Friday, January 15, 2016

The Hawaii Blog

I came back from Hawaii with very few photographs. It is partly because I remember learning in a photography class I took when cameras still used film that you either photographed something or experienced it. You couldn’t do both. And I am all about the experience.

The other reason is that I found it impossible to capture what I was experiencing in a photo. Take for example the cloud forest where one of the coffee plantations was located. First, I couldn’t find a visual that looked as good as cloud forest sounds. The two words together evokes images of lush greenery, brilliant colored flowers surrounded by thick fog. What I saw was thick vegetation without the fog. Though it was a pretty amazing change after driving up the side of a volcano from the desert like area at the bottom. There was just black lava with tufts of silver grass.

A photograph can’t capture with the air feels like there. It is as close to perfect as I have ever felt. The breeze keeps it from feeling too warm and there is no need for much in the way of clothes. It is as if your whole body relaxes at being so comfortable.

The irony is that it is a different story if you live there. I met a teenage girl at one of the coffee plantations. During her spiel as she led the tour, she mentioned that she had been born and grown up on the big island. After the tour I brought up how nice it must be to be so comfortable all the time. To which she said, she’d like to go to mainland someplace where there were four seasons so she could wear winter clothes and Ugg boots.

After the coffee plantations tours, I get why Kona coffee is so expensive. It is picked and processed all by hand. Until I saw coffee growing on the trees, I never really thought much about where the beans came from. I certainly didn’t know that the coffee beans are the seeds inside the coffee cherries. The coffee cherries are red as the name implies. Once the seeds are released from the fruit (yes, coffee is a fruit), they go through being sorted and having the skin removed before they are roasted. After seeing all the steps that go to the final drink, I will forever view my morning cup a lot differently. I almost think I should swirl it around the cup the way people do with wine.

I tried taking selfies, but again it seemed so limited. Since I didn’t have a self stick, my face blotted out the background. Also, it couldn’t capture how much I liked sitting out on the patio with my breakfast and then later my computer. I had to keep reminding myself it was January.

A photograph of the grounds of the condo couldn’t capture the scent of the flowers or the feel of the grass that was like a bright green carpet.

The photo of the sunset did come close to capturing the moment when everything pauses there as the day transitions into evening.
Before I went to Hawaii the first time, I didn’t think I would like it. All I had seen were photos of grass skirts, bright colored shirts, palm trees and water. But when I went there the first time, everything changed. The real place was so much more than any camera could ever catch.


Planner said...

I love your descriptions, Betty! I have a friend who used to live in Hawaii (she is originally from Maine!), and she told me that the residents complained about the weather. She thinks complaining about the weather is a universal human trait.

I am in love with Hawaii, too. I have visited twice, and I didn't want to leave.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, I know what you mean about not wanting to leave. But now that I'm home, I'm happy to be here.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Sounds as if you had a fun trip, even if you didn't take a lot of photos, Betty. Hopefully you made notes, actual or mental, so you can use some of the experiences you had in a book someday.

ldosborn said...

You were about to send Molly and Barry off to Hawaii once.....youe experiences may come in handy !

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, you are right. The trip inspired an idea for a short mystery.

Betty Hechtman said...

Idosborn, on a previous trip to Maui, I noticed that so many middle aged couples were holding hands and seemed to be enjoying each other's company. Something about Hawaii seems to bring out the romance in couples. I thought it was a perfect place for Molly and Barry to get away from all the stresses. If only Barry hadn't taken it upon himself to make all the plans without consulting Molly....