Friday, May 3, 2013

Hawaii

In March I had a series of nasty colds, but surely I would be better before our trip to Hawaii on the 19th!  Yes, I was finally getting better!  Then, the Sunday night before our Tuesday morning departure I felt that tell-tale tickle in my throat and ears and a bad headache.  I felt really, really cold.  I took a sick day on Monday and felt so tired and cold all day long, plus my throat/ears/head hurt and I had a deep yucky cough.  I really thought that resting would help, but of course I still needed to pack and do laundry and run errands.  Monday night during dinner and bath time my eye began to itch and ooze pus.  Oh joy.  I called the consulting nurse to say I thought I had pink-eye (which had been going around Zane's school).  I thought they would tell me not to get on the plane!  I was soooo tired and all I wanted to do was go to bed early, but instead I drove 30 minutes to the nearest Group Health urgent care clinic.  I could hardly see through the goop and painful eyelid.  Yup, I had pink eye and a fever.  They gave me stuff for my eye and a face mask to wear on the plane.  I ended up getting home in time for a pretty good night's sleep, and the next morning we were off!

The first morning in Hawaii I was sitting on our lanai looking at the ocean and thinking what a bummer it would be to be sick for the whole trip.  Ha ha!  That won't happen!  But it did.  Being on vacation is not very restful.  Also, Zane went to bed at Hawaii time (late) but still woke up at Seattle time (early) every day.  Both of us had horrible coughs that kept us up all night, so we were both exhausted and cranky a lot of the time.  I could never rest enough to get better.  Halfway through our trip Zane came down with a fever, too, but he seemed to bounce back pretty quickly.  Miraculously, Michael never got sick.  So that is the background noise for our trip.  It could have been better, but at least we were still in Hawaii!

This year we returned to our favorite condos at Napili Point Resort.  They are not in an overly built up area in terms of malls and stores.  There is a lovely crescent of beach that we can get to with just a short walk along the seashore.  Right in front of the condos is a cove filled with turtles and corals and fish.  In the mornings I could watch the turtles from our lanai, and one day I counted seven on the surface at once!  On our first day at the beach near our condo, two turtles came right into a tide-pool area and Zane and I could see them from only about three feet away!  Very cool.

On our first day Zane and I headed to the beach.  I had rented a huge bag of beach toys ahead of time, and they were waiting for us in our condo when we arrived.  It was a great mix of stuff.  We set out to the beach and got right down to digging!  After a while we went for a walk along the rocks to see what we could see in the tidepools.  We saw the turtles I mentioned before very close up, and lots of fish and arthropods and urchins.  When Michael came along he and Zane went out for another jaunt along the tidepools.  This spot on the beach was one we returned to just about every day.    One day Zane found a small hermit crab in one of the tidepools.  When we returned to Seattle Zane made a treasure map for our friend Mike, as he was going to be on the very same beach a few weeks later!  He sent us a picture from the beach with his map and some treasure he discovered.

I had rented some snorkel gear for myself and a life jacket and boogie board with a window in it for Zane.  Last year he had finally gone in the ocean water on the last day, so I was hopeful we'd get in this year, too.  That never did end up happening.  I'm not sure if maybe it was because we were both sick and tired.  One day I tried really hard to get him to float on the boogie board so he could see the coral reefs, but he was just too scared, and I didn't want to push him.  There's always next year!  We did have way more fun in the swimming pools this year for some reason.  So we had plenty of days where we at least got wet a bit, and then Zane would come back and have loooooooong hot showers.

Although we were sickies, we still managed to get out and have some adventures.  Last year we had a nice ride on the Sugar Cane Train, and we did that again this year.  This year we played a game where we tried to see how many fruit trees we could see.  Mangoes!  Bananas!  Papaya!  Fig!  We capped it off with the obligatory shave ice.

Last year I had wanted to go on a submarine ride, but after a disastrous day at the aquarium we decided to put it off.  This year we booked ourselves onto a ride, and it was fantastic!  The boat ride out and back was pretty exciting all by itself.  When we were heading back Zane said his favorite part was riding on the water.  We'll have to do a boat ride somewhere this summer, or at least next year in Hawaii.  After taking the boat out to the dive site, we got to see the submarine surface from the previous tour. 

videoWhen it was our turn to get on, we had to climb down a ladder into the sub, and Zane managed that pretty well.  Inside the sub we had a pretty small space to sit in but it was neat to see all of the controls in the cockpit up front.  The dive was neat, and then everything was bathed in blue light.  While we were chugging along to our first view we had a bit of trouble with Zane getting bored and goofing off, but then we finally got to see some fish out of the portholes.

The boat operators had promised a sunken ship, and Zane was very excited to see it.  He was convinced it was a pirate ship.  I was worried were going to have a very disappointed boy, but then our guide passed around some photos of the ship being purposefully sunk, and good golly if it didn't look like a pirate ship!  It had been a replica of a whaler (see it here), but eventually it needed to be scuttled, so the submarine company bought it and sank it for an underwater attraction.  Zane looooved the photos of the ship being sunk -- it was the thing he talked about most after the ride.  The ship itself was neat, too.  Zane has decided that real pirates were on the ship when it was sunk, but they swam away and were OK.

When the sub surfaced and we got back on the boat to take us to shore, there was one more treat in store for us.  A whale breached about 20 feet from the ship, stuck up its tail, and then poked its head out of the water.  Wowie zowie!  Michael and I were more impressed than Zane, I think because we knew how really special that was.  We saw many whales playing off shore this year, but this was our first close encounter ever.  Since Zane enjoyed the boat ride so much, I think next year we should go on a whale watching tour.  When we got back to land we had lunch in Lahaina and even visited a few stores.  I thought Zane was looking especially cute with his lemonade.

Our next adventure was our annual drive up Haleakala.  Last year Zane surprised us by loving the drive up.  We had forgotten our warm clothes so we froze a bit at the top, but it was a good trip.  This year I remembered our warm clothes!  Zane had woken earlier than usual that morning, so I expected him to sleep on the way up.  He did pass out, but as we drove up, up, up, it became clear that he was really getting sick.  He felt very hot and began breathing more rapidly as we got higher and higher.  When we got to the top the sky had cleared and the wind was low, and it was warm and beautiful.  Zane was hot and sick.  I got him out of the car for a pee and he said "Mama, I can't stand up!" and he cried.  I got a pee out of him, and then after a quick look around we headed right back down the mountain.  Zane's breathing calmed down as soon as we got down to about 8000 feet.  When we got back to civilization I stopped at a drug store to get children's fever meds and some Fever Bugs which give a good quick temperature.  He ended up liking those a lot.  His fever went away that evening and he was right as rain except for a cough.  I think he got my bug.  I hadn't been careful with contagion since I thought I got it from him in the first place, but I guess not!

Near the end of our visit we had some gray skies and I decided our last adventure would be a quick one to a nearby whaling museum.  Zane did pretty well in it, and I was surprised at how interested he was in a lot of the stuff.  For some reason he was in poopy mood, though, and wouldn't let us get a good picture of him with a whale skeleton.  The museum is in a big shopping mall with a very neat series of waterfalls, and that kept him pretty happy.  That and the ice cream and his very first small Lego projects we brought back to the condo.  We had fun putting them together, although they turned out to be still a bit too fiddly for his little fingers.

I've noticed in the past that when we go on vacations, something about the upheaval in routine kicks Zane's brain into action.  When he was smaller he would learn new skills.  On this trip he asked us a series of pretty interesting philosophical questions, just about one per night.

Tuesday:  "Mama, tell me about the God man."
Wednesday: "Who owns the Earth?"
Thursday: "Is there humans eating humans?"
Saturday: "Where does the earth start?"

I had a lot of fun talking about these and coming up with some answers.  He's keeping my on my toes!

Well, Hawaii was fun, but kind of low-key due to our health.  The day before we left I made a doctor's appointment for our return to make sure I didn't have any gruesome disease I would pass on to my co-workers.  I didn't, but I did get some meds to help clear me head.  My ears had actually been plugged up for about half the trip.  When I got back to work I found out that it was a feature of the particular bug going around, and several of my co-workers and friends were also shouting "What?" and coughing and hacking.  The meds seemed to have no effect, and it took about another two or three weeks to really get well.  I sure hope next year's trip to Hawaii goes better!

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