I arrived at the pool at 8:30am – 2:30pm, Eastern Time. Smiling at the attendant, I asked if it was too early to come to the pool. He smiled, asked my room number, and suggested a nice beach chair where the morning and afternoon sun works very well. He covered the beach chair with a towel, wishing me a great day. I was the only guest at the pool. Even in Honolulu, I am an early bird! I settled down, bathed myself with Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen, and relaxed while listening to the traffic nearby at Waikiki Beach.
At 11am, Swim opened. Swim is the lounge servicing the pool and the hotel. I met one of the servers, an attractive young girl named Desi. She wore a brace on her knee so we discussed how painful a knee ache could be. I suggested she try glucosamine. She wrote it down. By now, the pool had a few more guests enjoying the overcast morning. I met a woman who was here with her husband. Much to my surprise, she mentioned that he was working while she relaxed. We had much in common. Moments later, we were showered with a light morning rain. Rushing for cover, several people gathered their things to leave. I refused. I had faith the morning rain would be like most showers in Hawaii – only a few minutes of rain, breaking into morning sunshine.
I ordered a grilled chicken salad for lunch, deciding to treat myself to an early drink – a Hawaiian mudslide. The food and drink were delicious. I stretched out on my chair. The sun was out now, shining brighter than before. I found it refreshing that in Honolulu, the rain occurs in the early morning, kissing your skin with a delightfully delicious moistness, and then the sun breaks out, shining brightly. Only in Hawaii, I thought. I am being kissed by rain so the sunshine can break through the clouds.
At two o’clock, I returned to the room to refresh, style my hair and get ready for the afternoon events. Scheduled were drummers and dancers to perform by the waterfalls. I arrived at 3:30, sat at a table awaiting the performance. It did not happen. The drumming, dancing, and other entertainment were canceled due to a wedding. In place were beautiful young Hawaiian girls, dressed in Hawaiian clothing – a colorful bright yellow, with yellow leis around their neck, flowers in their hair. According to many Hawaiians, the tradition of wearing a flower in your hair reveals something about the person wearing the flower. For example, wearing a flower on the left side by the ear means you are either married, or not available. Wearing a flower on the right side means you are eligible, single, – definitely available.
A gorgeous brunette, dressed in the bright yellow Hawaiian costume wore a flower in the back of her hair, holding her gorgeous thick lock of hair. She dropped a bag of aromatic flowers on my table. A tanned woman sat down by me, introduced herself as Jane, and suggested that I might want to make a lei with her. “You know how. Don’t you?” She asked.
“I haven’t a clue,” I said.
“Good, I’ll teach you.”
Jane was not a native of the island, living in California for a few years; she traveled to Honolulu, deciding to make it her home. “You should move here,” she said.
If only she knew how much I wanted to make that a reality.
The flowers perfect for a lei are plumerias. Hot pink with a wonderful sweet aroma, I smelled them, excited to learn how to make a lei. Plumerias come in many colors, but the hot pink aroma was the most tempting for me. Finally, I would be like others in Hawaii – wearing an authentic lei. To make a lei, you use a string with a long needle attached. Gently placing the center of the plumeria on the needle, you continue adding the flowers until the lei will rest comfortably on your neck. http://www.plumeria101.com/lei.html
According to Jane, leis were created so the children of Hawaii would grow up with the skills necessary to make a living. The more I learned about Hawaiian culture, the more intrigued I was. http://www.to-hawaii.com/hawaiian-culture.php
Reportedly, when given a lei, a kiss must be shared. When I came to Hawaii as a young newlywed, I remember receiving a lei when I stepped off the plane. This tradition is no longer shared when arriving in Honolulu now. So sad.
I wanted to know about the traditions and cultures of Hawaii, so I purchased a book. Two of the words I do know are “Aloha,” which means an abundance of things, including hello, goodbye, love, fondness, sympathy and so much more. “Mahalo” means thank you. When shopping, you will hear these two amazing words repeatedly. Reportedly, the language of Hawaii consists of five vowels and seven consonants. http://www.to-hawaii.com/hawaiian-language.php The basic rules of the language are:
- “All words end in a vowel.
- Every consonant is followed by at least one vowel.
- Every syllable ends in a vowel.
- Two consonants never appear next to each other.”
Growing up in the South, I was falling in love with all the language, cultures, and traditions of Hawaii. Such a beautiful place to visit. I could only imagine what it would be like to live here. I was almost willing to return to South Carolina, sell everything, and move! Just how would I get my four babies (my schnauzers) to Hawaii was the question!
During the events at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, I learned about poi. Poi is a root, made from the taro plant. Purple in color, the root is pounded into a sticky purple paste. It taste a bit like sweet potatoes, but for me, it is an acquired taste. http://www.poico.com/artman/publish/article_16.php
While enjoying the cultural events, my stomach hurt so I went to the room, got sick and panicked. I did not want to be ill in Hawaii. Phil and I had plans to walk to International Market Place, but those plans were postponed until I felt better. We had dinner at Blazin Steaks, just a stone’s throw from our hotel. We stopped at the concierge desk, booking reservations for a Hawaiian luau. We decided on the Paradise Cove luau. http://www.paradisecovehawaii.com/ Since my stomach continued to ache, we rushed back to our room. I was furious with myself for getting sick and I was hopeful I would feel better in the morning. Aloha!