Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hawaii Day 2 & 3 in Which We Just About Forget New Year’s Eve and I learn about Spam.

Hawaii Dec 2012 Jan 2013 Day 2 001

New Year’s Eve always sneaks up on me. One day it’s Dec 1, then it’s Christmas Eve and everyone is freaking out about whatever, and then boom it’s New Year’s Eve and I am, once again, completely unprepared and end up totally laming out. Well I like to be predictable so this year was no different, except that I am in Hawaii and not at home.

We decided to spend the day at Poipu Beach, which is on the Southern tip of the Island. It’s lovely and hot and you can snorkel or swim or body surf or boogie board to your heart’s content. We did most of these things quite happily with the exception of the extended period of time I spent wrestling myself into a mask and snorkel. Thank God I don’t have to do that every day. I‘m pretty sure the launch sequence for the space shuttle is a shorter and less complicated procedure. At various points, I had the mask and snorkel on upside down, my flippers on the wrong feet, my hair completely tangled in the snorkel, the mask full of sand. And so it went. Then a wave would hit me as I sat balanced in the water and knock me over just as I had it all sorted out, and everything would fall off and I would have to start again. I’m usually pretty adept in water but not today. I think it took me about 20 minutes just to get in the water, most of which I spent looking like a complete idiot.

Once in, I was rewarded with the requisite brightly coloured fish and dead coral. Here was a blue-bottomed potato fish, there a yellow finned tuktuktoonana or whatever it’s called. All quite lovely. the only problem was that the fish were outnumbered by the shear number of snorkelers, all of whom seemed to be having no problem at all with their gear, I might add. They were, however, having a problem with seeing where the hell they were in the water, and who they might be kicking in the head with their huge flippers (me). I’m surprised all the fish weren’t floating dead in the water from massive head injuries. At one point I found myself behind a particularly enthusiastic fellow, probably Rick from Nebraska or something like that, who had managed to scare away every last fish with his ferocious kicking. Rick was trying, in vain, to get to the bottom to pick up an unsuspecting sea cucumber but it wasn’t working. He was giving the breaching Humpback whales a run for their money with all the splashing and thumping.

He soon gave up but by then there wasn’t much to see (probably because my mask was full of sand and water) so I gave up and went back to the beach.

We had planned to do a spot of shopping at Costco before heading home to Hanalei for New Year’s Eve, but these plans fell by the wayside as soon as we learned there was a festival at the beach. So we hung out and ate fish tacos and listened to live music as the sun went down. It was awesome.

We had a bit of a drive back to Hanalei and Mel and Pepi’s little guy Silas fell asleep on the way home, despite his plans to stay up until midnight. Then Zoe packed it in around 10pm, and the rest of us lay on the couch watching TV until I realized it was 11:59pm at which point we woke Kent up, and stumbled around hugging each other. Kent halfheartedly banged a couple of pots together, and then we all fell into bed.

New Year’s Day was a cloudy rainy affair that we spent at our place watching movies and napping. It was actually perfect. We did make a brief foray into Hanalei for supplies. I don’t know if you know about the Hawaiian Spam Phenomena, but the place is rife with it. It became a staple for both troops and locals during WW2, mainly due to the fact that it never goes bad and is cheap. Unfortunately, it replaced many of the local healthier foods like Taro, and is still one of the most popular foods here on the islands. It can be found everywhere, even in Sushi where it is combined with eggs and soy sauce. Not my favourite but whatever…

Anyway – we were at the grocery store and I was snapping pics of the Spam section when I got busted by the security guy, Roni.

Roni: Ma'am I couldn’t help noticing you are taking pictures…?

Me: Oh…yes…I was interested in the Spam

Roni: the Spam?

Me: Yeah…there’s like 12 different kinds!

Roni: Is that weird?

Me: ummm…

Roni: don’t you have Spam where you are from?

Me: Yes but only one kind.

Roni: Spam is native to Hawaii

Me: Well…not really. Like it doesn’t grow here. Ha ha

Roni: It’s been a staple ever since the war. It’s still in Rations here.

Me: Oh. well…don’t worry, I’m not giving away your grocery store secrets to the competition. Sounds like Spam is in every store in Hawaii!

Roni: Have a nice day.

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I’ve actually edited that a bit – he also started to go on about Tabasco sauce but I’ll leave that bit out.

They also like Corned Beef here:

Hawaii Dec 2012 Jan 2013 Day 2 019

We ended off the day with some fireworks that we had forgotten about on New Year’s Eve and an early night. Not the most exciting New Year’s ever but a good one anyway.

Happy New Year to you and thanks for reading.



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