Fun With Vowels


Entering my third year of seasonal work on the Big Island of Hawaii, you'd think I'd be getting a grasp of the spelling and pronunciation of Hawaiian words. Not so. I confuse Kahaluu with Koloa. Hapuna with Pua. Ali'i with Aloha. It's not that I'm typically bad at languages, either: I can read and understand Spanish even though I only took 1 semester of it in 1985, and spent the whole time playing with the long curls of the girl sitting in front of me. I'm going to keep trying. My goal is to be able to pronounce Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, the reef triggerfish, upon sighting it in front of our swimming guests. _HPP2185 copy


If you've been following along on SwimVacation's adventures and misadventures this year, you may recall that the charter boat we use in the British Virgin Islands hit the island of Tortola a few weeks before our March trips, and almost sunk. We wound up using 2 smaller and very nice yachts instead (thanks Admiral Kerry!), and the guests were all happy, but the whole ordeal was rather intense.

With that behind us, we forged ahead to our Hawaii trip, which begins this coming Sunday, May 10th. About a week ago we were informed that Hale O'hia Kai, our amazing oceanfront Polynesian pod style vacation rental,  had been sold, and that the new owners had received a cease and desist order from their homeowners association regarding renting the home. Ouch. It was fully paid for and contracted. Heather and I worked the problem for a week, gathering information, looking for alternatives, maybe panicking just a little. In the end, the former owner of Hale O'hia Kai had another property available called Hale Kohola Kai that is equally as spectacular, so we are going with that. Heather called all of our guests with the news. They were all very supportive, actually, and showed tons of flexibility.

We fly tomorrow. About 6.5 hours Boston to Phoenix. A nice brunch in the airport. Then 6.5 hours Phoenix to Hawaii. That sounds better than 13 hours. My to do list includes:

Find swim caps

Bring cash, credit cards, checkbook

Get USAir to put my TSA Pre number on my boarding pass (I will fail at this)

Find my flip flops

Speaking of flip flops, I will leave you with this: I counted how many pairs of footwear I own last night, and I am embarrassed to tell you that the number is 15. They are: Leather day shoes, leather going out shoes,  work boots, snow boots, mud boots, ski boots, mountain bike shoes, road bike shoes, trail running shoes, lawn mowing sneakers, 2 pairs of surfer Sanduk shoes that I never wear but I have to keep buying in Tortola because I keep losing shoes overboard, surfing booties, Keene sandals, flip flops.

Hawaiians don't have a word for "Shoe Maven". How many pairs of shoes do you need in paradise, anyway? In searching for the term, however, I found the Hawaiian word for round onion. It is `aka`akaipoepoe.  Got it.