My body is definitely starting to adjust to Hawaii time! I slept 9 glorious hours last night, waking up at 7; but it felt like the day was half over by the time we picked up the Strawns at 8:30 to head up the mountain toward Waimea.
Saturdays are Farmer’s Market Days in a lot of these small Hawaiian towns and Waimea is no exception. They have at least two every weekend and Mike and I make a point of visiting this amazing little town every chance we get. (If we were to ever live here full time, this is where we would settle; two awesome schools, a hospital, grocery store, CVS, ACE hardware and even a McDonald’s nestled among gorgeous mountain views. We would attend the film festival every January and grab fresh fruit and veggies every weekend. Join the adorable little Episcopal church that does their service on the beach every Sunday. In other words, it has most of the necessities one would need with beautiful little neighborhoods just walking distance of town.)
Anyway, as we inched along the highway in Big Lou, climbing higher and higher to 2500 feet, Turner commented that the terrain looked like West Texas. We would have to agree, until you reach the wet side of town, where it looks more like Ireland. The wet side of Waimea gets a lot of rain, so much so that you can see from the coast a defined line marking the difference. Brown and rough immediately gives way to lush and green as you approach town so it’s easy to tell which side you are on. Luke dropped us off at the entrance of the market which basically takes over the grounds of The Parker School and as we all climbed out, the cold and rain hit us quickly. Mack, so sure of himself while still in the van, declared no need for any extra layers, until 2 minutes later, when he yelled out, shivering, that he “wanted to go back to Hawaii!” Honestly, none of us were truly prepared; even with my raincoat, I still wasn’t warm enough to last too long. I did, however, appreciate hearing these 7 sweet words come out of my oldest, “I should have listened to my mother!” (I had suggested he bring his raincoat while we were still at the condo.) That’s probably the ONLY time I will ever hear that in my life!:)
We did make the most of our time at the Farmer’s Market though. We found the sweetest little baby lamb and chatted with its owner, a young girl who clearly knew what she was doing. The girls loved petting this one month old. (Her name was Butterscotch!) And, Mike finally got his BLT —
he has been waiting 18 months for that sandwich. Last year, we made the mistake of grabbing a quick bite somewhere on the way TO the market so that by the time we got there and he smelled the BLT stand, he was angry at himself for missing the chance to eat a gourmet BLT. Paige, Dan and I had Nutella crepes which were so rich, we couldn’t dare finish them. That worked out ok because Paige had lots of people for us to meet and talk with — a sweet couple from Oahu that is considering a move to Tulsa to study Cyber Security, another family from St. Louis visiting their uncle who owns a macadamia nut farm on the east side of the island, and then Harry, the Hawaiian Hand Kisser. Harry and his family have lived in the Pacific for 20 years. He is a 21 year old affectionate young man with Down Syndrome who took a liking to the girls and had to kiss their hands. He lives here on the island with his family and is a precious young man!
The weather finally got the best of us so we all climbed back into Big Lou, which took us back down the island while all 10 of us had a lively debate about what to do next. Mike and Luke offered to take the kids to the beach and let Paige and me sneak off to the shops. They didn’t have to ask us twice. We hit Mauna Lani and Waikaloa and then came home to rest before dinner. The kids enjoyed more snorkeling at the Beach Club and were excited to meet the babysitter later that evening.
We found a sweet young lady getting her Master’s in Education to watch the four littles while the adults took Dan and Turner out to a fancy dinner. Merriman’s is one of our favorite restaurants in the world. This particular location back up in Waimea is not known for it’s view (Merriman’s Kapalua is) but has wonderful ambiance inside and the best seafood, salads and desserts anywhere. It was so wonderful to spend time with our boys again tonight. They appreciated the chance to be included and raved about the bread, desserts, even the coffee. I loved hearing Luke ask Dan if he would join us all if we were to return together 2 years from now, realizing that Dan will be a freshman in college by then. (Of course, the answer was YES!) It makes my heart happy to watch these wonderful friends fall in love with this special place. In fact, Bodie has declared that he will live here forever as a grown up and run a fishing boat tour. Turner, the toughest nut to crack (he loves his OK and TX roots) admitted that Hawaii is his second favorite place to be… proof that my plan is working… get all my friends to love this place as much as I do!