Hawaii 911

These colors have not been photoshopped.

These colors have not been photoshopped.

Even though 9/11 had just happened, I went ahead with a vacation to visit my friend George who was living on the Big Island of Hawaii that November. Yeah, it was a little freaky getting on a plane in November of 2001, but when a friend lives in a beautiful place and offers you free room and board, I had to make the assumption that the terrorists would not want to bomb me out of the sky on my way to paradise.

Beautiful birthday flowers and some googly eyeballs.

Beautiful birthday flowers and some googly eyeballs.

At the time, George, who is a trained biologist, was banding birds in the aptly named town of Volcano, Hawaii, which is on the rainy side of the island. I was there for George’s birthday and to surprise him when he got home from work, I wandered around his yard and picked a bouquet. Rain=lush fauna.

During the day, he gave me use of his new/used car named “Sexy Girl” to venture around. I headed straight down the volcano to the black sand beach where I decided to snorkel. No sooner was I in the ocean that I was bumping elbows with the island’s renowned sea turtles. These guys were enormous and to be honest, they looked a little pissed off that I was intruding on them.

Hey you! Get outta my ocean!

Hey you! Get outta my ocean!

George took some days off so we could go camping on the beach on the sunny side of the island. After a night of “roughing it” on the secluded sands of a gorgeous beach, we packed up and headed through the tangled jungle Hawaiians call home. The jungle gets so overgrown, that even the abandoned cars are beautiful here.

Beautiful abandonment.

Beautiful abandonment.

And, speaking of cars, as we toured along in Sexy Girl, she started to get a little pouty–and then she stopped altogether–30 miles from nowhere. We got out, pushed her to the side of the road and luckily, found a house with 10 chained dogs within walking distance. The dogs guarded a little old Hawaiian lady who let us use her phone (this was 2001, remember) to call a tow truck. As we waited, we talked to her for about an hour. Or I should say, she talked and we listened, because she spoke pidgin English. Who knew pidgin was still spoken in our own country? If you don’t believe me, give a listen:

Finally, we were rescued and towed 30 miles to the nearest service station where George promptly stripped his car of her sassy moniker. From then on, she was dubbed “Worthless Trollop”.

Hawaiian lesson: if life gives you lemons, make lemon drops!

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Volcano

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Volcano 19.442466, -155.232871
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