Mahalo nui loa Kani.
Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou mai Lali
A Christmas story...
While Hawai'i was a regular stomping grounds for work, play and Lepidoptera, this sure brings back memories of one really great holiday's in particular in 1989-90. I took my family to Hawai'i for 6 weeks this time of year for the holiday's, to go to the NFL Pro Bowl, celebrate my son's birthday and our anniversary (all in late January). We stayed in the Ali'i Tower of the Hawaiian Village on Waikiki so my son could meet the football pro's that also stayed there during the bowl game, and to simply walk to their party hosted by Don Ho at his pavillion there (the party was actually Dad's treat as we were able to spend some one-on-one time with Joe Montana and Jerry Rice - two of my favorite players at the time). I booked the suite just above the Aki'i outdoor stage so my family could go out on our lani to interact with whatever celebrities were performing at the Village during our stay on the nights we stayed at "home". For my son it was instant puppy love when Charo did her stuff one night, made him a part of her performance and gave him some gifts. She's all he could talk about for days, so we ended up taking him to see her again at her dinner theater there in Honolulu. She remembered him and invited us backstage for a visit between shows, where she made a constant fuss over our son hugging and kissing him the entire time. She is a really down to earth lady despite her on-stage persona, smart as a whip and naturally funny. That was about 20 years ago, but my son still turns red and gets embarrased if you say a provocative "cuchi-cuchi" to him. LOL I miss them, more today than I normally do, but I still have the great memories.
The season is one of remembering. And, it looks like you made lots of good memories with your son.
I'm missing my daughter and grandsons today, but remembering our good times together. Son came over and shared dinner with us.
Thanks for another story that made me smile.
'Love your stories, Larry, especially this one! One of my favorite Christmas songs is Christmas Island - it's been on my brain for the past week! That shirt looks like it was made for the song.
And another song that gets on my brain is Don Ho's Pearly Bubbles - 'must be something about those Hawaiian songs! :)
Close. Don Ho's trademark song was Tiny Bubbles, but he did another one titled Pearly Shells.
The Hawaiian language does sing though. It's easily the hardest language I ever tried to learn and enunciate correctly. I am still a rank amateur after 40 years of trying.
OK, another Hawaiian story since you liked the last one...
Always the romantic, I planned and made arrangements many weeks ahead to take my ex on a surprise 9 day trip to Maui for our 25th wedding anniversary on January 25th. I was real sneaky and she never had a clue. We lived in St. George, UT then ('94). Three weeks before she lost her job, and started a new one just a week before the trip that threw a big monkey wrench into my plans. So I went and talked to her new boss (whom I had never met) and got him to give her the week off incognito. So when she came home that Friday after work on the end of her first week at the new job, I told her to pack a bag because we were driving to Las Vegas that night for a weekend of fun and good food. She was all for it and three hours later we checked into a hotel in Vegas. Then early Saturday morning I told her to pack her bag again for another surprise I had in store for her, and ushered her out into a waiting limo that whisked us to the airport. She didn't find out where we were going until we checked in for the flight, nor that we would be gone for 9 days until we were in the boarding area. After a long delay in San Diego we finally got over the pond and picked up the convertible sports car I had waiting for us at the airport. A long drive later, thanks to a torrential rain storm that closed the road temporarily from Kahului to northwest Maui, it was after dark before we got to the new bungalow on Kaanapali Beach that I had rented for our stay. It was a fun place out by itself, and with only 4-5 giant steps from the lanai you were in the surf. Luckily the storms were done so Sunday and Monday we just spent visiting favorite places and snorkeling. Then on the morning of our anniversary (1/25) I kicked her out of bed at 3:30 AM without prior notice so we would have time for breakfast before making the 2 hour plus drive to her next surprise that we had to arrive for by 6:30AM. We made it, and renewed our vows at a sunrise ceremony Hawaiian style atop the 10,000' Haleakala Volcano. I gave her a large black baroque Biwa pearl and diamond ring I'd had a local custom jeweler in Lahaina make up for her special ahead of time at the ceremony. We took our time driving back down taking a side trip to visit old friends at the Grandma's coffee plantation and at Tedeschi Winery before spending the rest of the day wandering through the art galleries and shopping in Lahaina, taking time to have a late lunch at Kimo's (our favorite restaurant in Hawai'i). Then that night we dressed for dinner and I surprised her again when we were the guests of honor at the original Old Lahaina Luau when it was still held at 505 Front St (now called The Feast at Lele). They played the Ke Kali Nei Au (old version of the Hawaiian Wedding Song) mostly on traditional Hawaiian instruments while a native lady sung the lyrics of all twelve verses in traditional Hawaiian as we danced together in the surf. Once back at the bungalow we went out for a moonlight swim aunaturel. It was the perfect end to a special day with a very special lady. The rest of the trip was divided between looking for Lepidoptera, shopping and consuming as much fresh seafood as we could. By the afternoon of the day before our flight back to Vegas we were so worn out that we just found a hidden deserted beach to lay in the sun, dive for shells, play in the tide pools and talk until well after dark before heading back to pack for the early morning flight.
Our lives and interests change after almost 35 years together, but she'll always be a special lady to me.
The link is a video of a Sunrise Ceremony at Haleakala similar to ours that I found on-line.
Here is a link that might be useful: Sunrise Ceremony at Haleakala
Beautiful butterfly ornament, and I enjoyed your stories Larry!
Hope everyone has a great holiday week.
Oh my goodness, what a WONDERFUL romantic experience the two of you had! It reads like a dream, one that you hate to wake up from. And warm Hawaii sounds especially good today - would you believe it's a balmy 38 degrees right now at 11:12 in the morning? I've still got my (flannel) pajamas on, and I plan to stay dressed like this all day. Once or twice each winter, on the coldest days, I don't dress - feels wonderful!
I don't know why I called Tiny Bubbles Pearly Bubbles - when I sing it to myself, I'm singing, "Tiny bubbles...in the wine...make me happy...make me feel fine." Those may not be the exact right words, but those are what I sing. And I know that Christmas Island isn't really a Hawaiian song specifically, but it sure makes me think of Hawaii. I don't know if Bing Crosby or Dean Martin ever sang it, but they should have!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everybody!
That last story brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful anniversary gift. You are a romantic! Made me a little sad that the fairy tale didn't have a happily-ever-after-ending.
It's really cold here today. I'm wrapped in a blanket with one dog on my legs, and the second dog beside me. A warm front is supposed to be heading our way on Thursday. There are lots of birds of prey perched in the trees. Think I'll check out the Bald Eagle's nest on the river just south of us.
Larry, did you get the heavy rains in Las Vegas? What a mess with all the mud slides in California! Should bring up lots of flowers, and maybe a good season for leps.
Here's a link you can copy and paste of Don Ho singing both songs.
I first saw Don Ho perform in the late 60's at Lake Tahoe, a much better show than those he did in the Hilton Dome at the Hawaiian Village. His age was probably part of it, plus it was geared toward the tourists staying in the thousands of rooms at the Village same as its 10 restaurants and almost 100 shops and boutiques are.
I gave her a lot of diamonds during our 35 years together, but as it turned out they were not forever. The up side is we departed aas friends.
We had 3 straight days of drizzle here last week - almost 24 hours a day. Pretty constant but not enough water to fill the bottom of the small lake out front deeper than maybe 2-3 feet. A real rain storm fills that lake to the top within an hour.
BTW... Ke Kali Nei Au is not the same song most probably think of as the Hawaiian Wedding song that was popularized by Elvis, Andy Williams, Chet Atkins and others. They are not the same in either lyrics or music. I couldn't find a recording on-line of the original sung in Hawaiian with Hawaiian instruments, but below is a link to the Hawaiian versions lyrics with the translation.
Here is a link that might be useful: Ke Kali Nei Au