big island hawaii vacation

Back Home in Sacramento is a Return to a Normal Pace

home in Sacramento

Tourists at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel

One way to really appreciate your home in Sacramento is to leave it for a while and go stay in a musty hotel room on the beach in Hawaii where the highlight of the entire week was a group of tourists showing up out of nowhere, carting serious camera equipment. Wow, big excitement on the beach. The upside was a much needed rest and I got to finish reading a couple of books. Plus, there is no denying that 3 trips to the spa are almost enough to work out all the kinks and creaks.

Donna, my server, at the Coast Grille made my vacation a delight. The Hapuna Beach Prince should give Donna a big fat raise. She was always in a good mood, smiling, and she would listen to me describe the type of experience I expected to encounter, and she made sure it happened. I could ask about items on the menu, and by the end of 8 days, she knew me well enough to say with an air of certainty that I would not like XYZ but I would probably love ABC.

That will probably all go away soon, though.

Because the newest thing now in restaurants is the food delivery system being introduced at Eatsa in San Francisco. You walk into a barren restaurant, choose the meals and accouterments you desire, pay for it on an iPad screen and then wait while it is delivered by unseen hands to a window where you retrieve your tray or box. Robot food. Not really fast food. Robot food. It doesn’t matter that human hands prepare it if there is no discussion, no interaction, all because now human contact is too expensive.

The other thing I really liked about my resort in Hawaii was the spa at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Especially the coconut scrub / Swedish / lomilomi massage special. It will take me a while to build up more knots in my neck and back now that I’m back home.

But last night I got to sleep in my own bed, hug my own husband, pet my own cats, and return to a normal life. After all of my numerous trips, I’m having second thoughts about ever wanting to spend time in Hawaii for any length of time without my home in Sacramento being there. I miss home when I’m away. And I’m very glad to be back in Sacramento.

phone booths in hawaii

Phone booths in Hawaii that actually work

The Best Way to Serve Maine Lobster in Hawaii

hapuna beach

Hapuna Beach on Labor Day Weekend 2015

The beach was fairly quiet for the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend in Hawaii, no sand castles, only one surfboard, piercing squeals of children almost nonexistent, in fact the birds shrieked more than anybody except maybe that overweight woman from Iowa waddling about. I strolled a long stretch on the shore, allowing the waves to roll over my perfectly manicured toenails and deposit grains of sand between my toes. On a firm spot that is still wet from the last wave but not hit so many times that your feet sink into its dampness. You don’t have to work quite so hard to put one foot in front of the other when walking there.

It was at this point I realized that it was entirely possible a spot on my back has had too much exposure to the sun. When you’re traveling solo, that’s a drawback, having nobody around to rub sunblock on those hard-to-reach spots. I suppose I could have asked the overweight woman from Iowa to help me out but I didn’t really want her pudgy hands on my back. And if she missed a spot, then I would blame her. Be hanging dead lizards on her door knob.

Not wanting to rollover in bed in pain in the middle of the night, I cut the walk shorter than I had planned and trekked to the gift shop to pick up what my friend Myrl suggested I do in the beginning, a can of spray sunblock. At that point I also realized I had given away my mango sunscreen lip balm to my friend Lisa from Texas when she was visiting me in Sacramento last week. I guess you can’t call it chapstick because that name is probably trademarked or registered or maybe that’s just another one of those things that change names over the years.

It’s how a suitcase turned into luggage. A purse into a handbag or the shorter term, bag. Your kitchen cupboards have morphed into cabinets. Blame it on marketing, trying to polish the sheen, pull that last scent from the bloom.

After buying spray-on sunblock and new lip balm, I headed to the bellman desk to check on the departure time for Mauna Kea. My room literature showed a 5:50 departure time and, since my dinner reservations for the clambake / lobster fest was at 7 PM, I figured I could spend time checking out the shops and wandering the hotel but it turns out the departure time was 6:50. Trust but verify. I’ve been anticipating Maine lobster in Hawaii, although I believe the Maine lobster in Hawaii originates in Kona.

This is a very different experience than my Maui vacation last year with Barbara Dow at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea. Much more low key. The only shopping I could find here was in the lobby yesterday afternoon. I spotted a green turtle, a giant honu, on an aluminum print. There were dozens of other photographs of lava flows, dripping over A’a but I could not imagine such a thing hanging in our home. No, a honu was just fine and the right size. It will make me smile every time I walk by. Unlike red hot lava which strikes fear. My husband undoubtedly will prefer the honu as well.

Maine lobster in hawaii

Maine lobster in Hawaii comes from Kailua / Kona, served shelled at Mauna Kea

I have also discovered that when one dines alone, it doesn’t take nearly as long as you might think to devour 3 Maine lobsters drizzled with drawn butter. I was in the Mauna Kea and out in less than an hour. While I was standing in line with my plate, I wished I had my wristlet with my iPhone dangling so I could have shot photos of the workers cleaning up the lobster and shelling them before placing the succulent flesh on your plate. Randy Selland should take note. Much better way to eat lobster than having to mess with the shell yourself, cutting up your hands, and whatnot.

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