Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tales from an Island in the Sun

Alligator Rock. FUN! 

I recognize that perhaps Rattle the Cages needs a little juice. So I thought I'd share about my date in Hawaii! 

I had so many adventures in Hawaii this summer, it would take a book to chronicle them. I went over with my mom and my niece, Justine. The first place me & Justine went swimming was a beach in Waikiki. While we were splashing about, this guy on a floating device started throwing up right into the water. Right next to us. 

We got out. Then we headed up the east side of the island to the North Shore, where we were happy to find the beaches were almost deserted, and no one was throwing up in the water. In fact, the water was so clean and clear that you can see the bottom of the ocean from all the way up in the air. I went up in a helicopter. And then it was almost me that was doing the throwing up! Or "throwing my stomach on the ground" as my niece Maya would say. Fortunately, I was able to keep my breakfast down, and save the other passengers from a super unpleasant ride. Plus, my breakfast that day had been really good, from a place called Ted's Bakery, where they have the most superb doughnuts I've ever, ever tasted. 

One of the things my hotel offered was surf lessons. I had no idea how cute the instructors were, or I would have signed up way before I did. But I really just wanted to try it. I was kind of nervous about it, though. What if I failed? What if my particular brand of sunscreen was attractive to sharks? Okay, sharks were probably the main concern, but failing to get up on my board was a close second. 

And then I am out on the water, lying belly-down, bum-up on this board. While we are watching for waves, this tall guy with red hair keeps splashing me. At first it was fun, but then I was like, Okay, that kind of hurts. I mean, before you get used to it and all, the salt water really stings, especially when someone is splashing it directly into your face. I had kind of forgotten as well that this is male behavior for flirting. 

So, anyways, I get up on my board, and everyone is cheering, and I could just stay out there all day, and all night too. Except for maybe the whole shark thing and dark water and stuff. And not being able to see what waves are good. And being shaky all over from the terror and beauty of doing something I've never done before while all of these people- there are stands by the bay- including some exceptionally cute boys- are watching. So maybe it was good that the surf lesson had a time limit. By that time, I had made some friends out in the water. One, named Gunnar, was about ten years old, and when ever we found ourselves surfing in sync, he would give me the "Hang Loose" sign with both hands, and I would give it back. Another girl, Annie, who was black and had the coolest hair ever, would say, "Hey girlfriend!" whenever she saw me. And my surf instructor would periodically say, "Hey look a turtle!" And then flip my board over and completely dunk me, and I would fall for it every time. 

So then I am back at the hotel, pulling off my rash guard, and the guy who was splashing me is asking for my number. There are like ten people standing around, so of course I just give it to him. Fast forward to Tuesday night, the night before we leave, and I am riding with him in this jeep that is just full of sand. That wasn't the only thing in the jeep, though. When he opens the back, there are all of these coconuts. He tells me he climbs the trees to pick them, and drinks four a day. Having witnessed one of the locals climbing a coconut tree, I completely believe him. 

Then he pulls out this machete, and I admit I am a tad nervous. But he hacks open one of the coconuts with great skill, and offers me the first drink. That so never happens on a date in Arizona. Unlike those bottled coconut waters, which I find repellent, this is wonderful: light, clean, just a hint of sweet. Of course I am wearing some impractical heels, so he offers me his flip flops, which are twice the size of my feet. He walks barefoot, like a true jungle man. We walk along the beach, and soon I take the shoes off. I stub my toe really hard on some coral, but then I learn to watch out for that. 

Sometimes, when you are walking on a beach in O'ahu with someone you don't really know, and he is holding your hand, and you are miles and miles from home, you kind of wonder what you are doing. But then I look up at the stars and the moon, and I know exactly why I am there. I've never seen such stars, never even imagined they could look like that. The moon is hanging low, a red crescent, and waves just keep coming and coming. I think to myself, I am exactly where I should be. And all of my experiences have led me here, to this beach, under these stars, on this night. And I could not be anywhere other than where I am on this night. 

Which is a good feeling. Especially when you've been doing a bit of wandering. Because as JRR Tolkien once said, Not all who wander are lost. 

"her eyes are as big as her bubbly toes."
~jack johnson


Jayme said...

I love this post! Love, love...I want to be there with you...sounds like so much fun!

Tiffany M. said...

Oh Jayme.

I am so touched you still visit my blog.

I am so glad you liked my story.

Hawaii with you would be the best! Except your cutie legs would steal all the attention away from me, just like in jr. high :)