Three Tickets To Paradise - May 1, 2013

Three Tickets to Paradise: HawaiiI left my heart and soul in Oahu, Hawaii.  It’s been two days since our return and my mind is still on vacation.  My mind is still soaking up the sun and sipping on Mai Tais and Tropical Itches.


When I was packing a week and half ago, I felt the work just wouldn’t be worth it.  It had been 9 months since we had traveled for pleasure and I had forgotten how much the calm, stress-free relaxation could soothe my soul.  It has the power to erase the previous world around me, the minute the ocean is in sight.


Riding to the hotel from the airport, I caught glimpses of the pristine water between the buildings and boats.  Just one glimpse was greater than a glass of wine could achieve or any sedative a doctor could prescribe.  I was calm.  The packing and rough plane ride had disappeared.


I lived there for a summer almost two decades ago.  It was the greatest summer of my life.  I took a drafting class at the University of Hawaii.  After class, I would carry my drawing board to the beach.  It was a long walk, but I would never describe it as “lugging” my drawing board, because I was in paradise.  I was lucky to have the opportunity.


I live near the ocean now, but it’s usually overcast, misty and chilly.  It’s great for reflection, but it just doesn’t release the mental toxins, the way a tropical setting does.  Perfect temperature and sand that slips through my toes.  I can wade in the water without reaching hypothermia or needing two wetsuits to guard my body.  Not to mention, the Great White sharks aren’t there to take a nibble or a chunk.


I was an avid viewer of the show Lost, when it was on.  To be honest, I always wondered why the characters were so miserable on the island.  They were lost in beauty.  Maybe it was just that they never had the option to leave.  Not having a choice, even in paradise, can make a person feel like they’re in prison.


They were stuck, but they were stuck in paradise.  To me, their real smoke monsters were at home.  The paranormal one was much less frightening and worrisome.  Their homeland demons were like a school of starved piranhas.  Their souls were being eaten to the core based on circumstance and misfortune.  The island was a release into adventure.


When I lived on Oahu, I saw most of the major sites.  The ones where there’s a gift shop at the end.  With Babyface in tow, I felt the high admittance fees just wouldn’t be worth it.  We will return to the island, when she can remember them.  We will return, when she actually cares.  Then, we will immerse ourselves in the culture and history.  Hopefully, we’ll have many trips back, in-between.


Instead, we basked in relaxation.  We basked in the ocean and swimming pools.  We nearly drowned ourselves in fruity cocktails lightly splashed with alcohol.  I say lightly splashed because the drinks were weak.  We only found two bartenders that gave us a buzz off of one drink.  I would have stuck to my signature and simple drink, wine, but “when in Hawaii…”


Our hotel-room view was of the ocean and Diamond Head.  The kind of view you find on postcards.  Someone takes a picture of it because it’s share worthy.  It’s something to brag about with a few words.  It’s something to make others long for, so they’ll take a plunge.


Since Hubs and I are Lost fans, the only sites we did venture to see were the TV show sets.  We rented a car and drove to the Lost beach.  Again, I wondered why any of the characters complained.  We took a tour of Kualoa Ranch, where they filmed the hatch and golf scenes on the show.  Every now and then, I would close my eyes and picture myself hanging out with Hurley, Jack or Sawyer.  I was in a daydream that I wish I could’ve been “lost” in for even a few hours or maybe even a few weeks.


We drove around the island and I used my Zillow app to gage the prices of homes.  Someday, we will sell our house and no longer be tourists.  Someday, this paradise will be outside our backyard door.  Someday, I will try to convince Babyface that the University of Hawaii is a good choice (okay, that’s taking it a bit too far).  But, I can honestly say, if I had to choose a place to retire, it would be in the paradise where I left my heart and soul.  My vacation will, hopefully, become my life…someday.  A girl can dream, right?


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