An Island Affair  

Posted by Brock Booher

They say that every man has a mistress, and I guess that I am no exception. What makes my affair different, however, is that I started it a couple of days before I got married, over twenty years ago. I really never stood a chance against her intoxicating perfumes, and heart-catching looks. I was seduced by her strange and subtle ways, and her passion washed over me like the tide. When I came to Hawaii to marry my wife, I started a love affair with the Hawaiian Islands that I have never been willing, or able, to break off.

I met my wife on the mainland. Although a haole girl, she was born and raised in the islands and was as local as poi (a thick edible paste made from taro root). She spoke of her home with zeal, and often used superlatives. I would sometimes roll my eyes as she talked about the breathtaking beaches, strange and delicious foods, and the Hawaiian ohana - family.

When you think about the Hawaiian ohana, you think about food. Hawaiians love to eat. They load their tables with everything from traditional foods such as poi, rice, pork lau-laus, and lomi-lomi salmon, to more modern dishes such as Huli-Huli chicken. You can also find sumptuous Asian cuisine, various fusion dishes that combine the tastes of several cultures, and local-style meals like the loco-moco (a gravy-drenched hamburger patty on a bed of rice and topped with a fried egg). Hawaii even has its own version of the doughnut – the malasada (a fried dough ball covered in sugar and sometimes filled). For one of the most isolated islands in the world, they know how to eat.

Although remote, the islands offer a wide variety of activities to entertain you. Tourism is the number one industry in Hawaii, and there’s no shortage of tourist attractions. For a walk through history, visit the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, or the Bishop Museum. For a taste of the island culture, visit the Polynesian Culture Center. With miles of beckoning beaches positioned against ridgelines covered in lush rainforest, Hawaii offers something for every traveler. You can skydive, or scuba dive. You can learn to surf, or learn to swing your hips and hula dance. You can hike to a secluded waterfall, or read a book on a secluded beach.

The most famous beach in Hawaii is Waikiki. Even though it is crowded by tall condominiums and hotels, this crescent beach still maintains its iconic beauty with Diamond Head rising at its east end. You can play in the sand, soak up the warm tropical sun, or take a ride in an outrigger canoe. If you want to try your hand (or foot) at surfing, the long rolling waves of Waikiki offer the best place in the world to learn how to surf. On any given day a beginning surfer with no experience can walk up to one of the surf shacks, and learn to ride the waves within an hour.

When you’re done learning to surf, a short walk will take you to the international marketplace for spectacular shopping. The marketplace offers a variety of souvenirs and gifts that you can haggle over and bargain for. If you’re shopping budget allows for finer tastes, there are numerous boutiques and name-brand shops that offer a wide range of finer goods. At night the Waikiki shopping district is also crowded with street performers that will entertain and amuse you. Just be prepared to shell out a few bills if you do more than look at them in passing.

Snorkeling is a great way to get a passing look at another world without too much trouble. Hanauma Bay, a short drive from downtown Honolulu, is an excellent spot to view brightly colored reef fish, squid, and even green sea turtles in a safe and comfortable environment. It gets crowded, so arrive early. The entrance fee is five dollars for adults, and you will be introduced to the park with an informative video about the park and its sea life. Since the bay was formed when the ocean eroded one side of a volcano, as you enter the park from above you have a spectacular view of the entire bay and the sparkling blue water below, but the lofty view also means a steep walk up and down. Take a few extra dollars to pay for the tram ride up and down. It’s worth the money.

Cost is what keeps most people away from Hawaiian Islands, but there are several ways to reduce the overall cost of your trip. If you can, try to travel during the off-season months, such as May or October. You will find the prices cheaper, and the beaches less crowded. Look for package deals that include airfare, hotel, and rental car. Since food is your biggest expense while there, try to find accommodations with a kitchen or kitchenette, and prepare your own meals. To save on airfare, save up your frequent flyer miles. You may even consider a credit card that gives you frequent flyer miles. If you enjoy beach activities, your entertainment costs while there will be minimal.

They say that every man has a mistress, but they never tell you the true cost of such an affair. Make your affair an affordable one. Take your spouse to Hawaii, and start an island affair of your own.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at Tuesday, June 29, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

2 comments

Love it... As if I wasn't homesick enough already... Thanks alot, Brock! ;)

June 30, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Please share this with Brent, in detail over the weekend. Right now his mistress are his dogs- I'd love him to trade up for Hawaii.

July 8, 2010 at 12:44 PM

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