Day 10: Finding the REAL Hawaii

We stumbled out of bed late this morning after our exhaustion of yesterday. But we fortified ourselves with a breakfast of egg and cheese croissant with a side of fruit and Pom Wonderful to wash it down. The deck was the first choice for dining pleasure, but we found it was way too hot in the morning sun, so we moved inside to the shade – still enjoying the same view out to the ocean.

I put in a load of wash, cleaned up the breakfast dishes and took a walk out around the property to explore. This is a massive establishment, and we are definitely in the “cheap seats,” but it is still so wonderful for us. We just love the timeshare amenities of a full kitchen and washer and dryer, not to mention more room to spread out and no housekeeping to come in to bother us all week.

My driver planned for a short excursion today out to Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, The Place of Refuge for ancient Hawaiians. Not knowing at all what to expect of the place, we had stupidly not prepared for a walk in the sun and took neither water or sunscreen. But, no matter, we did enjoy the park immensely. We could have stayed all afternoon as it felt, sounded, smelled and looked like one would think of paradise. Really! Walking among the coconut trees and looking out to the ancient temple with the ocean as backdrop reminded one of James Michener’s Hawaii. We could see bright yellow fish, about the size of your hand, swimming close to shore. Some of the beach was cordoned off because it is a resting beach for sea turtles. Various birds called out and sang to each other as we walked over the ancient lava rocks and coral pebbles. The parks department has done a nice job of recreating structures that look like what was most likely in the area when it was considered “holy ground” and the sanctuary of the king. It still feels like holy ground to me today. The beauty is beyond question and grace fills every view in every direction.

After our walk of the grounds, listening to a ranger explain some of the historical significance of the site, and our drive back to our rooms, we were ready for a mid-afternoon snack of peanut butter and crackers, and a lot of refreshing, cold, rehydrating water. We stayed just long enough to snack, fold the clothes from the dryer, put another load in the washer, and then set out into the late afternoon.

Our destination was a fabric warehouse that serves this side of the island. And, it was like a candy store for this seamstress. I said that to the clerk as we were checking out and she laughed and said, “The best kind of candy – without calories.” Only another seamstress could really appreciate that. My driver helped me make several selections and I was delighted. The array of colors and patterns was a kaleidoscope of beauty. And, we will have shirts and table covers to remind us of this beautiful place.

We walked down the street and looked in a few shops as the Christmas lights came on and the other visitors looked for places for dinner. We returned to our apartment and made chicken caesar salad and humbow for dinner. It was delicious.

Today’s slower pace and natural, rugged  beauty was really an island gift. We both enjoyed it thoroughly.