Psst. I have something to tell you. I’ve had a love affair. It has lasted for many many years, 53 to be exact. It’s with the Hawaiian Islands. There, I have said it.
My first trip to Hawaii was when I was 3 years old. It was in the day when children didn’t travel, the airlines only flew propeller planes and treated its passengers like they were kings and queens, and princesses! (On this flight I was definitely the smallest passenger.)
I recall my Mom telling me the story of how we ended up going to Hawaii. My Dad’s father had given my parents $1,500, alot of money back then. My parents talked about what they should do with the money, either buy new living room furniture or take a trip. This was the start of the love affair with paradise.
Over the years, we would travel to Oahu every second Christmas. I learned to swim on one of those trips. Dad started me out with my water wings fully inflated. Every day or so he would fill them up with a little less air. I had to work harder and harder to stay afloat. By the end of the trip I was swimming, well, dog paddling.
As my sister and I grew up, we spent more and more time in the water. The lagoon at the foot of the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Rainbow Tower provided us with an expanse of water to frolic in. On air mattresses, in the shallow water, in the deep water. My Dad taught me how to body surf in the waves on the ocean side.
The years rolled on and the trips to Hawaii slowed down. Trips now included a husband and children. The beach was still our most favorite spot. Playing in the sand and water with my toddlers brought back the child within me.
The last time I was in Oahu, I went with my sister for a week of walking the beach, swimming, body surfing, paddling an outrigger canoe, shopping and eating sushi. Oh, how I love Waikiki, the long beach, the water.
When Murray started talking about going scuba diving in November and suggested Hawaii, I knew my love affair would continue. Kona, here we come!