`LogoJune09.jpg (51289 bytes)          

Today in My History

2000:  Comedy of Errors
2001:  Don't Call Us, We'll Call You
2002:  Don't Push that Button
2003:  Penis Envy
2004:  Love and Marriage
2005:  The Other Side of the Interviewer's Notebook
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
2007:  I Love a Lomerick
2008:  Tim and Grandma

History of America (Abridged)

Books Read in 2009
Updated: 6/5
"The Quickie"

Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks


Dancing Bones from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.

and on YouTube

Look at these videos!
Stephen Colbert Gets a Haircut
Bud Lite Commercial
Wallace & Gromit--Matter of Loaf and Death
ACLU responds to Prop 8
Former Interrogator refutes Cheney on torture
Alexandra Billings' Bea Arthur Story

New on My flickr_logo.gif (801 bytes)

The Paul Picnic

Mirror Site, for RSS feed:
Airy Persiflage

Bev's 65 x 365
ProudElderblogger.gif (1358 bytes)


14 June 2009

We were not "people who travel."  That was what rich people did, and we weren't rich.  That we could afford a summer vacation at all most years was pretty good and we considered ourselves lucky.  My grandmother saved ,money all her life to achieve her dream, which was to travel to Hawaii.  She fell in love with the place.  She stayed at the Princess Kaiulani Hotel, which she thereafter referred to as "my darling Princess K."  She was able to make the trip two more times, and the last time she went was with my mother and me after my high school graduation.

We never would have gone at all but for two things.   First, my godmother had died the year before and left me $500 in her will.   That was a huge sum of money in 1959.  Ordinarily, it would have gone to pay college expenses, but I was going to enter the convent so my parents decided I should blow it on one huge memorable vacation.  It was such a big deal that our next door neighbor threw a going away party for us, and, since these were the days when you could still accompany people to their gate when they flew out of an airport, there was a group that came with us to see us off.

HawaiiAirport.jpg (155362 bytes)
The lady on the left was our neighbor, my mother
is in the middle, and her sister Jean is on the right
(I wonder how long that lei lasted on the l-o-n-g flight!)

The three of us flew over to Oahu (my father died in 1987, at age 72, without ever having been in a plane) and took the ship home again.  It was one of those wonderful/horrible experiences.  We had a wonderful time, but spending two weeks with my grandmother was not pleasant.  It was even less pleasant on the trip home, when we discovered that even a luxury liner like the Matson's Lurline was not large enough to get away from her.  My mother and I would relieve each other, and one would spend time with Nannie while the other got a chance to have an hour without having to cope with her.

But my memories of Hawaii are mostly very positive.   We stayed at the Reef Hotel, which was new then, and the next door neighbor of "My Darling Princess K."  We were part of an organized tour and our tour guide was named Vern, a delightful man.  The first night we went out on a sailing ship (the Barkentine), sailing along the shoreline.

HawaiiShip.jpg (159830 bytes)
(My mother is a year younger than Jeri in this photo!)

I remember that we spent a lot of time touring the Morman Temple on the island and there was always that wonderful fresh pineapple.  In fact, my daily breakfast was always banana bread and fresh pineapple (see?  more pleasant food memories!)

HawaiiPineapple.jpg (203881 bytes)

We went to the famous Kodak Hula Show and, having been there again in 1997 with some Brasilian friends, I don't think that it had changed at all from 1960!   We also attended a broadcast of the very popular weekly radio show, Hawaii Calls, where I just fell in love with the voice of Haunani Kahalewai (in the middle of this photo), "Hawaii's first lady of song."  I bought two of her albums after we returned home.

HawaiiHaunani.jpg (189210 bytes)

I don't know if everybody got a script of the show, but I have one, autographed by host Webley Edwards.

Of course we had to go to a luau, where I discovered that I loved raw salmon and hated poi (Walt, who grew up in Hawaii, says he's amazed at how many people have tasted wallpaper paste, since everyone says it tastes like wallpaper paste!)

HawaiiLuau.jpg (199560 bytes)

There were other trips, around the island, to a pineapple plantation, some great meals and a wonderful dinner we were treated to by the family of one of my teachers, who was Chinese.  We went to a Chinese restaurant, but we got to eat upstairs, where the tourists didn't eat.  The room was filled with her relatives and I think we were the only people who spoke English, but it was the most fabulous Chinese dinner I'd ever had, until I went to a gourmet dinner with Martin Yan at the conclusion of our Chinese cooking course many years later.  The dinner in Hawaii was made even more pleasant by the fact that my grandmother chose not to go with us!

At the end of the time on the island, we boarded our ship, heavily covered in leis.

HawaiiLeis.jpg (203049 bytes)

The leis were made of plumeria, which is very fragrant and our stateroom was so heavily perfumed that it made me sick to my stomach to be in there, so we let them all go out the window, following the superstition that if they float toward the island you will return.  It must have worked, because I've been back a couple of times now!

All things considered, it really was a good trip, though I suspect my mother and I would have had a lot more fun with just the two of us.  But traveling with my grandmother was a bonding experience, if nothing else!

About a year after our trip, my grandmother heard from someone -- I don't remember who -- that Vern had undergone a sex change operation, which was very definitely a surprise for us!



HawaiiDinner.jpg (265522 bytes)

The night of the Captain's Dinner on board the ship.



Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

<--previousnext -->

Journal home | bio | cast | archive | links | awards |  Flickr | Bev's Home Page

This is entry #3366


WWW www.funnytheworld.com