Playtime in the Pacific [pt 2]

Earlier, I detailed how hoarding a week of vacation days paid off when I used them to unwind in Oahu’s beautiful Windward Coast/North Shore area. While being in or on the beautiful waters near my rented studio was amazing, I have to admit the island is chock full of beautiful vistas…and in Part 2, I share a few more of my favorites.

With the backstory to my Oahu vacation already out of the way and the trip deliberately low-key in nature, there’s more to show than to tell.

However, since real-life acquaintances seemed fascinated that a) I was planning on doing lots of swimming and hiking and b) that I didn’t come home fried like a pork rind, I suppose I can leave aside their misjudging of my hobbies and share the (boring) secret to bringing my shark-bait-pale self home without mishap.

Yes: thanks to hats, lavish and frequent use of high-number sunscreen, and SPF clothing that included a rash guard as well as an oh-so-sultry A-line “swim-mini” skirt, I escaped burning.


On the plus side, when paired with a navy T, the swim-mini looked relatively presentable for off-the-beach/trail wandering:

Enjoying the view from Haleiwa's Anahulu Stream Bridge...

...and enjoying a view OF the beautiful circa 1921 bridge

My efforts to stay uncrisp’d got a boost when I convinced Mr Vix to leave the sun behind for a few hours in order to explore a charmingly shady, less-charmingly muddy trail loaded with ginger, wild coffee shrubs, taro, and banyan trees. As we tromped up and down toward a small waterfall, we were treated to glimpses of the Ko’olau Mountains we’d been ogling all week from different vantage points:

The Maunawili Falls Trail proves beach views aren't the only game in town

Exchanging water views for another of Hawaii’s intriguingly tree-root-laden trails led me to wonder if Polynesian tiki carvers were big hikers. Because there’s something about the stair-stepped roots that really remind me of the gods’ faces:

L, Tikis for sale at a roadside stand; R, more of the Maunawili Falls Trail

Unfortunately, my question remains unanswered despite conversation with a modern-day carver. The carver came out of our discussion a little richer, though, as Mr Vix was unable to resist a small tiki representing Lono—seeker of knowledge, protector of family, and bringer of peace, good luck, good spirits, and good fortune. [And also god of clouds and storms, which we’re choosing to ignore.]

Maybe the spirit of Lono began guarding my wallet immediately, because despite an encounter with carved mermaids I found them singing each to each, but not to me*:

L, The military controls access to stunning, shade-laden Bellows Beach, allowing the public in on weekends; R, mermaid pendants for sale in a North Shore shop

Though it’s more likely my ears were just tuned to the frequency of surf, not sirens:

Lai'e Point, a popular fishing spot on Oahu's Windward Coast and one that (legend has it) began life as a giant lizard

And that my eyes were still too dazzled by the textures found in some of Oahu’s most famous landmarks…

A sampling of Oahu's beautiful landmark signage

…and still mesmerized by the variegated shadings of earth and sea seen on one of the island’s most beautiful short hikes

Another view from the Lanikai Ridge Trail, this time towards the Ko'olau Mountains and featuring yours truly

to fully appreciate the mermaids’ charms.

Of course, there’s also the fact that I’d come to Oahu with my own talisman—the water-loving jaguar, in the form of my perimenopausal panther print dress—and perhaps my unconscious didn’t require another.

Diamond Head and the city at dusk; R, ending the trip in Honolulu Airport's beautiful gardens (and realizing we're in semi-matching outfits)

While I’m not sure who or what deserves credit, I’m glad to have left the island feeling mentally and physically more agile. Hanging onto that well-being in the midst of day-to-day life is the trick, alas, but a trick I need to master. For now, I’m going to dig a moat to protect the sensation, and start fixing up a canopy to keep it dry.

* Given my reoccurring obsession with faux-mermaid synchronized swimmers—which Tine of Highly Irregular Blogspot added to by posing with Copenhagen’s The Little Mermaid statue—I’m not sure how I escaped the pendants’ lure!

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