Island trip let us live the ‘Aloha’ spirit

Mile High Thoughts

After 10 months of wedding planning and preparations, Seth Moellering and I got married on Oct. 21.

The day was wonderful in every way and it was so much fun celebrating with our closest friends and family in Colorado.

Following that, we took a honeymoon trip to the Hawaiian Islands.

This was my second trip to the state but first time to the islands of O’ahu and Hawaii.

Before our departure, we spent months planning with the help of local travel agent Judy Kramer. She was a huge part of what made our trip flawless.

Our first leg of the trip took us to Honolulu, the major city on the island of O’ahu with a population just under 375,000.

While it was smaller than most “big” cities, it almost felt claustrophobic. There are so many people condensed into such a small space. It almost felt more crowded than New York City.

We had the chance to take a tour of the city and the Pearl Harbor Memorial with the guidance of Cousin Dorothy. “Cousin” is another way to say “brother” or “friend.”

We also got to walk through the Pearl Harbor museum. The National Museum of the Pacific War here in Fredericksburg, in my opinion, provides more information and hands-on learning than the museum in Hawaii, but it was amazing to visit the USS Arizona memorial.

After two days in the city, we made our way to the island of Hawaii, or as it is known, the Big Island.

The Big Island is just over 4,000 square miles compared to Texas’ 268, 581.

When we told people we were from Texas, they realized that their island is far from “big” compared to Texas.

On the island we stayed at a beautiful resort and spent time sampling Kona coffee, Kona Brewery beer, driving around the island to see valleys, waterfalls and lush greenery and, of course, laying on the beach.

Everywhere we went we got to experience the unique culture of the Hawaiian people.

Everyone lives the “Aloha spirit,” meaning they are on island time. No one is in a hurry or a rush. They take the time to talk with you and provide you with Hawaiian hospitality.

Our morning coffee barista asked us each morning what the plans were for the day and gave us tips and tricks for where to visit and what to see on the island.

They also were quick to share their culture, much like the people of Texas. Cousin Dorothy helped us better pronounce words using the Hawaiian alphabet, which only uses 13 letters, most of which are vowels.

She taught us phrases like:

• “Mahalo,” thank you;

• “Aloha,” hello or goodbye;

• “Pupu,” snack;

• “Keiki,” child;

• “Malasada,” Portuguese donut;

• “Honu,” turtle;

• “Laule’a,” peaceful;

• “Hang loose,” relax, sit back.

At a luau, we experienced the many dances of the people that once migrated to Hawaii from Tahiti, Polynesia and more.

It was so nice to take some time “hang loose” and enjoy the view instead of rushing off to the next thing like we do so much here on the mainland.

Coming back from any vacation is tough but coming back from Hawaii was even harder.

We went from “hanging loose” to schedules and routines.

We promised ourselves that we will make it back to the islands someday, so we can be reminded of the “Aloha spirit,” something that I think all of us mainlanders should do.

If you haven’t ever made a trip to the islands, do it. It will teach you so much and leave you with a new perspective.

As they say in Hawaii, “Mahalo (thank you), for a wonderful trip and hele mai ho’i hou (come back again).”

mckenzie@fredericksburgstandard.com

Fredericksburg Standard

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Fredericksburg, TX 78624-4228
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