottle of wine. We talked in whispers, fearful that anything we said was overheard or interrupting someone else's vacation. I was stressed about this, too, and was unablew to really relax into the moment. My darling sweet husband finally got out the headohones and the mp3 player and we sat, rocking in unison (each in a rocking chair), and listening to music together (each with one ear piece). He played me some new Bob Dyland, and that put him in a certain mood, so he played me the song we danced to at our wedding (Little Trip To Heaven by Tom Waits) and we both cried. He cried more than me (probably because my stressed state prevented me from fully experiencing emotions). I stroked his hair (we had our faces pressed together cheek-to-cheek) and stared off into the dark, wishing that I could make it better for him. Then I tried to change the mood and insisted I play a song. I chose Iris Dement (a favorite artist of mine) but stupidly chose a sad song (which we have joked about being a bit over-the-top sad in the past) and my darling husband only cried more.

We slept badly, woke early (6:15), and left as soon as we could. I think it was 7:30 when we were finally in the car. Whew!

We stopped at a little place and bought coffee for Captain Obvious and banana bread fresh out of the oven for all of us to share (apparently banana bread is quite a thing here) and then we drove back into the park. We had a look at the lava tube (who knew that was so amazing?!), the art gallery near the visitor's center (got a necklace for me, a vase for the shelf, and a little kona wood carving for Marik (someday I will give it to him, I promise...).

Then we drove here. Captain Adorable slept almost the entire way, thank goodness! Once here we ride the monorail over to the tower our room is in, discovered that our balcony over looks the dolphin pool, ate some lunch, let Captain Obvious have a power nap (20 mins) and then went to the pool. We had a wonderful time playing in the water, ordering drinks, and generally enjoying ourselves thoroughly. After that we rode a boat to one end of the hotel and back (pretty romantic, really!), and now here I am, full of a yummy (but lacking in protein) dinner, about to finish up this loooooooong update and go sit on the balcony with a bottle of wine and my beloved husband.

Tomorrow we will get to play in the pool for a couple more hours before it is time to drive to the airport, fly to Honolulu, then to Houston, and then to Baltimore...

Probably the next time I will get to update this I will be a continent away from where I am now. I have been filling up my eyes and my head with beautiful sights and precious memories to carry me through the tough slog ahead. Captain Obvious is already talking about trying to organize a bit of a family trip to Las Vegas during the chemo sure would be nice! We will see if we can convince my parents to do something they have never done before...hopefully we can get Captain Obvious' aunt and uncle to join us as well. We will see. This has certainly been a wonderful, wonderful trip. It would be great to revisit this frame of mind from time to time, especially as an escape from chemo.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! The memories you've made will sustain you.