Aloha! I'm back on the grid, as you can see and the world hasn't ended... yet.....
I'm going to share a little secret with you-- I was in Kona, Hawaii for two weeks with my friends Carin and Tom. We stayed in a condo across the street from the ocean and enjoyed slow, warm days with bits of adventure and many happy hours.
When I was a kid I was obsessed with Hawaii, so much so that one Christmas my parents gave me a book on Hawaii along with a record of Hawaiian music. I still have both. Obviously this was a dream trip for me.
We took a bus tour around the entire island. We stopped at the black sand beach and saw the turtles sleeping in the sun at the edge of the waves. We also visited a coffee farm and traveled through Hilo and the Parker's Ranch area. The scenery was amazing! My favorite stop was Volcano National Park. I finally saw a real volcano close up and steaming!! The caldera looked like an alien landscape and I also got to explore a lava tube and walk on a path where the rain forest was growing back through a lava flow.
We also rode in a submarine and saw fish, the underseascape and some shipwrecks. The sub was similar to the ones at Disneyland except better because everything was real and the sights..... wow! Then I had the other view- snorkling in a bay. I following a school of yellow humus and when I peeled off to look at other fish, some of them swam over to encourage me back to the group-- it must have been the yellow bathing suit! I soon found myself surrounded by the friendly creatures. I couldn't even sweep swim strokes with my arms or kick because I was plunk in the middle of the school. Oooo I was in a fish gang! Ha ha ha!
Carin made sure that I caught some dancing too. We went to Mauni Lani to see a local dance troupe perform. They do different shows twice a week and were so good that we went back to see them again. The first time we joined the workshop to make flower leis before the show. The second time they invited people to join them on stage and Carin volunteered me. I got up there and the teacher called out the steps-- and they were ones I knew from class! I was able to keep up with the troupe and had fun. After the show a little girl tugged on my sleeve and said, "Good job," so I must have done OK.
The last evening on the island, we went to Bongo Ben's for dinner and Lindsay Keikilani was performing. He is half of the duo, Tiki Dolls, with his son, but his son had rehearsal for a Christmas show, Lindsay explained. Nonetheless he was terrific. Lindsay has a very pleasant voice with a good range and flows easily in between Hawaiian and English as he performs traditional, contemporary and original songs on his guitar. We stayed for his entire show!
Those are just a few of the highlights from my trip, but it gives you a taste of my fun. I'm back in work mode, but with some island style still in me....
In rotation this week: Owl City, Terrible Things and Dio.
Photos we got 'em: A pic of me dancing with the statue at Kona Airport after we arrived and one I took of the volcano steaming away (the lava is bubbling beneath the surface!), a photo of me and artist and former astrophysicist Richard Davies at his birthday party before I left on vacation taken by my artist friend Nancy Armitage and finally a holiday pet photo that made me laugh (One of these things is not like the others!).
Thought o' the week: Like Jello. No, I'm not talking about being a fan of the wriggly dessert, but rather feeling like you are the wriggly dessert.
It was very strange about day two in Hawaii when I realized that all my muscles - and my brain - had truly relaxed. I didn't hurt anywhere and I was extremely at peace with the world. Part of this I must chalk up just to getting out of my element and being somewhere with fresh ocean air and comfy climes and a big part was getting off the grid-- no blog (sorry), no Facebook, no Twitter, no email, no computer. I often comment on how important it is to relax and unwind, but this time I was really experiencing it fully.
I have made a conscious effort to bring some of that "island style" home with me in that I'm not being a clock watcher and I'm taking a deep breath when things ruffle me and pushing them away rather that letting them bug my day. I put a mental picture in my head of a big plate of Jello - cool, wriggly, happy - and try to apply that feeling to my own body. Yes, it sounds a little weird, but it's working. I'm also humming Hawaiian tunes and still saying aloha and mahalo, which gives my relaxed attitude an extra boost.
This time of year can be very stressful, so I encourage you to find your island style or whatever else makes you like Jello.
Keep on rockin'
P.S. Here's a little Hawaii for your holiday: