Hawaii on my Mind
I’ll admit, posting travel content in these times seems somewhat moot. And thinking about being anywhere else does serious damage to my commitment to remaining present. But, considering the other activities I’ve been taking part in to stave off boredom and spring cabin fever, pretending to plan and pack for an island getaway doesn’t seem so ridiculous.
There are reasons we leave our “heart[s] in San Francisco,” why we have “Carolina in [our] mind[s],” and why dream of spending “April in Paris.” Any time our brains have a free moment, they fixate on quieter afternoons, gentler breezes, and warmer waters in locations different from our boring board rooms, our ordinary offices, or our exhausting errands everywhere. And if the current state of the world hasn’t had you rethinking the way you do things, we don’t know what will.
Give yourself a break from your streaming services to come along with us for a bit on a virtual vacation that’ll have you catching all the vacation vibes.
That Aloha State of Living
Toss that tired and typical tourist spirit because there is so much to see and do on the islands. IMHO, the best souvenir to scoop up is that different pace of life that is evident everywhere when you get away from it all. The people of Hawaii are known for their radiant energy and kindness, their appreciation and connection to the earth and Nature, and their absolute presence and gratitude for the things in life that really matter. With a culture as strong and rich as theirs, we can see why the commitment to cultural traditions and values are so important.
Virtual Stop #1: The Bishop Museum, Honolulu
Committed to making publicly available the past and present treasures of Hawaiian and Pacific cultures, this museum is a perfect stop for taking it all in. With the largest collection of artifacts and natural history specimens in the world, this is a great place to start for conscious Hermozas who are more than just that resort life. Built to honor Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last descendant of the Kamehameha dynasty, the museum offers access to galleries, performances, and programs that preserve and protect the collective wisdom of these impactful islands. Our favorite event might be the “Navigating by the Stars” talk that presents insight into the importance of traditional wayfinding techniques.
You can also explore and appreciate the museum’s commitments to sustainability and reducing plastic use with its sculpture “Plastic Free Pipeline” by artist-scientist Ethan Estess.
Virtual Stop #2: Nohea Gallery, Waikiki
Walking into this gallery is an absolute breath of fresh air. Gorgeous textures, textiles, and images pack this special space with so much life and light. Stunning landscapes, beautiful still life florals, and distinctive patterns line the walls while display cases and shelves are full of the most exquisite handcrafted jewelry, ceramics, tableware, and woodworking you have ever seen. Art galleries are the perfect location to visit to surround yourself in the voices and visions of culture. When in doubt on vacation, always trust the artists to show you the way.
Virtual Stop #3: Moana Surfrider Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach
No travel guide would be complete without a dream destination for rest and relaxation. We can’t say enough about this property: it is an equal part of the sublime cityscape while also cozied right up to the jaw-dropping shoreline. The views are beyond anything you could imagine or eagerly anticipate and could be just what the doctor ordered after all that necessary isolation.
For our adventurous Hermozas, Diamond Head State Monument and Park are directly in the sightline of the hotel, giving guests an invitation from Mother Nature to explore and experience a 300,000 dormant volcanic cone crater residing on 350 acres of lush, panoramic views of Oahu. If communing with nature isn’t on your list of to-dos, the property also maintains a fitness studio and an oceanfront spa to capture you some of Hawaii’s signature peace and tranquility.
Virtual Stop #4: Eat the Street, Oahu
If you are lucky enough to visit Hawaii near the end of the month, you’ll have a chance to visit the best of the best at this food truck festival. Featuring local vendors and live music, you can’t go wrong with everything in one central location. Try a unique and delectable honey cone, craft-brewed ciders or lemonade, or an unforgettable plate of lobster bisque mac and cheese. Bring a friend to dance and to share a meal (or two) with and you won’t be disappointed!
Virtual Stop #5: Kalalau Trail, Kauai
Our bold Hermozas will be the first up in the morning to brave this 11-mile breath of fresh air along the Na Pali coast. Nurture your spirit with incredible views of picturesque valleys, streams, sea cliffs, and spectacular sunsets. Explore seaside caves and isolated beaches that take you well out of the typical tourist traps. Waterfalls abound in this paradise that is pure and unpredictably breathtaking. The trail itself is not for the faint of heart and most hikers take it in stride across the span of two days. Camping permits sell out months in advance for the chance to see remote vistas that (for most of us) exist only in your dreams. For more moderate hikers, there is a four-mile round trip day hike option from Kee Beach to Hanakapiai Beach that offers its own stunning scenery not to be missed by any means.
Whisked Away to Warmer Climates
I get a major vintage 50s and 60s mood the minute I start thinking of the Pacific Islands. The Duke, Elvis, Broadway shows, and Hollywood pictures – my mind floods with the stereotypical images that motivate tourists to home in on all that Hawaii has to offer. Remote sandy beaches, pristine blue waters, lush foliage surrounding rooms with spectacular views. With all this social distancing, it's no wonder why we wander to daydreams of sunrises and seascapes in the Pacific. Hawaii will always be home to the ideal visions of a world for which we will never stop searching: perfectly preserved in its natural splendor without any intrusive flair or flourishes. And, after digging into the rich histories and traditions of a culture that has proved its resilience, power, and presence, these islands have forever become redefined in my mind and in my heart.