Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hawaiian vacation, day 6

Today we decided to just hang out at the condo. This is because, after you've spent a fortune to travel to Hawaii, your kids want to play video games and swim in a pool. You know, things they could never do at home (yes, that's sarcasm).

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.


Anonymous said...

It's supposed to be a flower in the same way that Georgia O'Keefe paintings are.

Anonymous said...

3 kids can happily go on a two week vacation with one pair of socks, 2 shirts, and 1 shoe between them... But god forbid they leave 1 of their 57 electronics chargers at home and the vacation is ruined.

Anonymous said...

I must say I have really enjoyed vacationing vicariously through you. This year's series has been an exceptional read full of laughs!

Mockingbird said...

Please, more Elvis! LOL

Li'l Azathoth said...

Don't keep us in suspense. How was the pineapple-infused beer? It sounds like the perfect thing to wash down the millimeter of perfectly cooked pork at the luau.

Shellye said...

I'm deathly afraid of centipedes. Our apartment in the middle of the city, the basement was full of them. They would show up in the loo. They move fast, too. It was to the point where I couldn't stand going in there. The ones in Hawaii are even creepier looking! *shudders*

Hawaiian food sounds interesting. Have you tried the banana ketchup? I was curious as to how it tastes. The nuts Mrs. Grumpy likes do not sound appetizing.

Stacey Gordon said...

Kids afraid of a bug, instead of wanting to pick it up an explore? Or at least look at it? I'm worried for the future.... All the way to Hawaii and all they want to do is watch/play video games? That is soooo sad.

gena said...

We had a similar experience with kids in Hawaii. We had a rental home across the street from the beach. The water is clear and a balmy 85 degrees. What did the kids want to do? Play Minecraft.

We didn't have any centipedes visit (and my, isn't that a creepy specimen!), but we did have a small, resident gecko in the kitchen that was immediately dubbed "Gordon."

Pineapple beer? The horror…the horror.

Anonymous said...

Successful summer road trip to US state and national parks, without electronics (okay, okay - rental van had CD/DVD player and drop down Tv, BUT few red box stops on our route)... with 11 & 13 y/o girls. Had pre trip planning with maps and destinations for their review, individualzed box of games and goodies, grab bag to open goofy (dollar store-ish) related gifts at state , park, or other borders or special crossings, sing alongs (new to them), crafty projects, tag and road search items (prizes for daily winner) and other voucher, plus BIG plastic buckets (with sealable lids) for any road trip "items" like bugs and stuff.... Worked for over two weeks. Of course returning home,both teleported into house and hooked up to electronics within minutes, er seconds.... worth it? you bet!

Carin said...

I love Nagaraya cracker nuts! Yup, I lived in the Philippines.

Anonymous said...

Try Honolua Bay for snorkeling - one of the best on Maui and not too far beyond Black Rock - a little past Kapalua. Just go a little early for easier parking and easier entry to the water (not exactly a sandy beach).

Anonymous said...

And back in the Stone Age we thought we were "To cool for school" if you had Atari (1972)! If your family was wealthily & able to upgrade from Atari to Intellivision (1979) you were the talk of the town. You also lived in the home that all the kids wanted to play @ after school! I only had Atari and I turned out okay. Boy times have changed. Now, 10 y/o children have expensive smart phones and 2-3 y/o children are glued to their Mom's smart phones in the shopping cart, waiting rooms, etc.! Sadly enough, many of them probably can teach me some tricks about the phone that I'm not aware of!

Anonymous said...

That Elvis song is the one from the movie "Lilo and Stitch", from Hawai. That must be the reason.

Anonymous said...

Nothing like an Elvis impersonator to finish off the evening, I always say. What do you always say?

Locations of visitors to this page