Hawaii, finally. Rainforests, volcanoes, powder-soft sand, palm trees, soft breeze. When I looked at the prices I thought, wow, the flight and the hotel are expensive by themselves with the added excursions it’s out of my price range.
But it’s always hot in Hawaii so there’s always something to do. Or should I say the same things they do in the summer they do in the fall; or in the off-season. So I think I’ll combine my hotel and meals and simply go on a cruise. I’ll stop at every island: Maui, Oahu, Hawaii etc. And go on all the tours. And being in the fall or fifteen months from now I’ll move some money around and save the rest.
So here I am on my way to the land of the lūau. I have decided to document the vacation. I’ve tried before to keep a journal. Just write some entries by some dates of the events that took place. You would think it simple. It is. I simply forget to write anything for two to three days...I need to make journaling routine to be successful.
It will take a minute.
Day 1: I checked and double-checked with the travel agent. I want to make sure I get the best possible deal. The best bang for the buck. I booked the vacation fifteen months in advance. Royal Caribbean is the best deal.
Day 2: Mars travel agency has a package with a Royal Caribbean to cruise Hawaii and tour the rainforests, volcanoes, museums, resorts, restaurants and of course beaches. You would think my wife Chery and I, have seen enough water being on this cruise. But when the water is as crystal clear and beautiful as it is in Hawaii it’s a character to be admired all by itself.
Day 3: I’m glad we were booked with the ocean view with a deck. I say we were booked. My wife reminds me we are blessed to be upgraded to the Royal Loft Suite when the travel agent found out I was recently engaged, the agency’s gift to me, to us, was to book us a loft or suite loft for a deep discount.
Day 5: I missed a day...Writing...Journaling. I knew I would. I got caught up touring the boat, ship. The Royal Caribbean Oasis is the name. I forgot the brochure. We were told to bring the necessary documentation so Oahu Nature Tours could look us up on their computer and find the package the Mars travel agency set up. Thank God for the e-mail receipt. Mars travel agency. Space X, Virgin Galactic aren’t traveling to the red planet yet. My wife and I said at the same time: At least they’re thinking ahead.
Day 5: Continued. I’m on the bus on my way to the rainforest. Cheryl is concerned with the spiders and snakes our tour guide warned us about. I guess if you get bit I’ll just have to get me a new wife, I told her. She said she was going to change the insurance policy and make sure I mysteriously never make it home. You know you said that out loud I told her. She laughed. Nobody heard it she said. Somebody heard it.
Day 6: The rainforest excursion went well. I’m still living. We saw more species of birds...the Ōmao, I’iwi, and the Akiapolaau than the one arachnid, the happy face spider. The happy face spider is not poisonous by the way. And since it was the only one we saw, Cheryl had no cause to be plotting my demise. I won’t mention the black widow or yellow sea snake.
Day 7: On to the beach. No. Cheryl wants to visit two, maybe three volcanoes. Whatever happened to curl our toes in powdersoft sand from sunrise to sunset. Taking long walks while the ghost crabs sneer at us for enjoying one another’s company. You were looking forward to the grilled shrimp and pineapple kebobs I told her.
You’re in a hurry to see string bikinis, she said.
I am on my honeymoon. The only string bikini I’m interested in is the fluorescent yellow one you stashed in your suitcase.
We’re not going to beach until later, she insisted.
Fine...the beach, the volcanoes. Either idea was great for me. And this is not Rio. They’re not sporting string bikinis every square inch of sand, I insisted.
Kilauea. Be a terrible thing if somebody’s wife slipped and fell into this volcano when they should have been at the beach, I mentioned to Cheryl. I didn’t get out of the way fast enough. That’s twice the first assault was verbal. The second physical. Kilauea was spectacular spraying red-orange lava into the air. The heat from a distance made you pray to never experience lava spray on your skin. The burn from the eye of an electric stove was excruciating enough. I can’t imagine lava spray sticking to my skin at two thousand degrees Fahrenheit.
My wife is obsessed with details about volcanoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes. She was born in Puerto Rico. And since, as the whole world knows, that Puerto Rico has more than its fair share of hurricanes, as well as, earthquakes science and geology became a favorite subject not only for learning purposes but also survival. With all the volcanoes between Hawaii, Oahu, and Maui we may never see any beaches, museums or shrimp kebobs at luaus.
Day 8: It is raining cats and dogs. Severe thunderstorm warnings throughout the big island. At a time when it’s bright and breezy. It’s dark as night and I do believe those are hailstones pelting our ship’s deck. My phone vibrates⎯a text from the tour companies.
All outdoor tours are canceled. Okay, that kills the third and possibly fourth volcano tour, as well as, that walk on the beach. A walk which we’ll encounter several jellyfish stings. That last part...my wife’s addition. What is it with you and water, you grew up on an island? I ask her. But that’s probably part of the problem she’s been around it all her life.
Hawaii, like Puerto Rico, has crystal clear water, great culture, great people, great weather, five star resorts. Hawaii is Puerto Rico...except for statehood.
And no volcanoes, she replied.
Well...The volcano tour is out of the question unless we want to get struck with something infinitely hotter than lava. But it looks like the museum tours are a go.
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It definitely felt like I was there. Like a cobble-stoned street, you accurately showed that no relationship, however wonderful, trusting, and loving, is without its bumpy sections. Thank you for writing the story. (And maybe one of these years I'll finally get to visit Hawaii.) P.S.: It's possible that your Mars Travel Agency will have some competition: the Ares Travel Agency, ClubMars Travel Agency, and Solis Lacus Travel Agency. There might even be some offworld (off of Mars) destinations: Phobos and Deimos, the two biggest ones, ...
With people purchasing tickets for a trip to the moon on Virgin Galactic, I wouldn't be surprised if those agencies arent booking trips to Phobos, Deimos and the belt as we speak.
"If you go it, flaunt it", as the saying goes. I just doubt I'll live to see people permanently living away from terra firma (except on the International Space Station, and they don't live there all their lives). I'm almost 53 1/2 and, like John Glenn, age is against me, as far as space travel goes. I think that authors like Heinlein, Clarke, etc. were entirely too optimistic about how soon humans would be living permanently away from Earth. They both thought that we would be by the year 2000 (and obviously we're not). Heinlein even tho...
I'll check those books out. Always ready for good sci-fi mystery. "Chilling similarities" is the operative phrase. The governments of the world or the world government have a lot of classified projects in play and by the time the general public finds out a decade has passed. Regular folk have been catching glimpses in the night sky...less during the day or during some dust storm in the desert (Who else is there besides Virgin Galactic with more advanced technology) and make a point to keep it to themselves because what they saw is far beyond...
I figured either "chilling similarities" or "prescience" applied to what I recommended. "If This Goes On -" was published 40 years before "Friday" was, but I think it's still worth reading and thinking about. If you can't find an affordable copy of "Revolt in 2100", see if you can find an affordable copy of "The Past Through Tomorrow" (an omnibus that, from what I recall, includes all the stories in "The Man Who Sold the Moon", "The Green Hills of Earth", and "Revolt in 2100"). I would've be surprised if the secret technology developed by...
Hi Elliot, I loved sinking into this story through your main character's diary entries. You do an excellent joy at finding the real, honest moments that make up these whirlwind "picture perfect" vacations, and I especially enjoyed your eye for detail, from the lava spray to the musings about a Mars travel agency.
Thank you, Hayley.