It has been the kind of weekend a person only dreams about. After several weeks of kicking around possibilities and probabilities, the plans were finalized only yesterday.
I have already pinched myself in disbelief at least ten or twelve times so far today. Yes, my friends, today Googie has big news, and I mean BIG.
If you know us personally, you know that six or seven times over the past ten years Pa-pa and I have enjoyed vacations in Hawaii. Most of these have been spent immersed in the breathtakingly beautiful tropical paradise of the island of Maui.
On one of our early trips to the island, while snorkeling near Black Rock off Ka'anapali Beach, we became acquainted with Aolani and Kanunu, native Hawaiians who work at the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, where we often stay. The couple live in a beautiful home just down the beach a ways from the more commercial, touristy area.
A couple weeks ago, we learned that Aolani and Kanunu plan to spend a year on the mainland lending their expertise in native Hawaiian language and culture to a research project conducted at a university located not too far from our home here in the Midwest. What began as a phone conversation Kanunu initiated to get our advice on a temporary living arrangement has ended with an unbelievable solution: beginning in June, we are going to swap homes for a year.
Even as I stare at the words I just typed, I find myself incredulous. However, it doesn't take long to wrap my mind around what this actually means. For a year, Pa-pa and I will drift off to sleep to the sound of the ocean lapping the shore. We will begin every morning with a pot of coffee, a bottle of Bailey's, and a two-mile saunter where we squish our toes into the soft, wet sand of Ka'anapali Beach.
Two or three times a week we will venture into nearby Lahaina to take in the night life there. We will sit under its world-famous banyan tree, which has grown in 140 years to encompass two-thirds of an acre. We will breathe in the night air rolling landward off the ocean and eat dinner in all our favorite places, including the Cool Cat, where our friend Captain Eric croons and strums as long as the restaurant management keeps him adequately plied with Captain Morgan.
The longest we have ever stayed on Maui at once has been two weeks. Then, it was always a countdown as the days slipped by way too fast, shrouded in the awareness, always present in the back of our minds, that the dreaded day of departure was never far away.
The one down side, of course, is how much we will miss the kids and grandkids. But there is always Skype, and I am hoping that vacations can be arranged so that everyone can come and spend a couple weeks or more with us a time or two while we are there. I love the idea of splashing in the ocean and building sand castles with Sooby, Pooh, Bootsie, and the two baby boys.
Like I said, it has been the kind of weekend a person only dreams about. And that is just what I did. I sat at my computer and dreamed this whole thing up.
Confession time. I just couldn't resist. We really do love Hawaii, but we have no immediate plans to go back there.
You guessed it. April Fool's.
P.S. Followers and Facebook Friends: I would love for you to comment, but please do so discreetly. Help me keep the joke going, at least for the rest of the day!