Much thanks to everyone who has bought, commented on, viewed, emailed about, or otherwise noticed Maxine! I look forward to seeing different versions start popping up on Ravelry. I'm also thinking of doing a blog post in the near future on different ways to wear it, as I've been getting a lot of questions about that. Apparently y'all don't go around dressed like flappers all the time: who knew?
As the new-pattern activity is settling down a bit, I thought I'd do a post about our trip to Oahu, which was just what the doctor ordered. The photo above is an early-morning shot from our balcony - or maybe I should say "my uncle's balcony," as he very generously donated a week at his time-share to my folks, myself and David. Most of the trips I've taken in the recent past have been hectic, geared either toward sight-seeing, or toward a recognition of some life event (weddings, graduations, birthdays, and so on). It was fantastically luxurious to have a vacation devoted primarily to relaxation. I actually don't have any beach shots (I was anxious about getting sand in my camera, or having it stolen), but a delightfully large portion of our time was occupied in lazing around the beach, books in hand, dipping into the ocean lagoons, or watching the sun set over the Pacific from one of the several hot tubs scattered around the property. I don't normally frequent resorts; they're just not on my radar for a variety of reasons. But I'm not complaining about the experience!
We did get out and do a bit of historical sight-seeing. My mom grew up in Kailua, and it was great to see the houses she lived in as a kid, and her elementary, intermediate, and high schools. Her old neighborhood, as you'd expect, has changed a lot since she left in 1969, and it was fun to have her re-create for us the un-fenced, middle-class, islandy neighborhood vibe. I could superimpose the image she created over the current complex of concrete-block walls and BMWs. We visited the graves of Jessie Lambdin and Charles Victor Morine, which was surprisingly powerful for me:
I'm normally not much of one for visiting graves, preferring to see, instead, the places that were important to people during their lives. But something about seeing the names of my great-grandparents set down solidly in metal, after having just done so much work "getting to know" them via research and word-of-mouth, was quite touching.
Across the street from the newer cemetery where Jessie and Charles are buried is an older plot, and we wandered over to look at the gorgeous, weathered old stones. I love cemetery photography, and the light could not have been more beautiful. The textures, colors and patinas of the old stones are always so inspiring to me.
Some, like this gorgeous cross, are obviously suggestive of cabled knitting:
We also explored areas full of life, human and otherwise: David, it turns out, is a maniac for snorkeling, and jumped in the water in mask and snorkel almost every day. I had never been out before, so he coached me a bit and by the end of the trip we were all able to spend an afternoon snorkeling at the gorgeous Hanauma Bay Preserve, where we saw a wide variety of beautiful tropical fish (including several beaked parrotfish, and some bearded goatfish - I am irrationally amused by names of fish that incorporate the name of another animal). I don't take easily to the water, but I'm so glad I made an exception, because snorkeling at Hanauma was truly special.
We also had lunch at the Wai'oli Tea Room, a place my mother remembers visiting with her mother, back when it was run by the Salvation Army for the benefit of the orphanage and "home for unwed mothers" that also operated on the premises. Perched on a hill and surrounded by lush greenery, the tea room has the kind of weathered charm that always pulls me in and captures my imagination. And lunch was delicious into the bargain.
We also went up the Pali highway, where lush green peaks were swathed dramatically in heavy mists, like something out of a Japanese print. It's not hard to imagine the epic battle that took place here in 1795, when Kamehameha I's troops cornered those of Kalanikupule on this sheer cliff, forcing them to choose between being speared or jumping to their deaths.
A bit of the old Pali road is preserved below the lookout, and my mom remembers when it was the only way over the pass. She also has a hilarious early-childhood memory of throwing her pacifier out of the car window as they went over the Pali, which was the end of pacifiers for her. Later, we visited Honolulu's Chinatown, and communed with several shop cats while admiring the tropical produce.
My grandmother had a favored lei-maker in this area when her kids were growing up, and when guests were flying in she would always make an early-morning visit to pick up a lei or two. When my folks got married in Portland in 1975, they flew in flowers from the same lei-maker.
Overall, it was a delightful experience. I am still sorting through the hundreds of Charles Victor shots, which will get their own entry. For now, I'll leave you with this panoramic shot of Hanauma bay, which David had the foresight to snap as we were leaving. (As with all the photos, click for a larger view.)