Hawaii – A Long Time Coming

It’s a dark Monday morning.  My alarm is set for seven and I was woken up at six by my cats.  I was laying there trying to go back to sleep when it hit me.  It’s an hour earlier than I had planned to wake up!  This means that if I can force myself to stay awake, I will have time to do something that I really haven’t had much time for…my blog!  I have been so overwhelmed by my upcoming wedding, work, and all of the Jewish Holidays (they were exceptionally exciting this year due to a surprise proposal by my little brother to his wonderful girlfriend!), that I have barely had time to clean my house…let alone write a blog!

So, in short, I apologize for being absent and neglecting my promise to tell you all about my amazing trip to Hawaii at the end of August!

Let’s start with my first impressions.  When our plan came over the beautiful island of O’ahu, I

My first view of O’ahu… taken over my poor seatmates lap!

was mesmerized!  The water was so beautiful.  It was as beautiful as the most beautiful waters of the Caribbean.  The land, however, different.  It was lush and green in some places, but was rocky and desolate in others.  The plane just kept going and going until it felt like the pilot wanted to land in the ocean instead of on land.

When we landed, we were greeted by our tour guide with leis.  They are

Me in my lei the first morning standing with a sign to a really great restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki!

the customary way to be greeted in Hawaii.  The lei are a sign of welcome, respect, and love.  I am going to copy directly from Wikipedia because they have a great explanation of the customs and protocols of leis.  Hawaiian people, well most Polynesian people take the lei very seriously.

Customs

There are many customs and protocols associated with the giving, receiving, wearing, storing, and disposing of lei.

In modern times, a lei is usually given with a kiss – a custom which began in World War II. Traditionalists, however, give a lei by bowing slightly and raising it above the heart, allowing the recipient to take it, as raising the hands above another’s head, or touching the face or head, is considered disrespectful.

By tradition, only open lei are given to a pregnant or nursing woman.

If due to allergies or other reasons a person cannot wear a lei which has just been given (for instance a musician who would tangle the lei in his or her guitar strap), the lei is displayed in a place of honor, such as the musician’s music stand or microphone stand.

Lei should never be thrown away casually, or tossed into the trash. Traditionally they should be returned to the place they were gathered, or if that is not possible, they should be returned to the earth by hanging in a tree, burying, or burning. A lei represents love, and to throw one away represents throwing away the love of the giver. Many types of lei can be left in a window to dry, allowing the natural fragrance to fill the room. This technique is often used in cars as well.

While in Hawaii, I had so many absolutely amazing experiences.  I want to give each of them their proper attention.  You can expect a complete write up and review of my five days there.  I’ll even try and get them done in a timely manner so you aren’t waiting forever for them!

I will say, the Hawaiian people are the kindest, most gracious people I have ever encountered in my travels.  They are probably also the mellowest!  There is probably a reason that Hawaiian people have the highest life expectancy of all of the states in America!!

Much more to come!  Thank you for your patience with me!

 

 

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