Bali High - Oahu

View from our hotel room at Turtle Bay, north shore, Oahu

Most people live on a lonely island,
Lost in the middle of a foggy sea.
Most people long for another island,
One where they know they will like to be.

Bali Ha'i may call you,
Any night, any day,
In your heart, you'll hear it call you:
"Come away...Come away."
(Rogers and Hammerstein, "Bali High", from their musical "South Pacific")

My sons sit on the same sofa that Russell Brand and Jason Segel sat on in the movie"Forgetting Sarah Marshall"

For the first time in 17 years, my little nuclear family took a vacation, just the four of us, without any in-laws or relatives of any kind. It was a celebration : of Son#1's high school graduation, of our life together - I was not so secretly hoping to implant some happy memories, just before everyone starts to move away. Avoiding the diaspora of kids going off to college - maybe I can bribe them to join up for future vacations, if this last one is so pleasant. And it was. It was.
Folk who know me know I love to spend the dreary winter months researching and planning summer vacation adventures. Travel is my middle name. It was extremely ironic to me that while I have journeyed from Edinburgh, Scotland to Luxor, Egypt; from Kingstown, Jamaica to Eilat, Israel on the Red Sea, I had to never been to Hawaii. I have listened to friends for years ramble on about how awesome it was, half tuned them out and yawned.....well, no more. Thanks to a small bequest from my father, we were finally able to visit the American paradise. I loved it ! Spent enough time researching the very specific things we wanted to do, places we wanted to go and type of vacation we wanted to have (for ex: I don't like crowds, and when traveling with teenage males, I long ago vowed never to share a room with them - ever - again. Suites a requirement of my "family togetherness"!) Manged to find the very places to stay and things to do that met all my idiosyncratic personal requirements (Did you know that I will only eat local food, refuse to eat fast food or in chain restaurants?)

Hubster and younger son get scuba certified in the hotel pool. Later they went scuba diving in a turtle sanctuary.
We started our trip staying on the north shore of Oahu- a pleasant place I found to be much less chaotic and bustling than the glamorous Waikiki, on the south side of the island. (We stayed there, later, to facilitate touring all the Honolulu sights such as Pearl Harbor.) Of course, summer is the "off" season here- the surfer crowds come in the winter, when the waves are large, to surf the Bonzai Pipeline. All our needs were met at the wonderful and recently revamped Turtle Bay Resort (as seen in the movies "Soul Surfer" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"). My husband and sons took surfing lessons and got to play with baby sized waves (what the locals call "ankle biters") while I lounged by the pool and drank fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas in them. It was the perfect respite from a busy year. The area we stayed in was lush, verdant, green and tropical. Daily high temps in the mid 80's - a good 20 degrees or more cooler than Texas back home. Charming little towns dotted the coast; we were amazed that no one seems to live in the interior of the island, and there were not as many people, in general, as we expected, anywhere.

3 amigos surf the north shore near the Bonzai Pipeline

We ate at some great local spots in and around Haleiwa: one, Ted's bakery, was the source for all the baked goods in the restaurants all over the island. Tried not only the typical meat + 2 sides Hawaiian plate lunch (did not think we would like the mac salad, but we loved it ! If anyone has a recipe, let me know!) but also an amazing chocolate + coconut cream pie. Yum !
Near Haleiwa
We fell in love with some of these little towns. I want to retire there...if I ever win the lottery, this is where I will go.

Your own special hopes,
Your own special dreams,
Bloom on the hillside
And shine in the streams.
If you try, you'll find me
Where the sky meets the sea.
"Here am I your special island
Come to me, Come to me."

Bali Ha'i,
Bali Ha'i,
Bali Ha'i!

Someday you'll see me floatin' in the sunshine,
My head stickin' out from a low fluin' cloud,
You'll hear me call you,
Singin' through the sunshine,
Sweet and clear as can be:
"Come to me, here am I, come to me."
If you try, you'll find me
Where the sky meets the sea.
"Here am I your special island
Come to me, Come to me."

1 comment:

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