The weather in Hawaii is beautiful. Eighty degrees, trade winds are blowing a gentle breeze and making the humidity seem less. I drive to work with my windows all the way down.
Then there is the temperature in my studio. Hot, humid, and stuffy. No breeze can find its way into my abode because of the seven-foot fence that is only five feet away from my sliding glass door.
For almost two weeks I have attempted to acclimate to the claustrophobic feeling of being in a casket with no air. Attempts were made with three ceiling fans and three regular fans, to cool the place down at night. I still woke up sticky and sweaty.
Twenty years of living in the Pacific NW is hard to overcome. I love the natural air conditioner of most summer evenings in Seattle. Those other summer evenings, after a ninety-degree day, stagnant air, and no evening cooling and the thermostat says 81 degrees, when it usually says 65 – that’s how it is in my studio. Until tonight…
Meet Idylis, my new best friend. She is a portable air conditioner I bought from a neighbor. Used, in good shape, from a lovely couple, who had the attachment for a sliding glass door – a match made in heaven.
My first trip to the Islands was back in 1992. It was to the Big Island. One of my most vivid memories of that trip was the perfumed air.
It wasn’t the smell of that so-called “fresh scent” that humans have tried to make out of synthetic or petroleum based products that cling to your clothes and your nostrils like a parasite. No, this was a natural scent, the air was naturally sweet, with the floral scent of plumeria. It was a treat to this city-girl’s senses. Growing up in Chicago, there was no fresh floral scent in the air, anywhere.
Subsequent trips to the islands never matched that first time. Not until now. The other morning while walking to the beach for my morning walk, I felt it. I felt a tug at my heart, a sense of pure joy at being surrounded by the scent of plumeria trees. I almost felt like that twenty-one year old woman, who was living her dream of visiting Hawaii, of working with a marine biologist, hoping to become one. My world was wide open back then, and plumerias remind me of that innocent time of my life. A time when I was transitioning my life from student to adult, from Chicago to San Francisco.
Last week, when I couldn’t sit at my desk any longer, I went for a walk. Outside of the building I work, there is a small residential area. The buildings architecture are old Hawaiian plantation style. Large plants and trees surround them.
To my delight, some of the large trees were plumeria trees. The largest plumeria trees I have ever seen. There was one with skinny, pink petals, and another with the more common white petals with a yellow center. I picked up some of the nicer blooms that had fallen with the breeze.
I bring the flowers inside and place them on my desk. A temporary embellishment, that reminds me of the dreams of my twenty-one year old self.
Traffic. It is the plague of the modern world. It even exists on this small dot in the middle of the grand Pacific Ocean.
Thanks to a little research and asking friends who live in Oahu, I learned how to avoid standstill traffic.
It takes me 32 minutes to drive the 14 miles to work. I take the H3 (Interstate H3!) from Kailua to Pearl Harbor, Monday thru Friday. It is a road I think was built to link two military bases.
It is a cherry drive thru Jurrasic park-like, tall, green, mountains. There are some hairy places like when you exit the tunnel and it is raining on the other side of the mountains or if you let your eyes stray for 2 seconds and realize the part of the highway you are on is elevated a few hundred feet.
But this is paradise and yes even sitting at a stop light has amazing views like the one pictured above.
Wish I could share more photos of my commute and the snarled traffic of the H1, but I’ve got my hands on the wheel!
This is how I feel tonight… Spent and in need of sleep…
Why am I spent?
Awake at 4:30 a.m., exercise, homework, coffee, walk on beach, shower, make smoothie, iron clothes, drive to work, work 8.5 hours (half hour for lunch), drive home, stop at Whole Foods, purchased rotisserie chicken (only $8.99), chips ($4.50), and salsa ($4.49), go home, eat, have glass of Rose (because it is Monday) and now at almost 8 p.m. Hawaii time… I’m spent…
Did I tell you it is hot and humid?
Did I also tell you I live in a place with no A.C.?!
Stayed in town today. DelMar and I went to the farmers market, the post office, and the hardware store.
To make DelMar more practical I thought about buying her a basket but it cost more than she did.
Luckily, DelMar has a nice rack over her back wheel and with a couple of bungee cords – it is now her trunk…
Great for veggies from the farmers market and for bringing stuff to the beach.
Aloha Festival’s 70th annual floral parade was today.
I took the bus from Kailua all the way to Honolulu (a little over an hour, but air conditioned!).
There were marching bands, people in cars driving by and waving or shaka-ing. But my favorite were the Pa’u riders.
There was a group from every island with a princess and her entourage. I took photos of all of them, but here are my best photos.
Island of Hawai’i
Island of Ni’ihau
Time to celebrate the passing of week one. I moved to a new place, made it my own, and started my temporary assignment for work.
I have met beautiful people and have the most beautiful commute to work – 20ish minutes up then down the H-3 through Jurrasic park looking mountains (because it was filmed here).
Cheers to week one! I’m eating an Uncle Bob’s Lilikoi ice cream sandwich! I heart passionfruit!