People always talk about what's important to take on a trip. Clothes, medications, Pop-Tarts, whatever. Napoleon once said "an army travels on its stomach." American Express says "don't leave home without it." But today, only one thing matters. One thing that's critical on a trip. One thing that the modern family absolutely can't go anywhere without:
|"MOM! I'm down to 11% power and Craig won't give me the charger!"|
Yup. That's it. Try going anywhere without them. I dare you.
After a while the kids went stir crazy, so in desperation. I decided to take them snorkeling at Black Rock. Please note this is generally a REALLY BAD IDEA. Nothing against the Black Rock area - it's spectacular. The problem is that EVERYONE in the Kaanapali area wants to go there... and there are, literally, a total of 8 public parking spaces available. All the other spaces belong to the Sheraton, require a permit, and are closely watched.
I remember one BK (Before Kid) era trip where we pulled in to see if there were any spaces (there weren't). But, as we looked around, a car that was waiting to pick someone up was sitting there. These 2 large Polynesian guys, wearing nothing but Speedos, got out of it. Their stereo was blasting some sort of bizarre Hawaiian - rap fusion, and they started doing a synchronized island break-dance routine on the asphalt.
So we grabbed our gear and I told the kids to put it in the trunk. As I was getting into the car, however, they began screaming like they were being attacked by a crazed luau performer with a flaming machete.
I ran around to see what was up, to find...
Yes, that's it. Granted, I'm not a fan of centipedes, but I figured we'd just get in the car and drive away. The kids, however, didn't want to get anywhere near the car now, in case it had some sort of myriapodic flying or death ray superpowers. Before I could do anything else it scuttled under the van.
This was, apparently, the end of the Black Rock idea. Because now the kids were convinced it was going to crawl up under the car, chew through the metal floor, and kill them if we went anywhere. In fact, they were pretty much halfway back to the condo at this point.
In the room I told them to go to the pool again. I sat down and absently flipped through a coupon book of stuff to do. I noticed this one. I guess it's supposed to be a flower, I think... But to a medical person...
|I think I saw this in a textbook once.|
Around noon Frank and I wandered over to the grocery store to get some supplies. Like many stores, they have a display up front selling bargain-bin video games, DVD's, etc. He was looking through it for anything interesting, when an elderly clerk wandered over and asked if he needed help (probably thought he was shoplifting).
Frank: "Do you have Call of Duty?"
Clerk: "Certainly. On your left, down the short hallway, next to the drinking fountain. You don't need a key."
Hawaiian grocery stores can be interesting. The place is a cultural crossroads with influences of the native Polynesians, immigrants from China, Japan, and the Philippines, and its history as an American territory and state. So you see the usual generic grocery store stuff, but also some more interesting items. One aisle had jars full of tentacles, cans of cephalopod eyeballs, bags of dried cuttlefish... It made the kids appreciate the Wingnut School cafeteria.
Mrs. Grumpy spent a few years in the Philippines when younger, and became addicted to a local snack called Cracker Nuts. I, personally, can't stand them. Basically, they're peanuts that are coated in flour, then deep fried. To me they taste like really stale nuts.
My wife, however LOVES them. On rare occasions she'll order them online. But in Hawaii, she combs any grocery store we go into for them, with mixed results. I count myself lucky in that at least she doesn't like their banana ketchup (yes, really. It's ketchup made from bananas instead of tomatoes).
There are other unusual foods, too:
|I bet it's artisanal, too.|
When we got back to the hotel, Frank and I joined the others at the beach and pool for a while, then I went upstairs to do some reading. As I settled on the balcony I heard noise down by the pool, then music. In what was one of the most randomly bizarre events of the trip, an Elvis impersonator had set up a speaker there and was belting out a few numbers.
We did Chinese take-out for dinner.
|But does it tell you who has your cookie? Hell, no.|