Virtual Vacay : Hawaii

by Saranda Rasmusson

While the weather starts to warm up at a snail’s pace, all the tropical summer vacations of our dreams are starting to surface. Who wouldn’t want to take a week off and jet to a tropical place to lounge on a toasty beach with a fruity drink in their hand? Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Well, don’t you worry, because that’s exactly what we’re doing today! A Virtual Vacay to Hawaii!

Palm trees! You look down to the islands rising before you and see deep turquoise water butting up against the light sand beaches. It’s like a scene from a travel magazine! Is that a volcano? It is! And tropical trees and flowers everywhere! After grabbing your camera, half-empty water bottle, and bag from below your seat, you step off the plane and are greeted with a warm “Aloha!” and a lei around your neck. Its fresh, flowery scent is floating up to your nose as you follow the crowd to your first destination: the beach!

With a fruity drink in your hand, you find a nice place to watch the waves crash onto the shore and truly take in the beauty around you. While you sit and sift soft sand through your fingers and finish your drink, you hear a noise growing behind you. When you turn around, you realize it’s a farmers’ market, filled with the freshest, yummiest looking fruit you’ve ever seen! Once you get closer, you see just how many tents and tables are involved. There’s everything from pineapples, mangoes, and papayas, to handmade bracelets and so many flowers! After about two hours of wandering around, you walk away with another lei around your neck and a couple around your wrist. You also have the receipt for the two crates of fruit being sent back home tucked away in your pocket.

On your way back to the beach, you run into a snorkeling boat that’s just about to go out, and you can’t pay the guy to get on fast enough! After the ten minute training video, and about twenty minutes of figuring out how to put the gear on, you finally jump into the warm water. The first thing you see is a huge turtle swim past you, then what looks like a million tiny orange fish. You notice how clear and blue the water is, and it seems like you can see for miles! Once you swim out a little further, you see it: the reef! A million colors explode before you as you swim over to it. Coral in every shape and size with some swaying with the current and some that look like the permanent dwelling of a few hundred brightly colored fish. There are sea horses with their tails wrapped around green stalks of sea greenery, and something that you can’t tell if it’s alive or not seems to be staring back at you. A huge ecosystem lies before your very eyes, spread out in some of the most vibrant colors and unique shapes you’ve ever seen.

Once you’re out of the water and back on shore, you see that the beach isn’t like it was before. It’s being prepared for a luau! The sweet smell of food roasting on the many fires scattered around the beach makes your mouth water. Tables are set up everywhere with food and drinks and more leis! A stage is being set up for dancing and music, and it’s starting to look like you’re going to get an authentic Hawaiian experience tonight. You rush back to your hotel to change, and rush back to the beach for a night of dancing to great music and eating amazing food!

What a trip that was! I hope you had as much fun on that vacay as I did!