aLOha cousins!

i grew up a sesame street kid…. back in the day before they had sesame avenue or whatever it is now with fancy rowhouses. one little sketch was a cartoon of a blond-haired girl. she had some kind of accent like long island, new jersey, boston combined (long-jersian maybe?) it was very simple. she said, “ha-WHY-y is an island, surrounded by wah-ter. in ha-WHY-y they say aLOha. it means hello and goodbye. aLOha!” and just like that they were on to cookie monster or the letter of the day or something…. but that little, funny accent girl telling the young viewers about hawaii has always cracked me up. for christian’s spring break i finally got to visit… but no one had that long-jersian accent.

upon our arrival we were greeted by the curious use of the word cousin. we soon found out that in hawaii, everyone becomes family… therefore everyone is your cousin. hawaiian humor was like nothing i had encountered before. all of our tour guides must have had the same cheat sheet for jokes. it was a very dry, quick humor that you almost missed if you were too busy looking at your surroundings. one joke was telling us about the three interstates on o’ahu (and how funny it was that they are “interstates” when there isn’t another state they run to). they have H1, H2 and H3… but no more or they’d have H20… another favorite was when they’d explain how expensive it was to live in hawaii… they said everyone has to work two jobs. following this would be an explanation of their “night” job where they drive big moving trucks and move things out of people’s homes while they are sleeping….

speaking of expensive… we thought we’d save some money and booked a hotel room with a little kitchenette… little did we know that was a bad idea. everything was insanely expensive… a gallon of milk was $8.15!!! even though you are in the u.s. it’s almost like you are in another country… so i had to laugh when some “classy” restaurants were featured in all of the tourism material. such as: the cheesecake factory, tony roma’s (a place for ribs), sizzler not to mention all the coupons for jack in the box, mcdonald’s, burger king and subway. i couldn’t believe it…. but then i thought maybe these served as adventurous overseas dining to other patrons of the islands.

transportation was easy enough with free trolleys… although i felt like the biggest nerd on them (and christian nearly lost his head by not ducking under bar on one) but the japanese tourists seemed to love them! we did not have a chance to take the bus. however i think it’s pretty awesome that it gets to be THE bus. we hopped on a free trolley to visit the flagship store of hilo hattie. we bought a pineapple scented candle that has now permeated our entire apartment with its sicky sweet smell. at one point we snuck away from the tourist frenzy and walked a few blocks up to a kmart that we had spotted. that’s where we did our fine chocolate macadamia nut shopping!

an event i’d been looking forward to since before i can remember was visiting pearl harbor.

the memorial only lets in 4,500 people a day. so you have to get there early. we arrived with our bus about 15 minutes before it opened and there was already a line. the pearl harbor experience itself was amazing… the memorial is very stoic… you float above the uss arizona in a white shell of a memorial. brightly colored flowers from leis join the already occupied water below. the giant lurks below, rusted, seaping oil still and now an active part of nature. i stared at the names etched in the white wall as i’ve stared at the rows of headstones at arlington, or the black etched wall of vietnam… i spotted a tanner among the victims… i wanted to make everyone else leave. i wanted to be there alone….
this brings me to the “butter-inner” portion of today’s entry. there were these two women who sat behind us on the bus… they were both older, probably on a little girlfriend trip, just the two of them. if anything this should have elicited my pitty, but instead i was thoroughly annoyed. one of the women chose to answer every rhetorical question the tourguide offered… she also answered his non-rhetorical ones louder and faster than anyone else… almost like a teacher’s pet. and she was always right, so maybe that made it even more annoying… i did chuckle however when she missed the question about uss missouri! once we got to the memorial she was the BIGGEST butter-inner… she was in everyone’s conversation, including ours. no matter what you were talking about she knew the answer whether you asked her or not (we never asked). she slightly resembled the chicken lady from the kids in the hall… but since she irritated us immensely… we decided to document her for such an occasion as this. note how while we “fake” a picture of ourselves on the bus… ms. butter-inner is staring DIRECTLY AT THE CAMERA!!!!

what’s hawaii without some surf adventures? i don’t mean to imply that i hit the waves…. but christian rented a board for an hour… i tried to keep track of him for as i long as i could but then i lost him out there. he returned sooner than i would have thought with some bloody, cut-up feet… the manly explanation is that he wrestled a stingray, shark and electric eel all at once. the real explanation is that he could stand on the bottom of the ocean and there were a lot of sharp rocks… i just patiently waited for him to get back wearing spf 50… i didn’t burn. but i did stay the same color, which was essentially no color.

on our second to last day we went to the equivalant of polynesian disneyworld. it is the polynesian cultural center run by the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints in conjunction with brigham young university-hawaii. it is amazing… it is split into seven different “islands” or areas of polynesia… our favorite was probably somoa. christian got picked to help drink coconut milk and i had to hula with a bunch of kids. the majority of the workers at the center, either performers, dancers, tourguides, etc are from the polynesian islands and are students at byu-hawaii. we snuck away for a little bit to see the byuh grounds and to see the laie, hawaii temple. that night we got to enjoy a real hawaiian luau and watch an amazing performance showcasing the dances of polynesia! (the previous somoan man with christian was the star performer… he danced on, with and through fire!) it was pretty spectacular .

our shuttle to the airport was anything but spectacular… but i don’t have the energy to get into what happened exactly. let’s just say an old woman, an old man and an old blind man thought they were leaving on thursday because that is what their hotel told them (?) and they were at breakfast when our (and their) shuttle came to get them for the airport wednesday morning. our shuttle made two stops at their hotel and then waited more 30 minutes for them… christian made a point of sighing pretty loud… i made a point of helping buckle in blind old man… when we got to the airport with barely any time to spare christian pushed his way to the back of the van, threw it open and pulled out our luggage – that pretty much pissed off the driver. needless to say we made our flight, and they made our flight too…


8 thoughts on “aLOha cousins!

  1. >Take it back – Sizzler is classy.I love your honeymoon roundup; it sounds like you had fun. I also love your butter-in picture and the tale of Christian’s manly surfing adventure.And don’t worry, after SPF 30, I came back from Brasil no color at all, either.

  2. >For some reason this post reminded me of the time Christian started a talk in church with an energetic “Aloha!” I don’t remember the congregation finding it too funny, but I sure did. Oh Christian and his kooky ways.

  3. >That picture of the milk reminds me of our pictures of mushrooms from our trip to Rochester. Ridiculous. Ben and I would never last one second in Hawaii if it cost that much for him to keep up his chocolate milk addiction.

  4. >I’m so glad you guys had a good time. Hawaii is fabulous! I wish I had remembered to fill you in on all of the Hawaiian secrets I’ve learned over the last few months before you guys left! Oh well, next time! But, just so you know – the joke about the night job isn’t really a joke – it’s unfortunately mostly true… and you can find milk for about $2.80 just not in touristy places – at least you could in December!

  5. >amanda look…. you can still live in hawaii and feed ben (and christian’s) chocolate milk addiction!!! milk’s only $3. and anne… are you telling me that hawaiians really steal other people’s stuff in the middle of the night because that was the joke! aLOha!! this is really robin stealing christian’s login abilities on MY blog.

  6. >the other day i was wondering how your hawaii trip went. then i got to thinking about when i lived in hawaii and how expensive milk was. i wondered if you would have anything to say about the price of milk. tonight i couldn’t sleep so surfed on over to here to say hello! and see if you were back from your trip.milk is freakin’ eight bucks something!? ugh!(thank you for satisfying my curiosity without even realizing you did! looks like you had a great time!)

  7. >There you are standing in front of my childhood, the flood of memories is overwhelming. Did you know that the first (and second, third, fourth and fifth – did you notice how small Laie is?) place I ever worked was the Polynesian Cultural Center? I laminated caricatures. True story.

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