A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about beach

Waves of Life

one nap days

sunny 80 °F

Here I am in the middle of the one nap day, the 2 hours of personal time that I get while my son sleeps. It used to be two little breaks, and now as of Christmastime, we are officially down to one. I was hoping to drag this process out. Mostly for my own sanity and time management purposes, but also so he could get two opportunities for extra sleep. But my son appears to be a cold turkey kind of guy. He stopped one day with his second nap, and never looked back. So here we are, savoring this midday pause.

I realized last night, once again, how lucky I am, and what a gift it is to have a partner to parent with. Last night our sniffly, sweaty tot couldn't sleep. His fever was making him uncomfortable so for 4 hours, from 6:30pm until 10:30 pm, we took half hour shifts, holding him to sleep. Picking him up when he woke and rocking him back down. It could be enough to drive you mad if you didn't have someone to share it with. But now it is precisely these times that cause me to be the most thankful for what I have.

The harder a moment is, the more I realize how much ease is in the majority of my life. So I am grateful for the one nap, and the little boy who lets me spend the rest of my day with him.

We are right now considering the options moving forward: toddler bed? twin? full? How do we transition from this crib that he is starting to outgrow? Most likely he will give us the answers to this question, as he has with so many other questions. We will try and try again. It will have its hard points, and then it will go smooth and easy again, as the waves of the ocean flow out and in. I have a steady reminder of the rhythm of life, and the flow of time. When one day is stormy, the next is calm. The waves rise up, crash, and retreat. Life ebbs and flows, the good days follow the bad, and time keeps moving forward.

Posted by globalmomma 03:47 Archived in USA Tagged beach waves work life sleep hawaii toddler Comments (0)

Ahh, Hawai'i

Wherever you go, there you are...

sunny 82 °F

Some days, I get a real reminder how lucky we are to be living here in Hawai'i. This doesn't erase the fact that each day I wake up, look outside, and see sunshine. Throw on flip-flops (or slippahs, as they call them here) and take a stroll to the beach or the pool or the shops in Kailua-Kona, and every day is a day to go outside. I do not take that for granted, but sometimes you get a big slapping reminder too. Last night, there was a swell, and we could hear the surf pounding the shore from our little lanai. It was still exciting to be able to hear the waves, still brought a sense of wonder and enjoyment to be living that close to the ocean.

Yesterday, as I mentioned, the surf swell had arrived in Kahalu'u beach, our local beginner surfing spot. We have been wanting to take another surf lesson for the past 2 weeks, while our families were in town and we had some time for a surf date. But the waves didn't cooperate and despite several attempts to go out, we never got our lesson. Of courrse, the day after everyone left, the waves came back to town. So we decided to go out and tag team surf. I would stay in the beach with Bodhi and Chris would go out, then we would switch. We learned this from some friends in Oahu who were actively surfing while she was pregnant, and back out again when their little guy was just several weeks old.

Being out on the water, floating and riding, is really a feeling that is difficult to describe. It is freedom and meditation and a rush of adenaline all at once. It reminds me of a cup of tea... It can be anything you want it to be. A little comfort, a shot of energy, a warming feeling, an old friend. Surfing is this way too, because there is no pressure to perform. I was hesitant to go out because the waves were larger, and I have not been out on our new board at all. Then, I decided in the end to just go through the exercise and see what arose. Surfing is my new kind of yoga.

When I came back to the beach, surfboard in hand, threw it on top of our little Cooper, and began running around with my little guy - I ran into some tourists. They were here from Switzerland, here for a week, standing on the same beach where we can come everyday. It filled me with a gratitude for being here. Possibly the nicest thing for me about living in Hawai'i is the natural gratitude that is in my morning every day just by virtue of waking in a place that I love.

My husband and I have both been strong believers that WHERE you are is important to your psyche, your attitude, your life. Sometimes a certain place will speak to you and some times a certain place will be all wrong. We have noticed, being avid travelers, that the experience of a place can drastically affect your emotions, your outlook, your motivations. When in the right place, you can feel more creative, spontaneously happy, more alive. Places that don't fit who you are can cause tension, conflict, unhappiness. As a couple or a family, this can be interesting, because diifferent places can fit one person more than another. But if you are sensitive to the effects of the land on your spirit, you will notice that certain places will call to you, make you feel more at ease, more connected, more at home. Others are just a no. Just like people. Ever notice how you can meet someone and right away know you can be good friends?

This is how I feel on the island of Hawai'i. Like I have met a good friend.

Posted by globalmomma 10:59 Archived in USA Tagged beach waves locals surfing tourists friendship hawaii Comments (1)

Surf's Up!

Lesson One at Kahalu'u Beach

sunny 86 °F

My husband Chris's birthday was Saturday. For his birthday, I decided to surprise him with a surf lesson. Luckily, my mom was here, so we could go take a lesson together. We woke early and I drove him down to the beach. At this point, he was pretty sure what was going to happen. We put our rashguards on. We got a quick lesson on land on how to hop up onto the surfboard. Slide one foot forward and keep the other foot back, both facing sideways, arm pointing forward toward the shore. Luckily for Chris, the stance is similar to snowboarding. Luckily for me, the stance is similar to the yoga pose Warrior 1. He and his regular foot, and me and my goofy foot, carry our foamy surfboards across the street and into the ocean. We climb awkwardly on, and begin paddling out toward the waves. I won't exaggerate about the size of the waves... they were baby waves, about 2-4 feet. Our instructor paddles out effortlessly. He is a tanned local Big Island Hawaiian, and he looks like he has been on the ocean every day of his young life. I would have estimated that Dom (the instructor) was 20 years old, until he informed us that he also has a 2 year old son, and that he is one of his several children. Dom is sitting on his surfboard, legs slung over each side, watching the waves come from the horizon. He tells us to point our boards out toward the waves and watch. We aren't really sure what he is seeing. But before we know it, he says, "Turn around guys, and start paddling". We spin around and I begin paddling frantically with both arms. "Faster now" he says, and then he gives us a quick nudge and the wave is under us. "Stand up now!" he yells, and we both leap forward like we were taught, bending our knees and trying to stay upright. I am amazed that the wave is still moving under me, and that I am managing to stay upright. About ten seconds later, the wave is gone, and I fall off the surfboard, grinning widely. I start paddling back to where Dom is sitting, and when I arrive, I try to climb down and sit the way he is sitting on the board. But before I can balance, he says, "here comes another one, Get ready." I see nothing. But I climb back onto my stomach and turn the board around. I am again paddling as hard as I can and he shoves the board under the wave. Again, I leap up and ride the wave to the break. It is amazing what a rush of adrenaline I am getting as I yell to Chris, "I'm really doing it!!"

The last time we tried surfing was at Bondi Beach outside Sydney, Australia in 2003. It was a fun experience, but I was never really ready to move from my torso or my knees up to my feet. I spent the whole two hours boogie boarding, and cheering for Chris. This time, however, I was really surfing, and loving it. I can see why this sport is incredibly addictive. For one, it is unbelievably rewarding when you catch a wave. Secondly, you are out on the ocean, sun on your back, feet dipped into the cool water, a perfect morning activity. Thirdly, each ride produces a rush of adrenaline and giddiness that honestly took me by surprise. Fourth, like fishing, it can be anything you want it to be. You can put in a lot of effort or a little. You can continuously ride waves or you can basically sit on your board and watch the waves float by.

This time, we were riding each wave that Dom told us was a good one to take. For the next half hour, it felt like each time I got back out to where he was, he was telling me to go again. By forty minutes in, my arms were really tired. I was having to paddle using my entire body. I was trying to paddle simultaneously with both hands. It felt like it was taking longer and longer to get back out to where Dom was, and that he was moving further and further out. Turns out, he was moving further out. As we got 'better', he moved us out to the next rung of surfers that were another hundred yards out to sea. With these waves, we were able to jump up and ride the wave until it crested, then it would pick up again and we would get to go another ten seconds almost back to shore; Making each ride twice as long, and each paddle back out twice as hard. By the end I was lying face down on my surfboard telling Dom, "I will wait for the next one", because I literally didn't think I could paddle back out again without a few minutes recovery. Talk about arm and shoulder strength! Now I know why all surfers are incredibly lean with amazing back musculature. I definitely will need to improve my back and shoulder muscles before I come back out again.

As the two hour lesson was ending, we each got in our final wave and climbed out of the water carrying the 12 foot surfboards on our heads. I had a permanent grin on my face. I knew Chris would be a natural at it, but I never expected to do so well myself after my last experience. I never expected to get a love for it on the first lesson. Now, I am shopping for a surfboard, and we are talking about going to the beach and tag team surfing. I stay on the shore with Bodhi while Daddy surfs, then we switch. A perfect Hawaiian morning and a perfect way to jump right in to life.

Posted by globalmomma 13:06 Archived in USA Tagged ocean beach surf waves surfing hawaii lesson exercise kona instructor kahaluu Comments (0)

Easy Remote

Life in Hawai'i

I am starting to realize why people come to the islands for vacation. Yes, the beach, the sunshine, the warm 80 degree temperatures year-round, the relaxed pace, the ability to wear sandals and sundresses and tanktops in the middle of January, all are HUGE reasons to come to the islands on vacation.

But a larger draw, in my opinion, is the idea of 'getting away from it all'. At first glance, this technically means just leaving your workplace and the piles of papers, the ringing phone and the to-do list that never gets shorter, the bills, the errands, the monotony. But it feels that much more powerful when you literally place MILES and MILES between yourself and those day to day chores. The stress tends to add up little by little over time, compiling like someone else's money in a 401K. It grows and grows until you drain it somehow, and then it creeps in and rebuilds. So in order to release the stress, many of us run as far away from the stressors as we can possibly get.

Hawai'i is literally thousands of miles of ocean away from any other large land mass. So when you come here on vacation, it truly is getting away from it all. And you can feel that stress being lifted as you fly the miles and hours to arrive here. But when you start to live here, you begin to realize just how far away from everything you really are.

Everything is double the price, because it often has to fly halfway across the world to get here. So everyday items like shoes, toys, shampoo, milk, cost 2-3 times what they would cost on the mainland (this is Hawaiian for 'rest of the USA other than Hawai'i'). Gas, cars, everything has a surcharge here, kind of like a luxury tax for being able to reside in such a beautiful, remote, healing place.

Then you begin to realize just how long it takes to visit the ones that you love. And how far away you are when you are missing them... Today my mom flies here from California, and I cannot wait to see her. We are arriving early and waiting for her to come through the gate. I cannot remember the last time I actually parked the car at the airport and went inside to wait for a flight, rather than circling. It is such an event to have a visitor already. We have been 'living' in Kona for almost three weeks, and the time is passing by so rapidly. It feels like we have just arrived, and we are still in that phase where we are exploring, getting lost, finding new spots.

There are a few things that make us still visitors: (1) the rental car, that we are hoping to trade in for a purchased used car at some point in the next ten days before our rental contract runs out (2) the un-tanned skin: although we are working on remedying this situation, we still do not look dark enough to be islanders who have a steady base of sunshine on their skin (3) no permanent dwelling, no plans past next week

The things that are localizing us:
The fact that we carry in our car at all times: a boogie board, two towels, several wet bathing suits, a football, a cooler, sunglasses, and a beach chair. Just in case. You never know when you may need it. When you may just decide it is such a beautiful afternoon that we might as well stop at the beach and have a quick swim, which we have done at least every other day since we arrived. You would think that there is only so much time one wants to spend at the beach, but I will tell you that we have not yet reached that point. Basically, any spare moment throughout the day after work is finished, we either say, "hey, let's go to the beach", or take a dip in the pool.

We have island time down. In fact, I have always lived on island time. It was the rest of the world that had it wrong :) The islands are always moving slow, so being five, ten minutes late is recommended...and customary. I love this. Absolutely love it. And the fact that everyone wears easy shoes, and slips them off the moment they enter into anyone's home, so at least half of your life is spent in bare feet. Bodhi loves this. It is an easy life. But also a remote life.

Posted by globalmomma 18:48 Archived in USA Tagged beach surf in island life swim pool time hawaii barefoot aloha Comments (1)

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