Aloha Sweet Friends!
It’s been a month since my last post as I’ve been on vaca from my vaca! I have spent the last month in Hawaii and decided to take a pause from blogging to enjoy every single sunset, every walk on the beach, every meal and every celebration with friends rather than write about it. So, now I’m back in Koln and I have much to tell you!!
My returning to Hawaii was a BIG surprise, so I could not post anything about it online, here or in Facebook, that would alert my friends. I returned to be a part of the wedding of my friends Beth and Linda who I knew in Memphis and who “recruited” me to Hawaii. They are two very special people who are largely responsible for me moving to Hawaii, working at the bank, staying sober and changing almost everything in my life!!! I can’t express how these two friends have influenced me and helped to make me a better person. I also cannot express how grateful I am to them.
Beth and I conspired to surprise Linda with me just showing up at one of the pre-wedding events. So, when I arrived at the airport on September 28th, I changed into my dirndl (think German bar maid outfit) and braided wig. Tam Tam and Tuli picked me up and brought a beer stein and Edelweiss for me to carry and then whisked me over to the party/cookout where Beth, Linda and the wedding guests were gathered. Linda was completely surprised and that made every second of my journey worth it! There were tears, yelps of joy, hugs and laughter. It was such a wonderful night and it was the beginning of what we came to call “Wedding Camp!”
For the next 10 days, we gathered, partied, danced, sang, ate, ate and then ate some more! It was the wedding of the century and it was followed by a second wedding on another island! The first wedding was on Oahu with friends and family, 48 of whom flew in from the mainland. It was a HUGE event that started with a beautiful and intimate ceremony and ended with Elvis glasses, gelato, late-night pizza and lots of dancing!!! The second wedding was on the Big Island with only a few friends and was held on the beach under a full moon and a million stars. It was a magical night with dinner and music AND two sea
turtles! Two turtles made their way on the beach that afternoon/evening to show their support and offer blessings from their deep netherworld. After dinner, we lay on the beach under the stars, listened to the crashing waves and sang songs and laughed loudly. Magical is the best word I have for it but doesn’t really come close to describing that night.
And when Wedding Camp sadly came to an end, it was followed by birthday camp!!! The month of September is when me, Tam Tam and Tuli celebrate our birth
days; so when I was booking my return, I definitely wanted to stay through September 17 (mine and Tuli’s birthday) to celebrate with my girls! Tam Tam returned from a two-week vaca on Palau and we whisked her off the next day to celebrate on Maui! We were given a two-night stay at the Ritz Carlton on Maui for our birthday to relax and enjoy all the resort has to offer. Our first stop was Mama’s Fish House, one of the most beautiful and finest places to eat on the island. I had never been before and it was an amazing place. It’s right on the beach and the views are spectacular. Plus the food was amazing! We were greeted with personalized birthday greetings at our table, virgin drinks, and several birthday desserts from our fab wait staff. It was a four hour lunch but totally worth every second. That night, Tam and I went to the hot tub and chilled under the stars. The next day, we were treated to birthday massages in Lahaina along with shopping and lunch – all thanks to Tuli! And our last day, we enjoyed brunch at The Plantation golf club then more shopping in Kahalui. That afternoon, we returned to Oahu to be taken out to Chai’s Bistro for birthday dinner with Tom, Sat and Beth who joined us and helped us celebrate! It was yet another fab birthday month with my Vestile Virgos, and I am so happy I was able to be in Hawaii to celebrate!
And in between Wedding Camp and Birthday Camp, I was invited to stay on the North Shore with my friends Brian and Sean. I enjoyed several quiet days and nights with them in their North Shore home. I always enjoy my weekend retreats there. It’s practically on the beach and its surrounded by lush gardens and gorgeous beaches. It’s always a relaxing and rejuvenating visit.
And the fun continued the weekend after our birthdays with two more fun events: a Harajuku Party and the ASB Employee Party! The Harajuku party was held at Tuli’s house and was an all-girl event with all
my Hawaiian “aunties” and extended family. If you don’t know what Harajuku is, you can Google it; but the best description I can come up with is Japanese Cindy Lauper meets Madonna in Suddenly Susan. It’s quirky and punkish and fun. Everyone came dressed in their version of Harajuku and it was a hoot! There was everything from hippie/Earth Mama to Huh? It was quite the evening and we enjoyed party favors and everyone’s favorite “game” – Rucky, where everyone is a winner! So much fun!!!
The next evening, I was kindly invited to attend the bank’s all-employee party held at the Bishop Museum. Practically everyone from the bank was there so I was able to see all my friends and colleagues. It was such a wonderful party with great food, games, a photo booth, a flash mob dance followed by more dancing with a DJ and lively music! It was such an awesome party and the opportunity to reconnect with so many people I might not have seen otherwise. I was given a special name tag that said, “Weezie, ASB Alumna” on it and I was invited to be a part of the flash mob dance. Thanks once again to Beth for inviting me to the party and to Nadia for making it all happen!
My last week in Hawaii was spent having lunch with friends, going to the beach, and spending low-key nights with my Hawaii family. I enjoyed a wonderful birthday breakfast with Aunty Syl and Tuli; kava with my girl Krissy; a movie with Sean; and a fab dinner at Seed with Tammy, Sarah and Kristyn. There were many other lunches and dinners with friends along the way; too many to mention each one cos you’d be reading a novel 🙂 But each one was special and memorable.
On my last weekend in Hawaii, I returned to the Big Island with the wedding party for a food and wine event at the Four Seasons
Resort. I did not participate in any of the dinners, but I was invited to hang out in Margaret’s room (my Milan and Wedding Camp bed buddy 🙂 ) and participate in water ballet at the pool. Me, Linda and Beau have become quite entertaining with our pool choreography. I think we’ll be invited back as part of next year’s event.
On Sunday, I returned to Oahu and was met by Tam Tam at the airport. She and I had a girl’s day out with coffee and vegan brownies for breakfast followed by shopping followed by lunch at Mariposa and then massages at Laka Spa!!!! What a surprise treat and a wonderful way to spend my last day on the island. That night we stayed in and ate popcorn and sang Broadway tunes on her karaoke machine. We stayed up late singing and laughing at each other. It was awesome!
The next day was my official last day on the island. I packed up my stuff and went to my old work place one last time. I was able to say goodbye to all my colleagues and friends, hug their necks, remind them one last time to eat healthy and tell them how much I love and miss them all. I went to see my friend Margaret whose sweet pup Maddie died that very morning. I was able to hug her and tell her how much I love her while she cried on my shoulder.
That night, Tam Tam and I had dinner together and were joined by Beth, Linda, Beau and Kamani who came by to say aloha and safe travels. There were no tears this time. Tam is coming to Germany in February and we will see other soon so we managed to say “see you soon” with no tears at the airport.
While there were no tears, I was still sad to leave. It was such an amazing trip with so many events, parties, dinners and get-togethers and I was able to see so many people, it was very difficult to leave. BUT, I returned feeling energized and rejuvenated, ready to take on winter in Europe with a smile. I am determined to give all the love and aloha I received in Hawaii to the people I meet in Europe! I have been given a tremendous gift from my friends – the gift of unconditional love, friendship, and unending support – and I now feel compelled to give that gift to others. So get ready Germany, a brand new, shiny, happy Weezie has returned to you with new determination and a positive attitude!!