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Love Takes Many Forms
Dedicated to my HunnyBunny
Submitted by Donna
Love takes many forms, and I've experienced them all in Hawaii.
As a child growing up on Maui, I was surrounded by the love of family and friends. My ohana included a vast array of loving people besides my immediate family--almost every adult I knew was "aunty" or "uncle" and cousins were cousins, even if they were on some far off branch of the family tree. Many of my fondest memories are of the beach: picnics of shoyu chicken and musubi, chasing sand crabs, bonfires with high school buddies, bodysurfing at Big Beach, gathering opihis and seaweed for luaus.
School and work brought me to the mainland, where I've now lived for more than twenty years. However, I still think of myself as a "local" and my annual visits have helped me stay connected to the place and people I love.
As much as I've enjoyed every trip back to the islands, my last one was the best ever, because I've finally met the man of my dreams, and we were in Hawaii to plan our wedding! Seeing Oahu through his eyes was like seeing the island for the very first time. In fact, it was at his insistence that I swam at Waikiki beach for the first time--and I loved it. Instead of bodysurfing, I simply reclined in my beloved's arms, buoyed by the warm, gentle water, and watched the people from all over the world who were there enjoying paradise with us. We had romantic dinners (and the best examples of Pacific Rim cuisine) at Alan Wong's and Hoku's. And yes, we chased sand crabs at Sunset Beach.
This Spring we'll be married in Honolulu. My 94-year-old grandfather will walk me down the aisle. All the aunties and uncles and cousins will be there. Many of our friends from California will be joining us, and in the days before the wedding we'll have the joy of introducing them to snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, kayaking off Kailua Beach, and hiking up to the rim of Diamond Head Crater.
Then, for our honeymoon, we'll spend a week on Maui. I'll show my husband where we had family picnics at Kamaole Beach Park; we'll go hiking in Iao Valley, just as I used to do with my high school pals; we'll watch the sunrise from Haleakala; we'll ride the Sugar Cane Train in Lahaina; we'll brave the winding road to the rain forests of Hana; and yes, we'll chase sand crabs on the beach! Love comes full circle.