Thursday, August 1, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Linking up with Bonnie again this week for another round of retro memories...
I'm still digging through all those boxes underneath my desk.  The purging process has slowed considerably, though, as we ramp up for both a LATE family vacation and the start of the school year shortly after we return from Florida (more on that later...)  

In my digging, I came across a whole stack of pictures from a Hawaii vacation in 1981.  My parents LOVED to travel and we made some major trek every summer to national parks, beaches, campgrounds...always in the car, always with the Kenny Rogers cassette tapes, and always with stops along the way to various rock shops and roadside stands.  This particular summer, though, my parents decided that they needed to take their close friends on a trip to Hawaii.  These friends were from New York and had never been to Hawaii before, so what better tour guide than my mother who had grown up there and still had people there?  She conspired with her best friend, Irene, to put together the multi-island tour of a lifetime...and it was!  (If you've been reading here for awhile, you'll recognize Irene's name.  In 1981, I thought she was just my mom's best friend, just "Auntie Irene."  Later I found out that she was my BIRTH grandmother.  Read here and here for further clarification on that confusion.)

Irene and my mom took us around all the touristy sites on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Hawaii.  As many times as I had been to Hawaii with Granny for summer vacations, I had never been to the outlying islands and certainly had never done any of the touristy things, so this was a whole new experience for me.   
this is the whole group of us outside a hotel waiting for my dad to pick us up
We traveled in a giant pack of six or seven at all times, which is normal for me now, but completely unnerving for 11-year old me.  When you're used to being an only child, adding even one other kid in the backseat can be a tumultuous experience.  On one of the islands, we rented a station wagon.  My parents sat in the front seat.  Their friends sat in the back.  And their 13 year old son was my traveling companion in the rear-facing backseat with two suitcases piled in between us so we wouldn't have to look at each other.  I remember thinking on that whole vacation how nice it would have been if these friends had had a daughter instead of a son.  (ugh...I despised that kid.)

Despite suffering through the close proximity of a 13 year old boy for two weeks, I thoroughly enjoyed that vacation.  It was so fun to hear my parents talk about their island home with so much pride and delight.  Their friends LOVED the trip and were overwhelmed at the beauty of the islands and the warmth of the people they met.  
Macadamia Nut Factory, Hawaii
Fern Grotto, Kauai
Diamond Head, Oahu (it's that volcano in the background)
this is a postcard, but this is what our sinks actually looked like in the hotel...I was totally impressed
Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Hawaii

I loved looking through all these old pictures and once again got completely lost in the memories of this amazing trip.  I'm so grateful that my parents decided to take their friends on that tour and to have all those memories of the wonders and sights of Hawaii ingrained in my memory.  I love that I can claim that place as my heritage.  And we look forward to re-creating that trip for our kids in the coming summers.  


  1. Love this! How wonderful for you to go back in time and relive such an awesome time.

    You were so cute! : )

    And I am still voting for ya!

  2. Great pictures! So funny that you would stop at rock shops, that is my dad's love too, so that is something we would have always done. In fact, the only time my family went camping was to a fossile area for a rock hunt. :)

  3. That sink is so cool - I wish we could get away with that at my house :) Love the pics!

  4. The way you described being loaded in the station wagon, traveling for two weeks, being stuck in the back with the annoying 13 year old...and the's the making of an old movie! You brought me back in time when I noticed your sun visor and shorts in the one photo. I had a visor like that as well as the shorts! Too funny :) One of my dear friends is also from Hawaii. She was born and raised there, entered the army as a nurse, and ended up in Illinois, where I met her. Her parents are banana farmers. I completely enjoyed this post. What a beautiful island (s)! I'll need to go back and read up on your two other links!