Quarantine Adventures: Time to Leave Shangri-La

The time has come for Jim and I to leave our special safe, peaceful cocoon in Waianae, on the west shore of Oahu.

It’s hard to believe I haven’t written for over a month. But I wasn’t feeling it. Like most of you reading this, for most of the last several months, we hunkered down, stayed really close to home and got groceries only when needed. We were very lucky though in that our home for the last several months was our little piece of paradise here on our condo overlooking Papaoneone beach in Waianae .

We had the opportunity to get organic vegetables delivered weekly from the one of the local farms and that has really opened our eyes to a whole new group of vegetables. At the same time, our friend Rose also shared a lot of her amazing home-grown vegetables and fresh eggs. We decided to focus on getting as healthy as we could. As a result, Jim and I each lost 10 pounds! We are exercising everyday, drinking a lot less alcohol and cutting all carbs to a minimum. We changed from drinking our elixir first thing in the morning, to after our morning exercise, and we are eating dinner earlier. We decided that our best shield against COVID was to get as healthy as we could. We’ve worked on our strength, our stamina and our mobility and we both feel great. We like our new lighter bodies and we hope to enjoy this change for the rest of our lives. Of course living in Hawaii makes it much easier to exercise because the weather is consistently nice, and the beach and the golf course are so close. It will be a challenge to maintain this new level of exercise when we get back to the boat and the mountains, but we think and hope we are up to the challenge!

At the end of May, Oahu finally opened the beaches and that was a great relief (the ocean was always open for swimming or surfing but we weren’t allowed to sit in the sun or read while on the beach). I was truly getting condo fever so we took a drive all the way around the island. The lack of traffic made it quite delightful. We’ve never snorkeled at the very popular Sharks Cove on the north shore (it has nothing to do with sharks), but the lack of crowds made it doable this time. The area has crystal clear water and lots of fish and coral. It’s a bit challenging to get in the water but really worth it. All things considered we still like our little beach and snorkeling area the best, but Sharks Cove is a “must visit” if you ever have the chance.

I liked this black and orange fish.
It was hard to capture but this school of fish were moving like a waterfall from one side of the coral to the other

The local golf courses finally re-opened and it was great playing again. With his new hip and increased strength and mobility Jim has really upped his golf game. We’ll probably play one more time before coming back to the PNW.

Here’s James’s avatar in Minecraft and one of our large structures complete with a glass roof.

We also enjoyed more video time with family and friends. Jim and I have become passable at Minecraft (creative mode only). We’ve built homes, built tunnels, farmed, gathered and fed cattle, sheep, pigs and llamas. Jim and James have been particularly good at building towers and digging underground tunnels. We tried to do some more advanced engineering stuff with pistons and “redstone” without success, even calling in and expert after failing. Turns out the problem is a glitch in the “pocket edition” (PE) version of the game that we use on our iPads that interferes with “redstone” engineering, so it wasn’t our fault that we couldn’t figure it out!

Of course, last week, we watched the SpaceX crewed mission to the International Space Station blast off simultaneously on video with the grandkids and and separately live streaming on Facebook with Saul and Shakira. It was so exciting! We loved Robert exclaiming, “they said they are on a mission!”

Given the terrible news from the the same day I find this photo of the NASA broadcast particularly hopeful for the future.

We’ve continued to play bridge with friends online and even created a little bracket tournament that went extremely well. Continuing to play bridge online has been another fun part of this crazy time, although we look forward to playing in person again.

Ceremonial eating!

This week the restaurants and the hair salons in Oahu finally re-opened! My hair was completely out of control and I was shedding like a very hairy dog. I kept thinking there were bugs on me, but it was only my hair shedding. Given the extreme pent up demand in the Seattle area I thought I should give someone a go here and I found a small salon in Haleiwa that could cut curly hair. Adonia Salon is a small family business and it was fantastic. After getting my haircut in Haleiwa we splurged on a meal at the Beach House. We even got a piece of carrot cake in the morning to go with our ice coffee! It was a delightful day. Although Jim has reached his weight goal, I still have two more pounds to lose, so we will continue to eat super healthy. Maybe we will do one more meal out before coming home on Thursday, but until then, veggies and a small amount of protein will be our usual fare.

Of course, these last two weeks have been so sad and scary. Like all of you we were shocked, saddened, appalled, and angered by the behavior of the four Minneapolis police officers. The fact that three officers watched while the other officer slowly suffocated George Floyd was shocking for us. Hopefully, this will finally lead to reforms both within police departments and within the inner city communities that have endured such high levels of violence (the vast majority of which are not caused by police officers). I’ve shared a lot on FB posts on this, from experts and opinion leaders. I don’t really want to play it all out again here. Hopefully, we will look back on 2020 as a year of Quantum Change in our society by peacefully working together to make things better through our hard work, our words, our kindness and our votes.

We really haven’t had protests here in Hawaii until this week. Thankfully, they have been appropriate and peaceful, and there has been no rioting or looting. Dealing with the scary nature of the protests in Seattle has been another exhausting challenge for Jasmine and Saul and the rest of the team at Dick’s. Once again we are amazed by their strength and leadership. Here is a link to Jasmine’s letter that she shared with our employees and customers.

I’m writing this blog on our deck watching the sun set. Three more sunsets to go until we fly home on Thursday!

We don’t know exactly what we will be doing when we get back. Our hope is that the Canadian border re-opens and that, after we spend some quality time with friends and family in the Seattle area, we will still cruise north for our annual True Love Adventure in the beautiful coastal waters of British Columbia. We also hope that the peaceful protests and violent riots and looting don’t lead to an explosion of the virus. We should all know that within a couple of weeks.

Mostly, we look forward to seeing our grandkids. After reading the medical literature about the lack of transmission of the virus from children under 10 to adults, we are willing to take a small risk to gain the healing power of hugs from James and Robert. Elbow bumps will have to do for Saul, Shakira, Jasmine, David and other friends and family. I’m such a “huggy” person that this will be particularly hard for me, but I’ll get through it.

I’ll leave you all with one of our best sunsets from our time here since February. It’s been interesting experiencing the seasons of Hawaii as we moved through winter and spring. It’s definitely getting more humid. The sands of the beach have shifted to the north exposing the rocks on the south near LahiLahi. I find myself longing for the mountain air and the sounds of the seasonal waterfalls at Snoqualmie Pass.

Stay well, stay healthy, stay connected and please be kind!

Light from the darkness

2 thoughts on “Quarantine Adventures: Time to Leave Shangri-La

  1. Seattle will still be Seattle when you get back. We as a country have saved lives by shutting down but at a tremendous economic cost . Your Hawaiian idyllic stay has been vicariously gratifying. All that beauty in one place and you reminded us of that reality.

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