Aloha, and Mele Kalikimaka

Dec 20, 2018   //   by bwilber   //   Bob's Blog  //  Add a Comment

Hello blog faithful, and may I first wish you all a wonderful holiday season, no matter which holidays you observe or how you choose to observe them. Be respectful, be kind to others, pay it forward, think much more about giving without pondering what you might receive. It’s not about accumulating the most “stuff” it’s about spreading the message of love, inclusion, and respect. Do you know how easy it is to buy a Christmas dinner for a needy family? It’s far too easy to not do it. Shelters are more than happy to accept a check.

Hello Lava Lava Beach Club! Can’t wait to see you Friday night!!! (Click on any photo to enlarge)

This will be one of those short blogs and unless I break my own vow to myself, there likely will not be one next week because I’ll be busy having tropical fun. The plan is for my next installment to be January 3, 2019.

Tomorrow morning we will head to the airport here in the Twin Cities and get on a flight to LAX. There, if all goes as planned, we will meet Barbara’s sister Kitty at the Delta Sky Club and then the three of us will get on another flight to Honolulu. We’ll make a dash there, from the Delta arrival gate to the Hawaiian Airlines holding pen, where people line up for dozens of island hopper flights. Ours will take us to Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. We’re staying in the same cottage on the beach in Waikoloa, at the Lava Lava Beach Club. Kitty gets the pull-out couch bed in our private cottage (hale) the Hale Nalu, same one we had last year.

Last year, the extended weather forecast looked pretty cruddy for the whole stay at Lava Lava, and son-of-a-gun if it wasn’t mostly correct. It does rain a lot in Hawaii, it’s just a fact of life. This time, our four days and nights at Lava Lava look like they’re going to be pretty good. Fingers crossed for that. It will all be the same for Barbara and me, but that’s the beauty of taking Kitty with us. We get to enjoy it all over again and see the wonder of it all through Kitty’s eyes. It’s like a refresher course in all things Hawaii. Plus, last year we scouted out some good things to do and see, so we have that local knowledge in our heads. Much fun will be had. I’m suspecting a Mai Tai might be consumed. Maybe. I mean, anything is possible.

We’ll be there for four nights and then, on Christmas morning, we have a 9:00 a.m Hawaiian Air flight from Kona to Lihue, on Kauai. We’ll get there too early to check in, so the plan is to head straight to see my sister Mary and her hubby Lonnie, at their condo in Kapa’a. We can celebrate and share some small stocking stuffers, and hopefully find a place open for lunch.

Then, the three of us tourists will head around to the south side of the island to find the two resorts where we have rooms. We couldn’t get rooms at the same place, but the two resorts are very close together, in the village of Poipu. Again, we’ll be able to experience Kauai as if it’s new to us just by seeing it with Kitty, and the resorts will literally be new to us because we’ve never stayed anywhere but at the Marriott by Mary’s condo, in Kapa’a. Plus, on Kauai we have plenty of good local knowledge. Heck, I got to spend almost two wonderful weeks last winter when I went over there to cat-sit for Mary and Lonnie while they were on the mainland. I’m almost a local!

We’re coming soon, Kauai. Please ask the whales to drop by.

So much to see and do on Kauai, and when I was over there hanging out last February I took long walks along the coast every day and saw too many whales to count. It’s a cool way to get to meet people, because everyone who is out walking on the trails is scanning the ocean looking for the whales and you point them out to each other.

We’ll certainly make the drive up to Waimea State Park to try to see the incredible canyon and views from up there. So far, Barbara and I have gone up there with Mary and Lonnie three times, and have seen the incredible view for a grand total of about 15 seconds. It does rain there almost constantly, but it’s always worth a shot to maybe get lucky and be there on a clear day, even if the clear day part of it goes away in a minute or two. The clouds form and come up from the canyon so fast it’s stunning but hey, all those waterfalls around Kauai are there for a reason. They don’t turn the water on and have them run for the tourists, and then turn them off at night. We’re banking on Kitty’s presence being the key to making everything perfect.

We have to take Hawaiian Airlines back to Honolulu on the afternoon of the 29th, and then we get the joy of a nonstop red-eye from Honolulu right to MSP. We leave HNL at 5:45 p.m. and arrive at MSP at around 5:30 a.m. on the 30th. Here’s hoping there is some sleep involved, but it’s a tough flight to do that on. It leaves so “early” in the evening, and you’re fully acclimated to Hawaii time by then, so it’s at least four hours before you’re even slightly sleepy. By that time, you’re halfway home. We’ll see how I do. Kitty flies over to HNL with us, but then she gets on a mammoth nonstop flight all the way to JFK in New York. From there, she still has a long flight home to Orlando. That sounds brutal to me, but Hawaii is a long way out there in the Pacific. It’s hard to get to and just as hard to get back from. And, I’m just guessing, but I’m thinking the temperature change from when we board in Honolulu to when we deplane at MSP will be pretty stout. That could easily be an 80-degree swing.


On one final weird almost creepy note, please note my ring finger on my left hand. I haven’t been able to get my wedding band off for at least two years, and it was really getting uncomfortable. Plus, I’ve basically been wearing it every day for the last 21 years. I’ve tried heating it up to see if it would expand a little. I’ve tried soap. I’ve tried oil. It just wouldn’t budge. Barbara thought it would be a good idea to have it cut off before the trip, so I went up to a little local jewelry store and they cut it off just about an hour ago. The woman said, “Now don’t wear anything on this finger for at least a month. Maybe two months. And even with that your finger is never going to look fully ‘normal’ again. But, in a month or two bring the ring back and we’ll resize it. You won’t be able to tell we did it.”

So the little cutter gizmo was kind of neat. It has a little slightly curved metal prong the slides under the ring, on the palm side of your hand. Then it has a small cutting wheel on top that’s manually operated by turning a wing-shaped key that looks just like the one on any old-school can opener. Took about ten full turns to cut through it, but the bottom prong acts like a guard so your finger doesn’t get cut. It’s a relief to have it off finally, but I can’t wait to get it resized and back on. It’s weird to see that finger “naked” now. I’m also glad I followed my instinct to NOT try to cut it off myself with some snippers. That might have ended poorly. And hey, who knew that 18-carat gold shrinks so much. Just like so many of my shirts and jeans. I mean, there can’t be any other reason, right? Sheesh.

OK, that’s it for this week and our scheduled hiatus next week. Oh, there is an update regarding my next book “How Far?” which continues to come along. I finished Chapter 9 last night, so I’m probably about 100 to 120 pages in. I’m taking my laptop to Hawaii just in case we do get stuck inside one day, due to rain. I hope that doesn’t happen, and I’m not planning on writing until we get back from the trip and adjust to Central Time again, but you never know.

As always, if these words about islands and ring cutters resonated at all, please click on the “Like” button at the top. I’m trying to join the “Million Likes Club” one of these days. You even get a member’s only card. Or maybe not.

Be good. Be kind. Pay something forward and share a hug or five. Happy Holidays to everyone. See ya next year!

Bob Wilber, at your service and still with a bit more shopping to do.


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