February 16, 2013 by travelinggrits
The sun, sand and palm trees showed off their paradisal splendor, but the most refreshing sight for my sore eyes was the familiar faces approaching me to drape a garland of shells around my neck.
After my travels in Korea, my parents and I met for a week in Hawaii. It was an early celebration of their 30th wedding anniversary and belated celebration of all the holidays we had missed.
I’m blessed to say it was my second trip to this much-desired vacation spot, and rest assured it was certainly not dull. Coming from the other side of the Pacific, if not making me older and wiser, gave me a new perspective of and greater appreciation for repeat visits to Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center. With just a week to explore, we saw everything from the Pali Lookout to the Banzai Pipeline, from pineapple plantations to macadamia nut factories.
And this time I was old enough to drink a Mai Tai.
My favorites? Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, where I could marvel at the tropical fish gliding just an arm’s length away, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where I witnessed steam rising from active volcanoes and craters of volcanic rock that looked like the moon.
Unfortunately, the luau could only last so long.
I woke up with a fever and a throbbing headache the day before my departure. It cleared up well enough for me to travel, but medicated, slightly dizzy and armed with a bottle of water and a package of tissues… It wasn’t the way I wanted to end the trip. Nevertheless, I bade my parents a tearful goodbye until July, boarded the plane and slept off my bug. Thankfully, I was on the road to full recovery by the time I arrived back in South Korea because I was meeting a friend to continue the next leg of my journey the following day.
My next destination will be harder for you to guess. It’s part of the WORLD’S MOST POPULOUS COUNTRIES, but this is one of TWO SPECIAL ISLANDS that weren’t always that way. I felt ill a few days before, but I wasn’t losing my senses – I was still in Asia but I was seeing PORTUGUESE!
Will you take a GAMBLE?