Thursday, August 4, 2016

Travel Journal: Hawaii Day 1

Whoa. This is where my polished blog with nice photos and decent storytelling becomes my diary.

I am truly trying to process my last 24 hours and then some. If that's even how long I've been on Hawaii? I can't recall. I can't even bring to memory anything that happened yesterday after we left the airport. Oh wait, there it is...

We drove from the airport through Kona town and further south. He pointed out all the important landmarks along the way. He pointed out the boys' schools and their friends' houses. He helped me remember where to turn. Past the speed sign and up here to the right. Vague but I make a mental picture.

We drove to the shop and he introduced me to his employees. I can call if I ever want to see about going on a kayak tour of the bay, if there's space available I'm in, for free. We keep driving. He points out the best coffee joints, cafes, pubs, beaches. I remember a few. Then we get to the road he lives off. Unpaved, it twists up into the jungle. It's misting now. I see a mongoose. What world is this? Holy unfamiliar to me minus the hibiscus flowers.

His land is newly cleared thanks to 71 goats and a donkey named Patron. They called them "goatdozers" because the herd of goats is rented out for the purpose of clearing the land. Now with the tall grasses gone his property has a view out to the ocean. Except on this day with the clouds, mist, and smoke from the volcano the line between sea and sky is indistinguishable.

We walk around back and I see the welcoming committee. 71 goats, all different colors and sizes, some with horns, some without. They're busy at work clearing the path down to my cabin. Yes, my cabin. From his house the property slopes down and the path cuts around to the left leading to a structure in the woods. It's big, bigger than I expected and colorful. It has everything I could ever need and more: a bed, two extra loft beds, a kitchen, pots and pans, a bathroom, outdoor shower, electricity.

For now though, I'm sleeping in the main house. He'll be out of town with the boys for 10 days coming up and I have the place to myself, including a giant soaking tub. And he has an extra vehicle I can use to get to the beach and to see the lava. I can't even believe this is life.

I was in serious shock yesterday and just could not deal with all of this information. I passed out at 8 o'clock and woke up at 5:30am. Then began the day, the beach day...

From sun up to sun down, we were at the beach. No exaggeration. We ate every meal at the beach. We swam, kayaked, snorkeled, built sand castles, they surfed. The only thing we didn't do was nap. I'm exhausted and my thighs and low back are toast.

I met so many people. Learned so many names. Learned many Hawaiian words and local traditions. I tasted new foods. Saw exotic plants and animals. I seemingly did everything at once and yet barely scratched the surface.

I'm telling this story dry because I have so many emotions coming up right now. This experience was unbelievable and indescribable. I'm still in shock. Where am I? I can't really comprehend any more than what I could see, touch, taste, hear and smell... and even that is a blur.

Time to finally rest.

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