Several of our friends have time shares in Hawaii. One couple has a condo on Kauai and the other on Maui. I would happily spend a week in a tent on the beach just to see that beautiful azure water and lie on the warm sand again. Sigh.
I consider myself fortunate, however, to have been able to visit four times in my life, the last trip being in 1982, which was also the longest at three weeks. After landing in Honolulu we spent four days enjoying the nightlife in Honolulu, swimming, and just generally “hanging loose” on Waikiki. From there we took an island hopper to Kauai and spent several days there before heading on to Maui, ending up on the big island of Hawaii before going home. On Kauai we visited the Fern Grotto, went snorkeling, and added a clothing size at some of fabulous local restaurants. On our final night on the island, we decided to mark a suitable ending to our time by signing up for an evening Catamaran dinner cruise along the Na Pali Coast, later dubbed “the booze cruise”, by one of the other guests. The general feeling was that he dubbed it that due to the fact that he had consumed well beyond his limit of the liquor supplies on board and most likely had used up part of someone elses portion. Someone joked that he’d stepped up to the bar so many times he could now legally practice law in the state of Hawaii. Argh.
Alcohol is interesting. If you are with a group who have all consumed about the same amount of liquor, being way too much, everyone shares the same sense of humor. They totally get why you are wearing your underwear on the outside of your pants, and applaud the fact that you are standing on the eave of your roof at 3 a.m. with a beer in your hand contemplating your dive into the 4 ft. round kiddie pool in the back yard. Not only do they get it, but they have pulled up lawn chairs and are taking bets on whether or not you’ll hit the pool, and commend your forward thinking for having come up with idea in the first place. If, however, you are the only one that has exceeded the legal limit for drinking not involving a hospital visit, you just look really, really stupid. The latter was the case for the man on the catamaran that night.
Weather conditions were perfect for the cruise. Cocktails were served soon after we were out of the harbor and under full sail. An excellent selection of pu pu’s were provided along with the well-laced mai tai’s and pina coladas. For most of the trip we shadowed the coastline enjoying watching the waves crash against the rocky hillsides spraying water high above. As the sun dipped below the horizon, soft lighting and a trio of Hawaiian musicians added to the ambience, well, the music would have if we could have heard them. Our three sheets to the wind friend, now incapable of forming a single syllable, had launched into the joke telling portion of the evening. As he got more obnoxious, his wife kept looking nervously over the side of the boat. I couldn’t decide if she was trying to determine if we were close enough to shore to swim for it or how fast he’d sink if she tied an anchor on him and dropped him over the side. As a group took a silent vote for the anchor, as it seemed she’d already suffered enough.
Dinner was served on thatched plates topped with a palm frond, touristy but fun. Well cooked with an expected Hawaiian theme, it consisted of a delicious roasted pork (supposedly buried in the ground, but I suspect it was more like hidden under the hood of an outside grill, nonetheless yummy), garlic shrimp skewers, rice, rolls, and salad, followed by light desserts. All good. Our high-octane friend loaded his plate at dinner, and with a simple roll of the ocean, sort of a “now you see it now you don’t” move, unloaded it on the gentlemen in the Hawaiian print shirt sitting next to him. Then, in a clumsy attempt to be helpful poured his drink on the man’s trouser leg while ensuring with a swipe of the hand that the pork was now thoroughly smeared in the man’s shirt. Smooth, very smooth. His wife was definitely eyeing the anchor at this point.
When our trip came to a close and the harbor was in view I was sorry to have it behind me, but glad to see the hotel. After disembarking, I met nearly every woman on board in the Ladie’s Room because with one small head on board the catamaran we all needed a pottie break. Women, unlike men, do not take a newspaper or the latest Consumer’s Digest in with us and make a day of it, but we do congregate in front of the mirror for a quick touch up and to run a brush through our hair. It was determined that all of us were staying at the same hotel, including Mrs. Boozer. Someone suggested a “nightcap”. The Mrs. mumbled something about the last thing her husband needed was a nightcap and guided him towards the elevator. Shortly afterwards after tucking him in bed she decided to join us and an hour or so later we all headed up to our rooms. Three couples, including ourselves and the Mrs., got off on the same floor.
Towards the end of the hall a small crowd had gathered outside of an open door. The Mrs., realizing it was her room they were looking in, picked up the pace, fearing the worst. Peeking in the door, her husband was passed out face down on the bed wearing nothing but the lei they’d given us on the boat, giving new meaning to the expression “bottoms up”. I would have taken him out again the next night and brought my own anchor.
I got this recipe out of Better Homes and Gardens. Really good.
Sangria Peach Compote with Ice Cream
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup honey
2 cups peaches, pitted, peeled, and sliced
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. brandy
1 Tbsp. Cointreau
1 Tbsp. chopped mint
Vanilla bean ice cream
Bring wine, honey, and peaches to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until fruit has softened and mixture has thickened slightyly, about 10 mins. Swirl in butter and remove from heat. Add lemon juice, zest, btrandy, Cointreau and mint. Serve with ice cream. Serves 4.