November 4, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

I just had the most wonderful and refreshing vacation in Hawaii!  It was such a shock to come home to people wearing jackets and boots (Wimps!  So Cal isn't THAT cold). 

For the first time ever, we found ourselves at a relatively empty resort on the Big Island of Hawaii, about a half hour drive north of the airport on Kona.  The day we arrived, we zipped into Kona to rent prescription snorkle masks (we're blind as bats) and those snorkels that keep the waves from washing down and gagging you on salt water.  Then, we made our usual trip to the big K-Mart store to get a full sized coffee pot and a few other things.  The prices the resorts charge for a single carafe of coffee is equal to the purchase price of a Mr. Coffee machine.  We're no dummies!  We brought our own Starbucks espresso and were ready to go.  We got some Halloween decorations for the room, some silly touristy coffee mugs, some wine and a bottle opener.  As we were about to unload the cart at the cash register, the power went out.  The store went dark, and their backup generator wouldn't kick in, so after a bit of a wait, everyone just abandoned their carts and left.  Oh well.

How exciting to find that the spot I'd tagged on Facebook as "my spot," a photo I'd snagged from the hotel web site, was actually available for the entire week!  I have never seen a resort so sparsely populated.  I met some awesome people, made nice with the hotel kitty, Aloha, and had a spectacular time snorkeling.  The first day, we swam with at least 15 green sea turtles, as many as four at once.  Beautiful!
This is me sitting in "my spot" at around 5 p.m.  We had the beach to ourselves every evening!

The view from our lanai in the morning.  
The trip ended with a good laugh.  The poor tourists that come from Japan for the first time didn't seem to notice the flocks of myna birds at the roof edge, watching for people to abandon their tables with food on their plates.  They brought the first plate load of breakfast, turned and left to go get more, at which time the birds bombed the table.  Several of us were waving the birds off with our napkins, laughing as the biggest myna bird grabbed a blob of ketchup-covered scrambled eggs the size of a tennis ball and tried to fly with it.  We were all laughing that the guests had to be "first day newbies."  The waiter came to the table, chuckled and said, "rookies" under his breath and cleaned up the mess.  The look on their faces when they came back to the table was priceless.  They didn't understand a word of English when everyone was trying to tell them what happened, but the waiter knew the Japanese word for "bird."  They understood that one.  I don't think they'll do it again.  This scene plays out pretty much daily, but everyone has a good sense of humour about it.

My husband was wonderful and threw a little private party for me.  He had managed to pack a tablecloth, my birthday gifts and gift bags and set it all up with an ice bucket and bottle of wine while I was getting ready for dinner.  I received a few goodies from my "wish list" and enjoyed a glass of wine during sunset before we zipped off to dinner at the restaurant you can almost see behind him.  Our table was located at the edge of the seating area, right near the beach where we could watch the sea turtles come up onto the rocky shoreline for bedtime.  What a beautiful way to end the day.

We returned home the day after the terrible shooting incident at LAX, grateful that it wasn't any worse and feeling particularly lucky.  It is so much colder here, but we still have a bit of a tan to remind us of our relaxing week.  Life is good.