Connor's Ketchup - Honolulu and Lahaina
It was between San Francisco and Hawaii that people started getting sick en masse. Gemma got sick, and then Meridith, and while the Sumarians seemed somewhat affected by the thing Tali and Bea got along fine. Clara seemed to weather the thing pretty well, and Jessica and I were, if anything, more wakeful and cheerful then ever. It must have 1) something to do with living quarters and, 2) something to do with the copious sleep I've gotten since San Francisco.
I didn't think it would ever happen, but I finally finished my first revision just as the sun went down on the last day before Hawaii. Which not only meant that I got to enjoy the beautiful island, but that I wasn't taking lumberjacks around in the back of my head while I was doing so.
Gemma was also feeling a lot better by the time we got to Honolulu, so we went out as a group to check out some of the sights Caitlin had recommended.
Hawaii is now on the list of places I wouldn't mind living. Actually, the only stops that haven't made that list so far is Grand Cayman (beautiful, but too small and stifling, while managing to be overrun by tourists) and Acupulco (a stereotype, though the cliffs were cool). And I'm not counting NYC since I techniclly live there now. No, I wouldn't mind living in Miami, Cartagena, Panama, LA, San Francisco, or Hawaii. That's 6-2. Not bad.
Honolulu was a long at-port (thirteen hours) so we had plenty of time to check out several of the suggestions Caitlin had made. Gemma was feeling a lot better, and able to come along, although it was a pretty miserable day for Meridith. We promised to bring her back an early birthday surprise.
Since everything seemed to assure us that Honolulu would be a beautiful but touristy town along the lines of Acupulco, we took a shuttle from the port out to the edge of the city and out onto the island. We managed to catch a lot that day: the Diamond Head Crater, the Halona Blowhole where jets of water came shooting up every minute or so (I think it really startled Bea the first time it happened). Jessica loved the Hanauma Bay... just a little later, when we were walking along the ocean saw a sandbar shark (yes!), although it was swimming away from us at the time.
"Has this trip officially been a success," I asked.
"Yes!" she said.
I really enjoyed the Ulupo Heiau, although at that point things felt a little rushed.
We ate dinner at a nice but somewhat ordinary restaurant that night. We all joked that it was such a typical "nice restaurant" that it could have easily existed in Chicago, Michigan, New York City, Cambridge, or Australia. So really, we had the basis covered. We brought Meridith a flower lei and a CD of some Hawaiian music, and supplies for the "appropriate drinks," so that in a couple days when she was feeling better, she could pretend she was in Hawaii. Of course, she was sleeping when we got back, but that's probably a god thing, because she seemed to feel a lot better on Lahaina the next day.
We were all so exhausted from our busy day on Oahu that we dealt with Lahaina in a confusion, and I still don't know exactly what the others were up to that day. It was Jessica's turn to feel a little under the weather, but it didn't seem to affect her too badly. I went onshore by myself and went to the Kahakuloa valley. I bought a wood carving for myself and one for Jessica. I'd write more about it, but we're about to disembark at Moorea and I don't want to miss out!