My final day in Hawaii has come at last and I’m proud to say that I definitely made the most of it. Jesse and I started off the day at the Aloha swap meet in town, where I found some last-minute souvenirs to take home. I finally got to cross off drinking a coconut from my bucket list! There’s simply nothing like a fresh coconut from a tropical island. We then headed over to get some boba drinks from a really good local place that uses natural ingredients, and I got something that I normally would not be able to get in the mainland–– a jackfruit smoothie! I couldn’t even finish it because the jackfruit was so incredibly sweet, but it’s just how I remember it to be. We then went to Kamehameha Bakery to get some poi donuts… and oh my goodness, it was incredibly delicious. Better than malasadas, in my opinion! And what trip to Hawai’i would be complete if one didn’t have a loco moco? Luckily, Zippy’s was very accommodating and had a vegetarian option for me with a tofu patty. I was extremely thrilled about that (and it was just as delicious as the original, if not better).
My last beach escapade was spent on Magic Island. It was a nice, unique little beach tucked away in Honolulu, with a lot of families with children frolicking in the waters. However, this was a different beach; they built walls that prevented the waves from crashing onto the shore, so the waters were very calm. It was basically an outdoor, natural swimming pool… The coolest part about it was that even though the sand was quite rocky and even a little dirty, the water was totally clear, just like a pool! This might have been the clearest waters that I waded in, but it was just kind of odd and off-setting not to get rocked back and forth by the waves.
It’s so interesting to see the differences between all the beaches that I’ve gone to this entire trip. I was very fortunate enough to visit six different ones, each one totally different from the other. All with the softest sands and bluest, most transparent waters imaginable. It’s unbelievable how close we were to the shore… actually, it’s unbelievable in and of itself just to be on an island!
And what an island to be on. Oahu is beautiful and peaceful, to say the least. There are many things that impressed me during my stay that I can’t wait to bring with me to the mainland to meditate upon… One of these is the fact that the roads are super, super friendly. I’m talkin’ 30 miles per hour, everybody letting others gently merge or change lanes… No aggressive, selfish drivers that flip you off if you accidentally cut them off; none of that rude stuff. As a driver who does NOT practice road rage, it was so fitting with my nature and I really enjoyed driving from place to place! I’m sure that it has everything to do with the slow-paced, laid-back, chill lifestyle in Hawai’i.
I’m so grateful that the Kaneshiros trusted me with their car throughout my stay. When I was preparing for my trip, I fully planned to navigate across the island by bus or foot whenever Jesse couldn’t take me somewhere, but they’ve extended such a gracious hand to me… Which leads me to another big thing that I learned: the concept of Ohana. We’ve all heard it from Lilo and Stitch: “Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” I’ve heard this phrase countless times, but I never knew how deep this Hawaiian concept truly hit until I spent time with their family. The Kaneshiros, whether they knew it or not, made me feel as every bit a part of their family as could be. They always made sure that I was well-fed and had everything that I needed, or that I was entertained and had something to do for the day, which were all nothing that I expected… They welcomed me with open arms and warm hearts and showed me how it’s like to care about each and every family member, no matter if you’re the oldest or the youngest. Apparently, that’s just how it is in Hawai’i. Everybody is so family-oriented, whether by blood or bond. As Uncle Collin, one of their closest friends, explained to me, it’s all about “calabash”– friends who become family who get mixed in with everybody else, and you grow up calling everybody “auntie” or “uncle” or “cousin” your whole life and it doesn’t even matter whether they’re blood or not. Family can be as extended as it happens, and you stick with your calabash through thick or thin.
I also learned a lot more about the Hawaiian slang, pidgin, and as a lover of foreign languages, I was super fascinated to hear the locals speaking a unique version of English with a quirky little accent. I won’t try to explain it any further here because it is something that must be heard, but its whimsical sound definitely captured my attention and left quite an impression on me!
And another thing that I learned… it is pretty much impossible to keep a spotless, immaculate home in Hawai’i. Pray tell, you ask?? Because of all the freaking sand!! It literally gets everywhere! I can’t imagine my mother trying to keep everything clean. Sand in the kitchen? Sand in the carpet?! Sand in the bedsheets?!? What a nightmare that would be for her. And to be honest, for me, too. I loved everything about my trip, but I just couldn’t shake that haunting idea of finding sand everywhere in my home. (Yup, that was a tragic glimpse of the mind of a germaphobe)
I just want to touch on one more thing that I’ve realized this past week. Once and for all, I’ve finally mastered being on my own, and craving that solitude for myself. Although I spent a lot of my time with Jesse and her family, there were moments that I was just by myself, and I loved it. I remember going on that waterfall hike with Brett and thinking that I would totally do this hike all over again by myself. It’s pretty amazing to feel this sense of independence and acceptance that I am all that I need. The right time will come when I’ll get to share my adventures with someone else… but for now, it’s nice to be a little selfish.
I want to wrap up this final Hawai’i blog entry by giving gratitude and thanks to God for blessing me with a fruitful life. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve these opportunities and chances to live out my dreams, but I am fully thankful for it all. I can’t wait for what other adventures are in store for me in the future… But for now, my bed in my home, sweet home awaits me.
Perfection!!Jesse’s strawberry taro and my jackfruit boba from Thang’s… so fresh and the boba was the softest that I’ve ever had… and I LOVE tropical fruits!!Poi donuts from Kamehameha bakery are straight fire… or in pidgin, CHERREH!!I think California would be a whole lot better if they brought Zippy’s (and shave ice)Magic Island Beach/Park! It’s basically a swimming poolLook at that impressive skyline!Look at my feet… look at those rocks!I just really want to show how clear the water was. I totally wasn’t expecting this since the beach kind of looked dirty from far away, plus the sand was ridden with rocks… but it was as clear as day!But like, how unreal does this look?Thank you Oahu, you have been so good to me.