Good morning and greetings, Olympic beach volleyball fans. Well, I have returned relaxed, rejuvenated and emotionally resuscitated from one of the most delightful vacations in my first lifetime. Nothing like seven days of tropical bliss on the Garden Isle of Kauai to get my engines reloaded for another 51 weeks of dishing out the free flowing stream of unconciousness that swirls around my mind like the veins of chocolate running thru Breyer’s Vanilla Fudge Twirl frozen dairy dessert.
This year’s destination was the northeast part of the island, a lovely little spot called Anahola, which translated from Hawaiian means, “no damn tourists.” The place was pure Hawaiian, and Anahola Bay (photo #1 ) packed quite a punch. We stayed in a lovely beach cottage across the street from the ocean, and at night all we could hear was the pounding of the waves and the opening of the boxes of Mauna Loa macadamia nuts covered in milk chocolate.
Anahola Bay was an incredibly beautiful beach (photo #3), and as a surprise bonus, a river (photo #2) flowed into the crystal blue persuasion-colored ocean, which gaves us two bodies of water for the price of one. So when you got tired of the never-ending waves, you could parlay the experience into the river and just float with the current. I have to admit, floating on my back, with my eyes and thighs closed was an incredible feeling. I hadn’t been that relaxed since I audited a vibrational meditation class back in the 60′s. I’m all about the body-mind connection to get a passing grade in the spiritual world. Hare krishna, krishna krishna, haagen-dazsey.
When you wake up in the South Pacific, and I usually like to sleep in till at least 4:30 or 5 am, you are greeted by an air temperature of 72 degrees. During the day, the thermometer will hit a high of around 84 degrees, which makes wearing a shirt as unnecessary as paying attention to anything that comes out the mouth of a Tea Party member. And as luscious and soothing as the air temperature is, the ocean temp of 76 degrees launches me into another mind-blowing state of liquid relaxtion. One of my few goals in life is to bask in the warm ocean water everyday, and as of this writing, I am 1/52nd of the way to putting the finishing touches on this watery dream.
The beach cottage we stayed in was old Hawaiian, which was even more nicely decorated than my black-lighted dorm room back at Syracuse. The view from the kitchen (photo #4 ) looked over the mountain range where they filmed “King Kong” and the opening scene from “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” It was truly outstanding, and along with the antique furniture, wall hangings and King Kamehameha dish towels, gave one a real feeling of yesteryear. The only thing that was new Hawaiian was the flat screened TV, which allowed as to watch enough Olympic coverage till our corneas started to bleed.
The culinary calendar was magnificent, as I started and ended each day with a fresh papaya, which is not only a delicious tropical treat, but a rich source of nutrients that promotes healthy living. At least that’s what the agent who strip-searched me at the agricultural inspection station told me. Throw in some fresh mangos, teriyakl chicken and beef, chicken katsu and enough rice for a year of weddings and we were living aloha style on the dining front.
Since we were on the northeast side of island, I started off every morning by shooting the sunrise, which I’m sure comes as a shock to many of you. There were five good ones and one spectacular showing that blew the lens off my camera. This trip photographically will cover at least a month’s worth of blogs, as we’re talking beaches, waterfalls, baby geckos, sunrises, rainbows, octopus, waterfalls, flowers and Kona Coffee glazed macadamia nuts.
And for those inquiring minds, the first macadamia nut tree was planted on the island of Hawaii in 1881, by a certain Johnny Macadamianutseed. Unlike my parents were with me, you have to be patient with these trees, as it takes seven years to produce a commercial crop and 15 years to really pick up steam. And lo and behold, back in 2004, the Hershey company acquired the Mauna Loa brand, making them the kings of the world’s hardest nut to crack, which is something that my rabbi once remarked about me.
Overall, it was a wonderful tropical experience, as I haven’t been in warm water like that since my backstroking in the amniotic fluid. I will leave you with the paraphrased words of travel writer Paul Theroux, who once said outside an ABC store, “Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of Will and Grace.”
And finally, there’s the old Hawaiian proverb, “O Hawaii no ka ain makai O,” meaning, “After all, Hawaii is the best land,” especially with the Alaska Airlines escape to paradise airfares of $169 each way. I drank enough passion orange guava juice on those flights that I could have floated home.
On to the late night. “The Romneys have a horse competing in the Olympics. Ann Romney’s horse failed to win a medal in the dressage event today, which is a shame because if there’s one thing that family needs, it’s more gold. Romney’s Olympic horse is named Rafalco. She said I needed a silly name that no one’s ever heard of before and Mitt was taken.” –Conan O’Brien
“A former U.S. Olympic swimmer in an interview said that nearly all elite competitive swimmers pee in the pool regularly. So apparently I am an elite competitive swimmer. Saudi Arabia’s first female athlete will be allowed to compete while wearing a head scarf. The Saudi woman said she was thrilled about the ruling all she needs now is a man to drive her to the Olympics.” –Conan O’Brien
“Did you hear this big scandal? Eight female badminton players were expelled from the Olympics for trying to lose on purpose. So tragically, they’ll never have another chance to play badminton unless they get invited to a picnic. Seriously, the Olympic badminton players were apparently trying to lose on purpose, a big story. But really, think about it, if you train day and night for four years to be in the Olympics for badminton, in a way, haven’t you already lost?” –Conan O’Brien
“Mitt Romney is getting a lot of attention for a series of gaffes he’s made while he’s in London. And in response, Romney said that he has nothing but respect for the people of England, especially their monarch, Queen Latifah. The favorite to win the Olympic gold medal in archery is a legally blind athlete from South Korea, mainly because everyone else is too scared to compete next to him.” –Jimmy Fallon
“So far China has won the most gold medals, ladies and gentlemen. The Chinese athletes can’t wait to get home and show the medals off to the kids who made them.” –Conan O’Brien “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he will think about running for president in 2016 if Obama wins in November. But until then he said he’ll just think about pancakes.” –Jimmy Fallon
So that’s my first blast since returning to the mainland. Enjoy these August days and pinch yourselves if you’re a Laker fan. So revel in being the best team in the history of beach volleyball. Aloha, mahalo and later, Misty May Treanor and Kerry Walsh Jennings.