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Exploring the Beauty of Hawaii - A Tropical Adventure

A collage of photos from hawaii.

A Visit to Our Friends Keith and Maria's Paradise

With a promise of adventure and the allure of tropical paradise, our journey to Hawaii began. To protect the innocent in this adventure we are about to take, we changed the names. We have friends, Keith and Maria, who live in Hawaii and have been asking us to visit them for a long time. Keith told us that Will and Laura, mutual friends of ours, were going to visit them, so we decided to tag along, with their permission of course.

The Arrival: A Warm Embrace

Our excitement soared as we boarded our flight bound for Honolulu International Airport. Exiting the terminal, we stepped onto an outdoor bridge, where the warm, humid air hit us. For us, natives of Arizona, we were not accustomed to this level of humidity. We observed areas where people were receiving leis, just like you would see in movies. After getting our rental car and hitting the highway, it was amazing to see all the greenery. In fact, looking out, all you could see were tall buildings, beautiful green trees, and mountains. I have never seen so many different types of trees and plants before. I think I was more amazed by the plant life than the beautiful ocean.

A Taste of Paradise: Keith and Maria’s Neighborhood

Arriving at Keith and Maria's neighborhood in Waimanalo, we felt like we had stepped into a real-life rainforest. Along the road, we spotted vehicles and boats covered in vines, a sight that was a far cry from our desert hometown in Arizona. As we navigated the long driveway to our friend's home, we were greeted by cats, chickens, and roosters. Keith and Maria welcomed us with open arms. Their home was a peaceful retreat and we couldn't wait to catch up. After settling in we sat on their front porch, taking in the breathtaking mountains in the distance. One persistent chicken kept making its way onto the porch, with Maria playfully shooing it away.

Wild Encounters: Sharing Our Room with a Gecko

The adventure truly began when, on our first night, we discovered an unexpected roommate – a gecko! Little did we know that wild encounters were to become a theme of our visit to Keith and Maria's. The following morning, a chorus of roosters competing in their crowing woke us at 4 a.m. Fortunately, we were early risers, but our friends weren't quite as accustomed to this early-morning wake-up call. We couldn't help but chuckle when Keith informed us that this was a daily ritual for the roosters. With coffee cups in hand, we returned to the front porch, only to discover an egg resting on a chair. Suddenly, it all made sense why they discouraged chickens from their porch – it was a daily occurrence. Needless to say, we were utterly intrigued. The overcast sky and cloud-covered mountains created a scene straight out of Jurassic Park. Later that day, we even spotted wild pigs roaming about, adding another layer of excitement to our Hawaiian adventure.

Island Exploration with a Twist: Hawaiian Driving Etiquette

Our journey continued as Keith and Maria became our local guides, with Will taking the wheel.

Navigating Hawaiian roads was an eye-opening experience, as we soon realized that the rules here differed from those in Arizona. In our desert home, aggressive driving was often a necessity, but in Hawaii, it was quite the opposite. At a busy intersection without a signal light, a vehicle stopped, prompting Keith to encourage Will to proceed. However, Will, accustomed to the more assertive driving in Arizona, hesitated. In Arizona, drivers rarely stopped for others, and this newfound courtesy raised suspicions. It took a few encounters for Will to relax and embrace the courteous Hawaiian drivers. When kindness was extended, Keith would respond with the shaka hand sign 🤙, a symbol of gratitude. We explored stunning beaches, picturesque parks, and learned from Keith about their family's tradition of beachside summer camping and grand BBQ dinners – an experience we would like to do someday.

Embracing Tradition: Learning the Hula

One of the highlights of our trip was visiting a family member's house with Keith and Maria, where hula dancing was a weekly tradition. Maria and I had the incredible opportunity to learn some hula moves, a truly fascinating experience. Each motion carried a unique meaning, and I was captivated by the storytelling aspect that accompanied the dance.

Conclusion: Memories to Last a Lifetime

In conclusion, our trip to Hawaii with Keith and Maria was nothing short of extraordinary. We immersed ourselves in the lush beauty of the island, encountered captivating wildlife, and discovered the unique etiquette of Hawaiian driving. These experiences left a mark on us, deepening our appreciation for the beauty of Hawaii and the warmth of its people. We're forever grateful to Keith and Maria for sharing their island paradise with us, and we eagerly anticipate our next visit.

So, if you're seeking a tropical adventure that combines natural beauty, cultural experiences, and unexpected wildlife encounters, Hawaii should be on your list. Pack your bags, embrace the aloha spirit, and get ready for a journey you'll cherish for a lifetime.


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