Thursday, April 14, 2016

Vacations When I Was a Kid

Being a photographer’s son, vacations often involved going to scenic places in Hawaii.  For years I could open any travel book about Hawaii and find the back of my head.  My dad liked to take pictures of my mom and me silhouetted as we walked down a beautiful beach.

We often stayed at beach houses on the windward side of Oahu.  Kawela Bay was one location we frequented.  One cottage had an enclosed porch that faced the bay.  I built model airplanes and explored the beach.

Another time we stayed at the beach house near a Hawaiian burial ground so I was afraid to go out after dark.

Kona was a favorite outer island destination for us and we stayed at the Kona Inn.  I swam in the salt water pool that was fed by waves crashing over a retaining wall into the deep end of the pool.  When I was very young we watched Hawaiian cowboys driving cattle into the water in downtown Kailua, Kona. The cowboys rode horses into the water to herd the cattle to a ship anchored offshore.

The summer after I graduated from college, my dad and I went to Kauai and stayed at the Hanalei Plantation.  We drove up to the end of the road along the Napili cliffs and upon our return discovered that one of the bridges had collapsed.  Since that was the only road along that part of the island, we accepted a ride in a rowboat from a boy who was ferrying people back across the stream, hitchhiked back to the hotel and got another rental car.  I heard later that it took several months to get the road rebuilt. 

My dad rented a helicopter and we flew along the Napili cliffs and landed on a white sand beach that is only accessible by an eighteen mile hiking trail, by helicopter or by swimming in from a boat.  I still have a picture in my home office of me walking down that beach toward a cave in the overhanging cliff.  We stayed about an hour before the helicopter came back to pick us up.  Although my dad and I had conflicts during the summers of my college years, that was a trip of togetherness.

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