Beaches and Bullshit

 by admin in Travel4

Hi! DC Here.

Okay, we didn’t laze away ALL our time. For example, we visited a Kona coffee plantation.

Mountain Thunder Coffee.

(Doesn’t it just make you expect a Disneyland ride narrated by a kee-razy Old Prospector? “Uh-oh! Looks like I sentchee down the wrong mineshaft. Ya better HOOOLD OOON!!!!”)

It was really fun. And there was free coffee!

Here’s a sample:

Bean on plant. This is my "Mrs. Olson" face. "Mmm... Mountain grown!"

Unroasted beans in hand, minus their "cherry" outside.

Above, Andy Serkis sorts the beans.

Ming! Ming! Ming! Kokoikokoikokoi!

Meanwhile, Mom, who is slightly demented by almost a month of travel, tries to pull the tail off the Roastery Cat.

And what goes best with a cup of Hawai’ian Joe? Why malasadas from Tex’s, of course!

(Malasadas are little square fried doughnuts. With no hole. So they’re really like beignets. Only they’re kind of way better than both. They’re malasadas. Our friend Robert calls them “doughludes.” As in “dough quaaludes.” That’s about right.)

We found some lovely beaches. In particular, this one little tidepool beach that was nearly deserted. We installed ourselves in a picture-perfect little spot, and ZZZ.

Hawai’i more than anything else seems to me to have this incredible natural color palette. It’s not garish, like the Asian tropics. And it’s not the same as the sun-kissed Californian palette. It’s somewhere between. It’s got the heat of lava and the glittery blackness of lava rock. The brightness of beach sand and the soft touch of moss. It’s… lovely.

And now for something completely…

exactly like everyone else’s travel photos you’ve ever seen in your life.

Mom dips her feet. Ever try to navigate your mother-with-a-cane over a lava-rock beach? Its… scary.

I used Pete's skin in this shot to set the White Balance of the camera.

Okay, here’s My Embarrassing Admission (#83,243, if you’re keeping count). I’m not a beach person.

Well, I’m not an outdoor person, really. I’ve never once been camping. Or skiing. Or anything really where there wasn’t at least a Best Western nearby. Never been on a horse. I was last in a swimming pool in 1993. (No, literally.)

The tidepool photo you see above is literally as close as I get to relaxing in the water at a beach. I don’t swim or surf or snorkel or “boogie board.” (Honestly, I really don’t quite understand what “boogie boarding” is, but it sounds awful.)

So after about  two hours at any given beach, I get real antsy. And then we have to window-shop and have shave ice.

Like all tourist-based economies (even those close at hand to us, like West Marin, Napa and Sonoma), Hawai’i is full of Stores That Sell Bullshit.

These are usually sold in the guise of “Antiques,” but mostly it feels like people have amassed loads of Dead People’s Useless Junk and they’re pawning it off on tourists.

Please don’t mistake that for disapproval. I do, in fact, LOVE buying Dead People’s Useless Junk. (Admission number… oh, whatever.)

I bought three glass bottles from the proprietor of the store with this leprous mannequin. (She should really move to Moloka’i and have that seen to.)

In fact, not only do I wholeheartedly approve of Stores that Sell Bullshit, my husband and I would dearly, dearly love one day to be the proprietors of a Store that Sells Bullshit.

To me, they break down into three major categories: Stores that Sell Dead People’s Useless Junk (see above), Stores that Sell Dumb Little Handmade Things That Masquerade as Souvenirs, and Stores That Sell Shitty “Art.”

Hawai’i, like Northern California, is CHOCK-FULL of these. Pete’s and my shop would undoubtedly be one of the latter two varieties. God knows I spend enough time wandering around these places saying “Really? A handmade notebook with shells glued onto it for $20? I could make this Bullshit!” “Really? A pseudo-retro pseudo-oil travel poster for $300? I could make this Bullshit in my sleep!”

If anyone wants to invest in a Store that Sells Bullshit in some tourist locale, please let me and Pete know. I will make the entire inventory out of wastepaper, hot glue, paint, macaroni and crap I find on the street. We will call it all “local,” “archival, “artisanal” and “organic” and it will actually be a damn sight better-looking than most of the stuff for sale nearby. Mom will sew the drapes and chat with the customers, and Pete will run the front of house. It will be called LUMMY-LOU’S: THE STORE THAT SELLS BULLSHIT and it will make BAJILLIONS.

Think about it.



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