Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Shaka to the System

I’ve gone nearly 24 hours without giving anyone the shaka, the Hawaiian hand signal that means everything from “hang loose” to “have a nice day.”

This is probably for the best, since a gesture that involves wagging the extended thumb and pinky would probably be considered an insult in Brooklyn and result in yours truly being pummeled into a coma.

No matter. I had an absolutely fantastic time in Honolulu and I am thoroughly bummed that my 11-day trip has come to an end.

This vacation was a great idea and I can’t believe how I hemmed and hawed before I finally decided to go.

I saw such beautiful scenery, like the Kualoa Ranch, where Jurassic Park and other films were shot. I had breakfast on the beach, watched the Honolulu Marathon, and did a wild downhill bike ride.

I went to Pearl Harbor and boarded the USS Missouri, where Japan surrendered in 1945.

I huffed and puffed up to Diamond Head, where I enjoyed the fantastic view while trying to restart my heart.
I also met so many wonderful people during this vacation.

Traveling solo can be a bit depressing at times, but it seems like I was running into such nice folks every time I turned a corner.

There were the lovely people at St. Augustine by-the-Sea Church, located right next door to my hotel in Waikiki. One member of the congregation was a woman from Sunset Park in Brooklyn who had moved to Hawaii three years ago.

“I wanted to get away from the drama,” she told me. “Now I have new drama, but that’s okay.”

There’s no escape from drama, of course, but I admired this woman for having the courage to pick up and move to the other side of the world.

I met a wonderful Australian family who took me on a killer bike ride down the North Shore, where we battle repeated tropical rainstorms while I struggled to keep up with them.

There was this very kind Malaysian couple I met at the Polynesian Cultural Institute who hung around with me for the entire day.
And even today at the Honolulu Airport, I met a mother and son who were flying back to LA after a week in Hawaii.

She came from Sheepshead Bay but stayed in California after graduating from college several years ago. We just had a brief conversation, but it helped make the awful trip just a little less tedious.

One day last week I took a walk around Kualoa Regional Park and I was amazed at how steadily the wind kept blowing.

It was warm though, unlike the bone-chillers back east, and it had almost a curative effect as I allowed the strong breeze to blow away my worries and fears. It was a very peaceful moment.

On the way out to the airport I saw an honest-to-God rainbow forming over Honolulu. I pointed it out to the other passengers in the van, but they were all too busy looking at their smart phones. Okay, so I guess it’s my own private rainbow.

So now I'm back here in the Northeast, where the rain is cold and the wind is even colder. It's a bit depressing naturally, but I can’t wait to see my beautiful family on Christmas Day.

Whatever comes after that, well, we’ll just have to see which way the wind blows. And as long as I can still find the rainbows, I’ll be just fine.


Walaka of Earth 2 said...

Glad your trip was a great one. Coco has always found the islands renewing - about time for us to head back. Stay well and happy holidays!

Rob K said...

Thanks, Brudda. I can certainly understand how Coco feels. It's fabulous.

Ron said...

Welcome back, Rob!!! I freaking love the way you ended this post...

"Whatever comes after that, well, we’ll just have to see which way the wind blows. And as long as I can still find the rainbows, I’ll be just fine."

BRILLIANT! And that is something we ALL can learn from.

Sounds and looks like you had a fabulous time. I love that last picture of the beach!

I'm like you, I can travel anywhere and make friends by just talking to people.

So glad you decided to go on this trip. Sometimes we just have to get away and surround ourselves with a different environment to get a different perceptive.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, BUDDY! Have a super day with your family tomorrow!


Rob K said...

Hey, Ron, great hearing from you! Yes, this vacation was a great idea, if i say so myself.

I really feel lucky that I had a chance to meet all these great people. And it was good to step out of my life for a short time because I see how much I need to change it.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, MY FRIEND! All the best to you and yours and let's make 2016 our year!

Bijoux said...

Welcome home and Merry Christmas, Rob!

I can't believe you ran into someone from Sunset Park! And that's awesome that you were able to connect with so many new people on the trip! I'm going to need a pep talk from you because I'm headed that way in just a few months. Can't tell you (actually I KNOW you understand) how much I'm dreading the flight! But it will all be worth it to escape the weather I know that will be headed our way shortly.

XO, my friend!

Rob K said...

Oh, Bijoux, thank you do much!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family! I wish you all the best for 2016!

And I think it's so great that you're going to Hawaii! Yes, the flight is a huge roadblock, but just think about palm trees and sandy beaches that are waiting just for you. Then pop a few Xanax and pass out on the plane like I do!

I'm here and ready to give you a pep talk any time you need one!

Take care, much love, and Happy Holidays!