Hawaii Isn’t All Sunshine and Trade Winds
Yesterday was beautiful here on Maui: sunny most of the day, temperatures in the mid-70s, and the usual gentle trade winds out of the northeast … probably not more than 10 miles per hour. Pretty typical and it’s much the same again today.
It’s the time of year and the kind of days that inspire me to call my brother, Pete, in Illinois and ask, very innocently, what his weather is like at the moment. I think, in kind of a perverse way, he actually enjoys those phone calls.
Of course, just because it’s a lovely relaxing day where I live on Maui doesn’t mean it’s like that everywhere else in Hawaii.
For example, yesterday there was also big surf on north-facing shores on most of the islands. This photo was taken at Waimea Bay on Oahu. There was no surf competition going on so I have no idea who this guy is. But he sure as hell picked a monster wave. According to the Honolulu newspaper, at last count the City’s lifeguards had pulled 54 people out of the water. So far, no fatalities, either daring surfers or stupid spectators.
Meanwhile, it snowed Thursday night on the island of Hawaii. (To the everlasting confusion of visitors, the state is “Hawaii” and so is the largest of the eight islands in the chain. No confusion here among the locals: we just call it the Big Island.) It didn’t snow everywhere, of course, just at the highest elevations. This photo was taken at the top of Mauna Kea, which got some six inches of the stuff. The volcano’s summit is some 14,000 feet above sea level. And guess what: Mauna Kea means “white mountain”.
That’s the thing about this place. Even after living here for more than 50 years, I still marvel at everything around me. In fact, I stopped in the middle of fixing a screen door yesterday and thought for the umpteenth time, “Eh! Lucky I live Hawaii!”
Well, shame on you. You’re overdue for a return visit!
It was 40 years ago this coming week that I visited Hawaii. My parents paid for my brothers and I to make the trip while I was home on Christmas break. We had Christmas dinner in a rotating restaurant in Honolulu and stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village a few nights. We flew over to the Big Island and stayed at Kona and Hilo. For 40 years I have been hoping to go back. Hasn’t happened yet!