I first came to Hawaii when I was eleven years old. My mother had decided to take my younger brother and I on a budget trip around America which involved taking Greyhound around many of the 50 states. I remember being fed up with looking out a window at corn and more corn, but by the time we got to visit Hawaii on the way back to Australia, I was ready for a few days at the beach. We took the local bus to Pearl Harbour, and to my delight, a beautiful Hawaiian woman with flowing dark hair rose from her seat, took the fresh flower lei from around her neck, smiled at me and placed it around mine before she exited for her stop. When you are eleven years old and have been filled with romantic ideas about what Hawaii was supposed to be like, there could be no more tremendous gesture. Almost twenty five years later, I remember the kind gesture of a beautiful stranger.
I was particulalry pleased when we arrived at our hotel after a long and exhausting flight, that my husband was greeted by staff with the traditional lei greeting. It was his first time in Hawaii and the greeting was a surprise to him. Yes its a hotel and they do it for all their guests, but it is a gesture of welcome all the same and the nut lei will make a great souvenir.
Little Prince seems amazed by his new surrounds, but most particularly the abundance of ceiling fans which have him delighted every time we sit down to eat. No doubt he thinks they are like the mobile we have installed above his cot, but oh so much faster… and so many of them! He also seems thrilled by the many people passing through, the many brides, the surfers, the tourists that stop to talk with him in lifts and lobby and restaurants. There are lots of Japanese tourists in our hotel and at breakfast the other day we were surprised by the attention he was getting from other tables who weren’t just taking photos, they were filming him! It felt like we were approached by half the tables in the dining area by the time our meal was done. He of course remained oblivious… he was too interested jumping in excitement in my arms due to the multitude of “mobiles” abovehead!
But Hawaii isn’t just about surfboards and flip flops, its shops are also burgeoning with high street fashion. Today’s pattern of the day is a simple blouse from the 1950s, but its a design that I think endures and allows for lots of “playing” with fabric choice and designs.