Thursday, April 7, 2016

Paradise Found

Memories light the corners of my mind on cue as my flight arrives in Honolulu.  It's almost like a slide-show of photos of now vintage times in these lovely islands that began  47 years ago.  We were graduating from high school, Laura, Kristi and I, heading for a week in Honolulu, a graduation gift to us from our families.  It was a Pan Am flight,  the first for all of us, and nothing could have prepared these three teen girls from little Poulsbo for our arrival in beautiful Hawaii.  Those first never-to-be-forgotten memories of the warm tropical air and the scent of fragrant flowers as we disembarked the flight and made our way to baggage claim.  It was late afternoon as we took a taxi to our little hotel in the center of Waikiki.  The Royal Grove was a darling pink stucco hotel with a center pool,  still there today, surrounded by tropical plants and flowers of all kinds and only a couple of blocks from the beautiful, sandy Waikiki beach lined with surf boards and beach boys.   Our next day began at the International Market Place choosing Hawaiian fabrics for our bikinis that would be made by a seamstress within hours.  Laura's was a gold/rust color, Kristi's was bright hot pink and mine was two shades of deep and light blues. With our new bikinis and beach mats in tow, we made our way to that glorious beach for hours of sun and warm ocean water swimming. That ocean as far as the eye could see. The Willows for dinner, the stately landmark hotel Halekulani on the beach for a lovely breakfast and evenings of warm beach walks.  Our seven days in Hawaii ended all too soon but was only began of my love affair with the aloha spirit of the glorious Hawaiian Islands,  a place of the heart called paradise.

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