Punee State of Mind.
In Maine, we have this concept called Camp. It can mean a lot of different things. It can mean a structure - anything from a tarpaper shack with no plumbing in the middle of a cut-over pine forest, to a 10-room, 3 car garage lakefront house. Mostly, though, Camp is a state of mind. It’s a place to escape from work-a-day routines, to gain a different view, to be with nature rather than the constructed world. It turns out that Camp can be found in Hawaii, too. The Treadwell House, our Polynesian Scandinavian Modern Industrial Hawaiian Hale (pronounced ha-lay), put our arriving guests in a Camp state of mind.
There’s a massive daybed here, a Punee in Hawaiian, and within an hour of our guests arrival, they had sprawled out on it, sipping from bottles of San Pellegrino or local beer, getting acquainted or re-acquainted. Our guests John, Frances, Rick, Karen, Yafa, Heidi, and Paul, and Lisa (arriving tomorrow) have all travelled with us before, and many have been on the same SwimVacation with each other. We gave them a welcome speech and headed to the beach for our first swim.
They charged into the choppy water, all smiles and splashes. The water cleared as we swam away from shore, revealing healthy reef structures and lots of fish. Behind us, the Hawi (ha-vee) mountains, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea watched over us, greener than usual from a wet spring. Back on the beach, the Mother’s Day crowd lingered among the massive standing and fallen Kiawe (kee-av-ay) trees that make this beach so wonderful.
I made some cocktails with a local juice/rum mix, adding lime and another shot of local dark rum, and an orchid. Our chefs Clare and Dan arrived and put out some amazing yellowfin tuna sashimi. Conversations flowed as salads appeared with a delicious lilikoi dressing. The main course was a pesto marinated Ono (Wahoo) with oyster mushrooms and local carrots. A locally made macadamia nut caramel pie finished things off. Cuisine is an important part of our SwimVacation trips, and this week promises to take it a step higher.
Our swimming campers all tucked into their rooms, Hawaiian ocean breezes through screens, sounds of the waves not too distant. Camp and Hawaii are both a state of mind. WIthout much fuss or trouble, we’ve all arrived.