Many years had passed, and many books were read, and when all the documentaries and movies were counted, the final approach into Honolulu dwarfed any illusions of what to expect in this Pacific paradise. The staff donned tropical wear, and the leys adorned the necks of new arrivals. The bustling chaos was controlled, and the anticipation of upcoming events gradually lulled the visitors into a frenzy of jubilant proportions. With almost military dispatch groups of tourists were assigned to different taxis for the short trip to Oahu, and their hotel.
During the trip it was time to reconcile thoughts about the next eleven days, the itinerary for the cultural center, visit to the world’s largest Hawaiian shop, and Pearl Harbor. While viewing the city, it became evident that the reasons for the perpetual stream of visitors to this Pacific Island were directly related to the warmth displayed by the locals. The night life progressed without curfew, and the flashing blue lights of the security detail provided comfort for the revelers. If the mood was present, renting an exotic auto would be ideal to satisfy an island fantasy. Moderately priced and convenient, two hours at fifty dollars an hour allow for a unique experience with more horse- power than the family van.
The usual orientation for new arrivals afforded the opportunity to socialize and establish connections for the week ahead. So the following day, our tour of the Big Island, Hawaii became the buzz for its beauty and hidden secrets. Unable to contain the mounting excitement, no sooner had the plane landed on a small airstrip, the rush was on for the first available tour guide. In a very traditional manner our tour guide ask that his guests address him as Uncle for the day. We were informed that it was a common Hawaiian custom, and we were eager to comply. Then the adventure began, and entering a volcanic crater, ten miles in diameter, provided the first glimpse of events to come.
Next the group was introduced to the Hawaiian sauna, which happens to be selected areas where steam emanated from the ground. Then the mythical God of Fire took center stage, with warnings not to remove items of any kind from these locations. Of course a
Michigan visitor chose to do otherwise, and was reprimanded. Approaching the macadamia plantation provoked pangs of hunger as the aroma of processed nuts filled the air. After souvenir and nuts were purchased the visit ended, and the final trip to the airport concluded as we departed paradise.