By Melissa.Schroeder On May 19 2012, 1:49 am
As many people know, I lived in Hawaii for three years. I have been back twice and it is now becoming a yearly (or more than yearly) visit for me. Why?Since the HARMLESS books are set in Hawaii for the most part, I can write part of the trip off of taxes. This time, though, I got to do something extra special. I love going with my family and enjoying Hawaii, don't get me wrong. Our youngest was born there and such as military life, she was only 27 months old when we left, so she only has hazy memories and pics we show her. So the spring of 2010, that trip served the purpopse. This time, though, I got to take my best friend and personal assistant, Brandy Walker. We were on a mission, ya see. A mission to get some HAWAIIAN GOODIES.
It was definitely a different experience going to Hawaii with someone who had never been there. I could show her all the different places that locals go, places I have mentioned to her, and just enjoy the beauty of the islands. I actually wish we had at least two weeks there so we could island hop, but that just wasn't going to happen cuz I think our hubbies would revolt, lol. One of the greatest things on the trip, and i think Brandy agrees with me, was the trip to the Aloha Swap Meet. It is THE place on Oahu to visit for all the Hawaiian goodies you want to take home. Entry fee is 1 buck per person and it is worth it. Brandy and I came home with so much stuff to give away, including my Big Giveaway for the Brenda Novak Diabetes Auction. And, when I meet up with the Harmless Addicts in New Orleans for Authors After Dark, I will have a bunch of goodies to give them straight from Hawaii. I am now convinced I need to do this once a year, but Mr. Mel is very skeptical for some reason. Check out Wayde's World Video on it. Safe for work and definitely a great overview!
But, beyond the goodie shopping, I wanted to show Brandy what I talk about in my books. Hawaii isn't just a place on the map. Not for the people who live there–just like Aloha is not a just aword. It is a state of mind, one that you can only appreciate if you take the time to pay attention. Along with the hustle and bustle that makes up Oahu, and it has 800K+ on that little island, there is an underlying state of mind. No one is really in a hurry, and you should always help your neighbor out. One of the things I like to always point out, though, is that they are people. They are just you and me, and everyone else you know. They have the same problems, the same issues with family and work, but, there is that spirit there that just makes it so much easier to handle.
Another great thing is I got to show Brandy my favorite drive, a few of them in fact, and we even went to the Dole Plantation. I also stopped by my old stomping grounds of Hickam AFB where lived when Mr Mel was stationed there. A trip to Hawaii is not complete for the Schroeders unless we hit up one of the bases for Mongolian BBQ. It was a little crazier than normal this time, but for those of you who have never been, there is a table filled with fruits, nuts, veggies, and extras (brown sugar, ginger, etc) then you add whatever meat you want and they cook it for you. It is SCRUMPTIOUS. It also allowed us to stop by the Missing Man Formation on base.
But as they say, all good things must come to an end. I am already trying to plan another trip back later this year so that I can pick up goodies for the next AAD, and I am really looking forward to it. It is one of the few places we lived where I feel the need to get everyone to love it…because there is so much there to love.
And, if you want to keep up with all things Hawaiian and Harmless, make sure you are an ADDICT.
Aloha and A hui ho,