Love Hawaii? A Lovely Love Story…

Ocean Girl shrubs

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl living close to the ocean. One day she met a handsome but somewhat rugged looking boy who had kept his eyes on her a bit longer than was considered appropriate. A hot shock went through her body and she just knows:

“He is the one I have been waiting for. How do I get to know him?” She shouldn’t have worried because, well, he felt the same way. Encouraged by her unwavering eyes, he approached her, took both of her hands into his rather rough ones, looked at her and told her:

“I’ll be back. Wait for me. After seeing you, my beautiful Moana (ocean) girl, I know I cannot live without seeing you.”

But, there was a problem. She belonged to the Ali’i, the ruling class, while he was just a simple Kama’aina, a local resident. She sat at the ocean day after day, thinking about him. She picked fragrant flowers and fashioned a beautiful Lei which she kept around her neck. On the third day, he appeared like a mirage. He extended his hand to pull her up. They looked deep into each other’s eyes when she lifted her arms, took the Lei off herself and slowly put it over his head to sit on his shoulders. He knew it was her declaration of love. Both started laughing, then, after dancing a few hula steps they were running along the beach, in and out of the oncoming waves. It was a very happy day for both of them. They had many of those happy days – and the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months. Their love grew deeper every day.

On a stormy afternoon, one of her brothers came looking for her and saw what they had been hiding for a long time. He demanded they both come with him to see the Ali’i, the Chief, who happened to be her father. The young couple declared their love and begged to be allowed to get married. The father called for his wife, her mother, and both denied the request.

“You are a princess, you are promised to another Alli’i and you cannot marry a fisherman.”

The young girl, with a breaking heart, told her parents she would never, ever marry anyone else. The Kupuna, her grandmother, put a spell on both, the young girl and the unhappy young man.

“You, Keikimahine, be the ocean shrub, growing deep roots and never be able to leave the sands on the beaches. You will bring forth a simple small white flower, one hardly visible. And you, young man, you will become the same type of shrub but you can only grow in the mountains, far away from the beaches. You may develop the same flower and it will remind you of your forbidden love. You cannot ever again get close to the ocean girl. You will be forever the mountain boy. You may say Aloha to each other with a parting word.”

Ocean girl's half flower***************Two hearts were breaking as the young couple was released to go. They promised undying love to each other and forever display it in their flowers. The ocean girl’s flower shows only the lower half of the petals while the mountain boy’s flower only grows the upper petals. Both halves will make a perfect flower with petals all around as it was meant to be.

There was no release from the spell. There was no frog to kiss or a prince who could kiss the sleeping beauty. The way I see it, the half flowers are a reminder to all lovers to appreciate finding their “second half”.

Ocean girl shrubs at beach

Ocean girl shrubs at beach

Sorry, dear readers, I have never been able to go into the mountains to find “the second half” of the flower with the upper petals, the half of the mountain boy. But, I have been told by Malihini, my Hawaiian friend, that it does exist. Someone said to me “just turn two of the same halves around, wouldn’t it make a whole one?” It’s not that simple. It wouldn’t fit because of the way it grows. Let’s enjoy a romantic fairy tale that can be told in different ways. This one, I told ‘my way’, the way I remember hearing it told during a “plant walk along the beach”. That tiny little half flower pulls at my heart strings.

Our latest ‘Travel Story.’

Green Turtle

It’s almost funny. Maybe it is funny! Depending on how you look at it. Happy to be able to fly to Maui, our favorite Hawaiian island on short notice, we had a few hours to wait in Vancouver. We were at the right departure gate – but suddenly we heard an announcement the gate had been changed. The departure time was close, we had to hurry. When arriving at the new gate, quite a distance away from where we had waited, we noticed that it was the departure gate for a different airline going to the same place: Kahului Airport. Can you believe that we just made it back for boarding to our original gate? It really tickled my funny bone and I was in a good mood throughout the flight.

Lisa, one of our flight attendants, had a profile like an actress playing “Sarah” in the TV series “A Place called Home”, the Australian equivalent of “Downton Abby”. I couldn’t wait to talk to her. My chance came after I used the loo and stayed in the service area. I was surprised nobody else had ever mentioned this to her. She didn’t even know of the show. We chatted; I told her about being an author, naturally mentioned my books and when she heard of my genre she told me that her grandfather had written a similar book to my memoir “We Don’t Talk About That” – his about the history of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. I had seen the title online, “Prague Winter” by Nikolaus Martin. I found it on Amazon.com and read it. There is another book with the same title by Madeleine Albright. I’ll read that another time.

KBH groundsThe three weeks at our ‘home away from home’, the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, were sunny and, like always, wonderful. I learned more of the Hawaiian mysterious stories of sudden winds lasting only seconds and wrote about it on my Author Facebook ‘We Don’t Talk About That’. The beach was very wide, and by the time we had to depart, only one-third of it was left. The ocean gives, the ocean takes… During our time there, three weddings were celebrated on our grounds. All were glamorous. The couple in one was absolutely beautiful with the Hawaiian flower leis and their gorgeous outfits. He in a white suit, she in a gown that would take half of my closet to store. I couldn’t understand that at neither one the “Hawaiian Wedding Song” was played. To me, that song touches not only the heart but reaches the soul.

2/3 of beach gone

2/3 of beach gone

All good things come to an end. We left our hotel at 7.30 PM and arrived at the Kahului Airport about an hour later. I had trouble walking, so at check-in, they waited with a wheelchair. The nice person pushing me brought us through security and into the departure lounge. It was a very long way but we were early for our departure at 11.35 PM.

The following announcement from the staff at the departure desk shocked us shortly past 10.30 PM: “A message just popped up on our screen that AC 1828 is not leaving until 3.00 AM. We cannot believe it ourselves but we’ll keep you informed.” Lots of people went to the desk but no news other than ‘we don’t know ourselves, we’ll keep you informed. Please be patient.’

Many people had tried to avoid the charge for check-in luggage, so everybody had lots of carry-on cases. A new announcement asked: “Please check in more of your carry-on luggage since the plane is fully booked. There is not enough storage space. We will not charge you, this service is FREE.”  Now people lined up and in a short time, they had piles of suitcases standing next to the gangway door. The plane arrived early, shortly past nine PM. Not long after 10.00 PM the new crew boarded. We hoped the 3.00 AM departure would not happen since the plane was early and the crew on board!

After about half an hour another announcement came: “The departure will be delayed because of a mechanical problem.”

Several more such announcements were made but they never told us what the problem was. At one point they said the needed piece for the repair was not found on Maui but in Honolulu. A plane to bring it to Maui was on the way. Impressive! It was after midnight and the departure lounge by this time looked like a refugee camp, people sleeping on the floor everywhere. One couldn’t buy any food because all the shops had closed at 12.00 AM. I was pretty hungry having relied on food in Premier Class. One kind lady gave me a cookie. Also, we had nothing to drink. When I was ready to faint I was guided to a water fountain, it helped, and at least I could take a painkiller pill for my troubled legs.

Around 2.00 AM they started bringing the collected suitcases down the gangway. It was like a shot in the arm. People woke up, they stirred and new hope was flooding our veins. The next announcement was “The mechanics were able to fix the problem. We’ll start boarding as soon as the tests are completed.”

We were among the first to be called for boarding. We asked the person checking our boarding cards and passports what the problem was. “Oh”, she said, “It was a split wheel. There was none on Maui but luckily in Honolulu. The AC flight from Honolulu to Toronto diverted their flight to bring us the wheel.”

Wow! How happy the people in THAT plane must have been! We got some water and/or orange juice once seated, and roasted almonds. Once airborne, they offered chips, more roasted almonds, and chocolate. That was all the food till breakfast 1 1/2 hour before landing in Vancouver about 10.00 AM. My stomach was in knots and I could not even eat, not the breakfast in the plane or the food in the Vancouver lounge.

Naturally, arriving three hours late in Vancouver, our plane to Nanaimo at 10.20 AM was gone. We were listed for one at 3.25 PM. Our neighbour, who was at the Nanaimo Airport at 11 AM to pick us up, had driven home again after being told we had arrived late in YVR. We had no way to contacting her until noon from the lounge. She was kind enough to drive all the way out again to pick us up around 4.30 PM. This trip lasted almost 24 hours from leaving the Maui hotel and arriving home.

my birthday flowers 2017

Glad to be home again, even sick with the flu that had been with me in Maui for 10 days already. The first thing I did, I phoned for a doctor appointment next morning, which was my 83. birthday.

A Beautiful Rose for a Beautiful Lady #Greece #Rose #Wine

Holiday in Greece

Holiday in Greece

It was just a small airport somewhere along the Greek coast. A bus was waiting to deliver all the guests to their respective hotels. Looking towards the back of the bus I noticed that everybody seemed to come in “twos”: couples, two women or even two men. One glimpse and I was surprised to see the second row wasn’t taken. I sat down by the window. I was used to traveling by myself in Europe after the conclusion of some business I had in Germany. Greece had always intrigued me and the year before I had enjoyed a “Classic Greek Tour.” This time I wanted a sunny holiday.

As more people entered the bus I wondered what kind of neighbor I would get. Could it be “the one”? Tall, dark and handsome? You never know, right? More twosomes pushed by and finally a middle aged woman asked “Is this seat taken?”

Unique driveway

Unique driveway

“Now it is” I smiled at her, pointing to the seat. She had an easy laugh and sat down. It didn’t take long and I knew her life story. She wanted to know at which hotel along the strip I had booked. It happened to be the very last one, two stops after she had to get out. Her hotel looked pretty nice; it had a beautiful driveway up to the main entrance through a gorgeous garden. Small rocks apparently laid by hand formed intricate designs. I was impressed and just hoped my hotel would be this nice. Marianne disembarked with “Bye, I’ll visit you soon.”

Well, my hotel was just as nice as the picture had been in the travel catalogue. The receptionist was incredibly friendly. I loved my room overlooking the Mediterranean. It actually was a five star hotel while Marianne’s had only three stars. The beach was a bit disappointing, – no sand, just millions of pebbles and little rocks washed smooth by the rolling waves. I had to buy a pair of plastic sandals to wear to walk across when I wanted to go swimming. I had been placed at a table with an elderly couple from Hamburg. We were chatting over an afternoon drink (actually coffee and cake) when Marianne turned up. She found us, just took a seat and exclaimed: “This is heaven! I don’t have access to the sea. I think I’ll visit you every day!” Open and outspoken as she was it did not take long and the Hamburgers knew that she was from Kiel in Holstein and was looking for an apartment in Hamburg since she was going to start a new job there after her holiday. It turned out that my Hamburger friends knew of an apartment in their building and after a phone call to the manager Marianne had rented it. Wow! Talk about coincidences and luck!

Pebbly beach

Pebbly beach

After a small lull in our conversation with Marianne being the main contributor she told us about her arrival in her hotel. All had gone well, she had a nice room on the main floor with a double bed and she joked about a recent stay in a clinic to get some help after a really lousy painful divorce. The double bed had reminded her and she fled the room and took a walk through the gardens. She noticed lots of roses in one area. “I went closer to smell the roses”, she told us, “and I was a bit shocked when a deep voice from behind a huge specimen said hello”. A tanned, nice looking man was dead-heading the roses and she took him to be the gardener. “You won’t believe it”, she told us with by now really rosy cheeks, “after finding my voice again I complimented him on the beautiful garden and I told him that I love roses. He took a branch with a gorgeous rose on it, clipped it off and handed it to me with the words

“A beautiful rose for a beautiful lady”.

We were impressed, laughed and talked about the charm of the Greeks. She came back the next day for a swim and we again had our nice little table in the shady corner.

“You won’t believe what I have to tell you today!” She exclaimed. ”Last night after dinner I was writing in my diary when there was a knock on the door. I went to open it and there was a waiter carrying a tray with a bottle of wine in an ice bucket, two glasses and a rose on it. I told him that he must be at the wrong door because I did not order anything. He had a note and was adamant that mine was the right room. He pushed his way in, set down the tray on my small table in front of the window. He left and closed the door behind him. I did not know what to make of it and was afraid to go to bed. I would have loved to drink a glass of wine, I had the suspicion that this was from the gardener but since there were two glasses I didn’t dare to start the bottle. I got tired of waiting as it was close to midnight, got myself ready for bed but still sat there in the dark expecting a knock on the door at any time. But it didn’t happen. Finally I slipped down under the blanket and drifted off to sleep.

“Can you believe this? What would you have done? I never was so unsure, anxious and even a bit afraid in my whole life. I am not sure what I would have done had he turned up. At breakfast I saw a well-dressed man walk through the room, greeting every guest at every table and finally he came to mine. Can you imagine my shock? It was the gardener! He was the manager. I was totally flabbergasted. He asked me if I enjoyed the wine. I told him that I had thought it wasn’t for me and since there were two glasses I didn’t dare drink it but that I had realized it must be from him and I had thought of him all night.

“That was the idea, my lady” he said, “he gave me the biggest smile and bowed moving on to the next table.”

Wow! What an idea! Who else but a charming Greek man can come up with such an idea?

A beautiful rose for a ....

A beautiful rose for a ….