Vacation is coming up, and I recommend Hawaii. Now that we can fly again, it is the perfect place to go. Three years ago, Bill and I landed there, got a car and promptly got lost. But other than that, Hawaii is one of the best places to visit. There are hundreds of reasons why, but the best is Hawaiians. They are the most pleasant and kind people in the world. They are the Canadians of the Pacific.
New Mexico has tourists too, and a lot of our economy depends on them. We have a lot to offer with our different cultures, cuisines and unique customs. For instance, when we say Christmas, New Mexicans are ordering green and red chile on their food. Then we go out and get in our cars to drive… anywhere. Our hospitality is not exactly like Hawaii. O’ahu is an island with a tiny bit of freeway and a two-lane road around the rest that reminded me of Old 66 in the 50s or 60s.
In Hawaii, they have wonderful cuisines and loving customs. And when they drive cars they have two extraordinary practices; first, they don’t hit the tourists that are everywhere in every street crossing looking and not paying attention. The Hawaiians are the epitome of patience. They don’t honk or toss hand signals, and they never hit the tourists, turning them into living speed bumps. They stop and let the lost tribes go ahead. Second, they let you in the small strip of freeway they do have without shooting you… I mean, no swearing, fist shaking; they let you into traffic. This alone is almost a miracle. We spent ten days and got to see almost everything. The entire island really is a paradise.
We arrived at night and it was difficult to find the hotel on Waikiki Beach. The tiny street had one name and the streets into it were under a different one. Eventually, we found out where we were staying. We had a third story room on the end over-looking the main drag. When we woke in the morning I yelled at Bill, “It is true, the water is turquoise!” And it was. Sunrises and sunsets are magical, and the temperature was perfect. The strip where all the high-rise hotels are have no problem of crowding since the ocean comes ashore in a line of public beaches. They have done it correctly in O’ahu. There are restrooms with showers open to the public. You can use them and wash off the sea water. You can rent surf boards or paddle boats, and they will give you surfing lessons for a small fee. Or you can rent a chair and try to bake off the fresh pineapple you gobble up. They sell it cold and delicious on each corner. And did you know? There are no mosquitos in Hawaii.
Food is a little higher than on the mainland, but what would you expect. It’s an island and the food mostly comes in by boat or ship. It happened to be my birthday when we were there. Bill knows I love (and I do) McDonalds. He got up early and got me Hawaiian McDonalds. A box with scrambled eggs, two large cups of white rice and a hunk of Spam. It also had a Portuguese sausage and haupia (coconut pudding.) I ate it all. But then I also like poi. Many make fun of this great dish. It is purple and when fresh, sweet. You can eat it fermented and it’s like yogurt.
When we took the car out on the mostly only road around the island, we pulled off often to see the ocean. And what we saw at our first stop was whales, real whales, not in a park, they were right there, swimming, coming up and blowing water and air. We stopped at the top of the road and got Hawaiian Ice, a colorful and delicious mix of banana, coconut and cherry made with Eagle Brand milk. It was a treat for all times. Of course, we went to a luau. The dancers were terrific and the food as exotic and great as your first fiesta feast. In ten days they held two parades where we could sit on our balcony and watch. The local high school bands and colorful costumes were great. You don’t think of the Easter Bunny and Hawaii together, but sure ‘nuff they were a hit. Thirteen of my cousins are going next week, all on the same plane, with kids, first grade to senior in high school. This may be their last chance to do a family trip like this. I wish them bon voyage and Godspeed. Think about it. You don’t have to wear a mask when you get there, just flowers and a hula skirt. Roaring Mouse, shake it… out.