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Last Night in Paradise
Dedicated to Tom
Submitted by Laura
Laura and Tom, AKA Mommy and Daddy. On first "solo" outing since birth of child ten months previous.
Big Island, Hawaii. A shabby – yet not chic – bed and breakfast in Na'alehu, a little town splitting the distance between Kona and Hilo, somewhere in the vicinity of Volcano National Park. Remarkably, quite in the middle of nowhere.
Initially consider leaving, but hosts are pleasant, place is clean, and a hot tub's on the deck. We stay. Deem neighbors' backyard cows and cock-fighting roosters "quaint" despite their early morning wakeup calls.
Approximately 6:30 p.m. Last of seven days exploring Oahu and the Big Island.
Eat dinner locally. Pack. Get some sleep in preparation for hour-and-a-half drive back to airport, various flights, and small daughter we'd left behind at Grandma's house in Connecticut.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENS:
Surprise! All two of the town's eateries (neither seeming to fully qualify as a "restaurant") are shuttered. It's high school graduation night!
Famished, we polish off all leftover fruits and snacks accumulated during our travels. Oh, and the remainder of the margarita makings. (!!!)
"Forget the packing, honey. We've got all night. Hot tub party!"
Sporting soggy trunks and clutching a moist ten dollar bill, Tom darts barefoot across the road to the area's only convenience store. "We need more snacks!" Like a deer caught in headlights, he freezes upon spying one of Hawaii's finest. He continues on only when it registers that perhaps the officer is more interested that night in drunken drivers, not silly tourists.
Waking early (and far less fuzzy-headed than we deserve), we walk hand-in-hand through the neighborhood. "Goodbye, chickens. So long, cows!" Most unforgettable, however, are the serenading guitars and voices of diehard revelers still celebrating the previous evening's commencement festivities. They wave to us from their lanais.
Mahalo! For Hawaiian romance's varying forms: quiet moments, adventures (expected and not), love, and laughter.