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Christmas in the Land of Aloha

I'm writing this as the sun is beginning to rise. I'm one of the first ones on the beach this morning, because I'm meditating, and now I'm with all of you. That's how important my writing is. I want to connect with you.

Our family took a vacation to the Disney Aulani resort on O'ahu, and I'm still sane! Having such a good time, I might not come back! We had a nice sunset dinner last night, the kids at the Auntie B's shack (until they called and wanted to be released). We took pictures, laughed, ordered those frozen wonderful coconut/pineapple/run drinks I can't pronounce and never hope to spell. We watched airplanes appear out of thin air as they emerged from the sky on their way to a safe landing in Honolulu. I wave to one right now. The pilots didn't flap their wings. Don't they know who I am? (that's a joke).

This year has been a lot of packing, moving, traveling and trying new things. It was a last-minute decision to come here. I've forgotten how wonderful the land of Aloha is. The first time I came, I was 7 months pregnant with D.J., our first born. Then I was pregnant with Christen the next time, and found out later we got pregnant here with Jaime. I guess you'd say Hawaii has been inspirational for our family.

I think it's safe to say beaches are important to me. The waves hit the shore and turn rock to sand by their repeated efforts over the centuries. The white sand feels soothing between my toes. It's a place for lovers, for loners, for fisherman and for partygoers, as well as normal folks that turn into lobsters or crispy raisins. It harbors fish of all kinds, plantlife and covers up centuries of history, both good and bad deeds. Long before we had airplanes or rail or cars, it was our primary mode of easy transportation. Cultures were discovered and melded with other cultures, worlds once isolated were connected and made part of the patchwork of humanity.

Beaches to me mean something new is brewing, something will emerge, drenched in the healing waters, and will come toward me and fill my soul. I could never discover all of the beaches in the world, even navigate all the oceans. Beaches are for children and that first time experience of seeing and feeling warm water while being safely tucked in a loved-ones' arms, or their tiny hand encrusted in our mother's. We are introduced to the water like it was an old friend, or sacred ritual. It remains that to me all these years later.

I'm overcome as I see little ones arrive here this calm morning, couples walking, families taking pictures and the staff readying the paddleboards and catamaran for people to use. I see such a beautiful life as I remember all those lovely beach days with my grandfather at Santa Cruz (well, specifically Rio Del Mar), and the fireworks at Capitola when you could lay on the warm sand and watch the sky explode into millions of bursts of light. I remember putting sunscreen on my aging grandmother who only had the use of one arm, and I remember being yelled at because I wanted to stay in the water all day long. I remember the first ride I took with Don when I was pregnant with D.J., we drove up to the North Shore, the whole area green and lush, the BeeGees singing, “How Deep Is Your Love,” and I was feeling it right then, going to be a mother for the first time and loving every minute of it.

I've loved the pirate tales in Antigua, Nelson's Dockyard, and the little houses I want to rent some day to write for a whole month straight. Having a Cheeseburger In Paradise, a few beers and watching the sunset.

How lucky I am to have these memories. How lucky I am to be anticipating many more. The Land of Aloha is part of who I am. I hope it will always stay that way.

What about you? Do you have a Land of Aloha you escape to when you seek that re-leveling in your life? I'd love to hear about it. Honest.olgu5DpSQdqQnOJV7GH6%Q

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 18 comments
Linda Carlson - December 9, 2018

You put the love of life so elequently!
Glad you’re having such a lovely time! I’m just a little jealous!

Linda Carlson

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    Sharon Hamilton - December 10, 2018

    LOL. I’ve not been to Hawaii for over 2 years now. This was a gift from our daughter (the place to stay). But yes, having fun and not wanting to go home to the cold!

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Karen Matthews - December 9, 2018

Enjoy yourself. It was on our bucket list when we retired. Well we’ve retired and 18+ months my husband was diagnosised with Dementia. I figured we had plenty of time, but the change in 18 months is unbelievable…so enjoy enjoy it why you can. That’s why I enjoy reading in the evening to relax. Enjoy a bit of the waves for me, thanks. Karen Matthewska

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    Sharon Hamilton - December 10, 2018

    Bless you, Karen. I’ll be sure to show lots of pictures on FB then. I understand so well that life doesn’t go on forever. That’s why we decided to sell everything and buy our diesel bus and travel, while we could. Never know when things are thrown at you. So happy to have you for a reader, and I promise not to let you down with the adventures! Take care, and Merry Christmas, my friend.

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Margaret M - December 9, 2018

I’ll never get to visit Hawaii but it sounds lovely. As a reader your way with words take me there & it’s a wonderful feeling. Even tho I can’t travel there through your words I can see the beauty of the locations in my minds eye. Thank you for sharing your travels with us but most of all for sharing your craft and love of writing. Happy Holidays whereever you land. 🎄

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    Sharon Hamilton - December 10, 2018

    Margaret, what a nice early Christmas present that comment was! I take it to heart and treasure it. Thanks so much for coming along with the journey. I truly love sharing my experiences!

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Debbie - December 9, 2018

I live on Oahu and heartily feel the same. My husband refuses to leave. Note: For an adventure with kids, go on the pirate ship.

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    Sharon Hamilton - December 10, 2018

    Great idea! Thank you so much, Debbie. I just might become a permanent resident. Looking to the Aulani for at least a tiny part of it! We drove from Aunani up to the North Shore yesterday, and came back just as it was raining, and right after sunset. What a beautiful day on your island!

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Gary Truman - December 10, 2018

I was stationed on Oahu at MCAS Kaneohe in 1966-1968 i was able to take my wife there in 2001 for 8 days. The highlight was at the YWmCA back in 1967/68 i signed the guest book on the 4th of July for both years.To my wife it was and still is best vacation we have done to me the City of Honolulu has ruined the area when I was there in the late 60’s before going to Jam there was only 5 hotels on the beaches none night then 5 stories and we had a lot of fun in downtown Honolulu not any more it’s a tourist trap now. So I was not impressed with my return.

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    Sharon Hamilton - December 10, 2018

    Gary, Thank you for your service, and thank you for sharing Aloha with your wife, too. I love this place. I like the eastern side, like Aunani is, not commercial. Although owned by Disney, it is Disney-light and not commercial at all. Even very little of the mouse showing up, which I love. Just a great beautiful place for the grands. Yesterday our drive up to the North Shore was beautiful, even had a rainbow chase us up there all the way.

    I agree about downdown Honolulu, but we had a wonderful breakfast at the Royal Hawaiian, walked the beach, bought some things at the Hawaiian quilt shop, even had pink pancakes! Loved it.

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Pamela - December 10, 2018

It sounds so beautiful. I like the water and I do feel it restores you. My beach place were the shores of Lake Michigan. The water was cold but so refreshing. I would love to go to Hawaii but my health precludes a lot of traveling. Last year by hook or crook I was going to Seattle for our oldest daughters wedding. The picnic they had was just wonderful. Puget Sound was just wonderful. Seeing the sail boats out on the water. I could have stayed out there all day. Now our kids are thinking of sending us to where several of my ancestors come from. So we will see if Scotland and Ireland are in the works.

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    Sharon Hamilton - December 10, 2018

    You’ll love Scotland and Ireland too. Much colder, but the beautiful Heather-strewn hills are outstanding. You can feel the history. My ancestors (the Camerons) came from there as well. Water on Lake Michigan is one of the delights I haven’t participated in yet, but hope to. See? You have something on my bucket list!

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Aline Pack - December 10, 2018

It sounds great enjoy, love reading about your family.
Merry Christmas 🎄

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    Sharon Hamilton - December 10, 2018

    Thanks, Aline. My grands and kids are something that bring such joy. Am so proud. Even now they’re pounding on the door, waiting for me to be done with the computer so we can go in the water!

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Kelly Manning - December 10, 2018

We lived on Oahu for over five years. 2002 through 2007. Stationed on MCBH Kaneohe. We still have family in Hawaii. My husband is a retired Marine and we now live in the Panhandle of Florida. I hope you have a great vacation!
Mele Kalikimaka!

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    Sharon Hamilton - December 10, 2018

    Merry Christmas to you as well! I even have the red shirt! Love it here. So glad you got to spend some time here. Thank you and your family for their service. My freedom is truly mine because of the sacrifices families like yours have made. Thank you.

    The panhandle isn’t too bad, either, or so I’ve been told. Plan to visit there in the bus next year.

    Mele Kalikimaka! And Aloha!

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Ann T Neuwirth - December 11, 2018

Of all the places we travelled around the world, Hawaii is my favorite. I’ve been there so many times I can’t remember the number. Our three children went to school on the big island. Was there this past May for Mothers Day..

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