Hawaii Nei

It’s been a few weeks since we returned from a thoroughly enjoyable (if you ignore the constant worry of COVID-19) family vacation on O’ahu. I started to write this blog post as soon as we were back home in Chapel Hill, but I just never got around to finishing it amid the return to work, the tasks and details related to a driveway project, selling this house, and building a new house.

Here’s a recap of the vacation:

My father’s apartment was empty while he and Dot are on St. Croix for the winter, so Erin and I used our United Airlines miles for tickets to Honolulu. With Makiki as home base, we used dad’s car to travel the island and enjoy activities on every side of the island: surf lessons for the kids at Waikiki, açaí bowls at Sunset Beach and souvenir shopping in Haleiwa, whale watching off the stunning Waianae coast, Christmas Day on Kailua Beach and then climbing down to Halona Cove (the setting for that famous beach scene in From Here to Eternity).

I lived on O’ahu nearly 30 years ago, and I was able to explore much of the Hawaiian islands with dad and my brothers, as part of a hiking club, and when friends visited — Erin and I went to Hana, Maui, and my work took me to the top of Mauna Kea. On this trip I got to see parts of O’ahu I hadn’t seen before, including Makaha and Mokuleia beaches, and a hike to Allen Davis Beach. Our friends Blaine Rogers and Becky Delafield live in Kaimuki, and they took us on that hike, which started with a resting Hawaiian monk seal on Sandy Beach.

Blaine and Becky were good friends when we first moved to North Carolina. On 9/11, we huddled together in front of our small television, and after that traumatic day we gathered with other grad-school friends on Wednesday evenings to watch The West Wing. Blaine and I went hiking and biking, listened to music, and took little Anna driving for her nap time. I met Blaine and Becky for dinner when I was back in Honolulu for the marathon in 2014, but we hadn’t kept up since. I regret that, because our time with them last month reminded me how fun, generous, smart, and likable they are.

“I don’t want to leave,” said each of the kids as we packed up and prepared for our flight home. I felt the same way. What a gift it had been to spend the holidays on Oahu, outside together and with friends. What a special place.



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