After brunch in the hotel dining room, I walked out onto the terrace to admire the view of my greatest challenger: Diamond Head Crater. My friend Grace and I had asked Laurie to take us hiking in the crater the day before, and today was the day. When Grace and I got to the lobby of the hotel, our supposed meeting place, Laurie said she’d forgotten she was going to take us hiking. As a result, she’s have to drive us herself in her car. No problem, right?
On the way there, we stopped at a convenience store to buy bottled water. Laurie noticed me bending over curiously at a sushi-like dish on the counter. It looked like seaweed wrapped around rice blocks and ham slices. I asked her what they were, and she said, “Oh! Spam musubi! It’s a delicacy here in Hawaii. Sometimes we put eggs in it and sometimes teriyaki sausage!”
Okay, for starters, I know Spam. I know Spam isn’t a delicacy. I can buy it for $2 at the grocery store, and $1 if I throw a can on the ground to dent it. So I feigned not knowing what Spam was to cover my disgusted face. This apparently invoked some necessity for Laurie to buy one for me to try. Not so bad, til I reached the seaweed. At which point I turned to musubi over to Grace.
We reached the crater, and began our ascent,
discussing Hawaiian culture, and differences between Massachusetts and Hawaii. Our initially easy climb became a nightmare of inclined stairs. Which led to a small cave, and continued to the top of the crater’s overlook. The island was, in one word, stunning.
After a myriad of photos, we walked back the way we came, taught Laurie about the Salem Witch Trials, ad that led to our discussion on paranormal activity. Now, when it comes to ghosts, I’m a nonbeliever. Laurie is too, but she explained how her husband and son can sense and see the presence of ghosts. Maybe that was when she was deemed “Crazy Laurie.”
Or maybe it was when we pulled into the driveway of our hotel, and Laurie went into hysterics, saying we couldn’t tell our chaperones that she’d driven us, or she’d lose her job. Thereby, confirming she is, indeed, insane. We said our goodbyes quickly and got out of the car without hesitation.
Grace and I suited up for the beach, got ice cream at Cold Stone, and sunbathed a bit. That was before we hit the water (blue, warm, plenty of waves) followed by some shops on the boardwalk.
Relaxing by the pool. It’s all fun and games til someone comes away looking like a lobster. Unfortunately, that person was me–my face, arms, legs, stomach, and chest were a brilliant red. Multiple aloe tubes later, we dressed for the group dinner–my skin stuck out against the blue dress I borrowed from a friend. So we went to the lobby, waddling in pain, and the group walked to Tiki Bar & Grill. It was fun, a great last night in Hawaii, with a spectacular sunset.
Back at the hotel, we made homemade ice packs with ice from the ice machine and plastic bags we scavenged from our shopping materials. Every part of my skin was on fire as I packed for home.