2011 is the seventy-fifth Anniversary of the Aloha shirt and we celebrate the fact in style by heading to Baileys where fifteen thousand Hawaiian shirts await us. We rifle through racks and racks of every vintage, quality and print. Ben has reached Aloha heaven and rolls about in Hawaiian shirt ecstasy. All those desperate years at Vinnie’s praying for quality cotton Alohas are suddenly forgotten. They’re here and have been here all along, though some are well and truly out of the budget. Who out there is truly ready to pay $8000 for a Hawaiian shirt, no matter how rare?
Learning to surf has been one of my lifelong ambitions and are few better places than Waikiki where the rides are long and the waves are easy. That being said, it must be the ultimate active meditation only after parenthood. Paddling out was a killer, but I am rewarded by the long lulls between sets sitting on my board surrounded by nature, waiting in anticipation. Getting on a wave was something else. A perfect blue sky over Diamond Head is the spectacular backdrop as the waves roll in here and I experienced my first thrilling ride. I knew then how easily this could become addictive. As my 10-foot Malilbu hurtled to shore I stood up and rode it all the way, arriving at the smiling faces of Ben and Paloma waiting in the shallows. Simply ‘awesome dude!’ Of course I had to throw that weird hang loose as is custom here, even among the Japanese tourists. Paloma crawled up on the board then and we caught a few waves in together. Ben thinks we are naturals at it.
After our taste for hiking adventures in Iceland we are inspired to do a ‘hike’ up the Diamond Head volcano. We decided to go on a whim and I was dressed far from appropriately for a hike, as it usually happens. Lucky it ended by being more of a stroll up, for us. People we passed on the way down were warning us of the climb and the arduous road ahead. But it was a gentle and paved incline. As for the view of the ocean streaked with the long white lines of waves far below, it was well worth the stroll. Afterwards we treated ourselves to a famous ‘shaved ice’ – de rigeur in Hawaii!
Roughing it in Hawaii is reclining under the swaying palms with a warm breeze and the scent of reef oil, looking out to the ocean flickering with sunlight. While the trolley cars ring their bells down Kapiolani Street, we venture to see the pink flamingos at Honolulu zoo where Paloma gets more attention from the tourists than the big cats. Later we hang loose under the surf legend sculptures adorned with fresh flower leis. And all day long the super friendly locals are greeting us ‘Aloha’.