Hawaii is paradise if you have money.

We all got sick on our second trip to Hawaii.  Some were not prepared to travel with handicapped people.  Nothing went as planned.   The worst car rental company in Honolulu was really not cheaper.   The air conditioner did not work in one of the hotel rooms.   A mountain out of a molehill was noted by the family complainer.

Illusion is the heart of a Hawaiian vacation.

There was a coffee shop across from our hotel.   Being from the South, you have an instant connection to people who eat pig and Spam which was probably the reason why the Hawaiian barista was so fun.  He was interested in whatever factoid I had to say. I can see him imitating my southern accent to at the evening dinner table.  Throughout the islands, the people seem genuinely interested in what you have to say.   I bought a necklace of shells in Maui from a woman about my age.  I asked her if she made the necklace, she paused and said a friend made them.   I realized they were mass produced in Indonesia or some other place.

Raw fish is common in Japan and along the Pacific rim.

boiled shrimp, copyright 2007 Ann Bennett

Lines of locals came to pick up large and small take out orders from the local Hawaiian diner.  My brother’s cheeseburger looked tasty.   Hawaiian food has a lot in common with Southern cuisine.   You really have to grow up eating it or have open palate to want seconds.   I ate poke which is chopped raw fish.  A lau lau is basically fat back meat cut in strips with a small piece of butter fish wrapped in taro leaves.   Think collard greens wrapped around salt pork.   It was delicious and nauseating a few hours later.  Poi is a starchy porridge from ground taro roots.   Nasty is not the word for it.  There was a coconut square that was gelatinous called haupia which can give you diarhea is you eat too much.  You can drive the entire circumference of Oahu in an hour or two. Kind of like HWY 341 and HWY 41 between Fort Valley and Atlanta. You might come in contact with 20 cars and two stop lights until you find yourself in metro Atlanta.

I don’t really know what happened in Hawaii.   I started writing the day I came home.

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