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The Spirit of Aloha

Today Vikki and I are tag-teaming the 28th day of NaBloPoMo. Both of us turned fifty recently and both of us took incredible trips of a lifetime to celebrate that milestone. She traveled all the way across the Atlantic to the frozen tundra of Iceland and I went in the other direction entirely, both literally and figuratively, across the Pacific to Hawaii. We decided to pick one of our favorite scenery pictures from our trip and do a little show and tell.

The picture I chose (above) was taken on Ka’anapali Beach, on the west side of Maui. Ka’anapali was the first planned resort area in Hawaii and has three miles of gorgeous white sand beaches, golf courses, and a shopping and dining complex (Whaler’s Village). The view is spectacular no matter where you look, and when you’re at the beach you can even see Moloka’i (pictured, in the distance), another of the Hawaiian islands.

What I love about this picture–besides the palm trees–is that it reflects a lot of color, which was the experience I had the entire time we were on Maui with the exception of a day and a half of cloudy skies in the middle of our week. When the sun is out, which is most of the time, everything in Hawaii seems to be in vibrant technicolor. The greens are dreamy and the blues are incredibly vivid. In fact, I remember looking at my pictures after snapping them and thinking that the color displayed on my phone wasn’t entirely accurate. I made a mental note to remember that when I looked back on this trip I needed to amp up the color in my head a little bit, so please: you do the same. Look at this picture and imagine that the greens are even more green and the blues are even more blue. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? It’s true.

Jim and I learned about the Spirit of Aloha, which is defined in the Hawaiian Code of Conduct this way:

We shall practice Aloha, the heritage from our ancestors, mindful of the virtues of akahai, lôkahi, `olu`olu, ha`aha`a, and ahonui. These virtues of modesty, harmony, pleasantness, humility and patience reflect a wholesome lifestyle that embraces the Hawaiian connection of land, water and people. It is an essential bond that aligns good living with the natural bounty of the Hawaiian paradise.

We were on an amazing vacation to a place I can only describe as Paradise, so our openness to the idea of a Spirit of Aloha was right there. I can honestly say that we felt it from the time we arrived on the island and had a great conversation with our young cab driver who took us to the hotel after twenty exhausting hours of travel right up until we (sadly) returned the convertible we rented for the week and headed back to the airport. Everyone with whom we had an exchange embodied that Spirit, and it was a big part of the reason I want to get back there some day. The people, the colors, the warmth, the life: it’s all contained right there on that little island.

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The 50th state for my 50th birthday. I love a theme!

Head over to Vikki’s blog for the big cool down (in the best way, of course)!


  • Ann Imig

    You are both giving me a deep breath with these photos. I’ve been to Molokai (once) but nowhere else in Hawaii, which I know is super strange. It looks more like the second photo than the top, but it was sooooo beautiful in its own rustic way.