Monday, March 14, 2011

Hello, Hawaii


Hawaii has been calling me a lot lately, and I know why.  This winter business is really starting to get old, and I know there are a lot of people out there who would agree. 

I’m tired of sleeping under so many blankets that I feel like a pressed flower.  I’m tired of slipping and sliding on ice so much when I walk any place, that I feel like I should be given a score in Olympic figure skating. And I still haven’t gotten over the mental anguish of Stuart’s near tragedy driving over the mountains.  I’m ready for some sun, and sand, and palm trees.  We all are.

And so next Saturday-we are going to answer Hawaii’s call. We are heading to Maui for spring break.

We were under Hawaii's spell from our very first visit.  I remember the excitement I felt before we even got there.  I remember the thrill of getting the plane tickets, and booking our hotel.  I remember how exciting it was just to say “We are going to Hawaii!”  We chose the island of Oahu for that first trip.  I badly wanted to visit the grave of my Uncle Pete-and I also wanted to visit Pearl Harbor so that I could make the journey out to the Arizona memorial.

The minute we stepped off the plane, I knew Hawaii was a place I would love forever.  The beauty there is staggering!  And my Uncle Pete felt the same way. 

Below, he is pictured at the Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor.

Naval hospital Honolulu 1936

  And it was his love of Hawaii that led my grandfather to choose the Punchbowl Cemetery on Oahu for Pete’s final resting place.

August Going diary excerpt front

The excerpt above, dated March 23, 1949, is from a journal my grandfather kept.  It says:

“The recent notice that Roly’s remains can be brought home-more or less the reopening of an old wound!  My conviction  that he’d be at peace in the Islands-he loved it so, over there.” 


The marker for Roland Erich Going Phm2c

(My Uncle Pete)


with Fred Croydon Hawaiii 

My Uncle Pete is on the left, pictured with his friend Fred in Honolulu, and the car they were so proud of.


A photo Pete took of the beach at Waikiki and Diamond Head.  This is the only photo I have that was actually taken by my uncle.

Friends Hawaii

Pete, on the far left, with friends in Honolulu.


During this trip to Maui, we will stay at a tiny vintage motel right on the beach.  We will have plenty of time to soak up the sun, watch the swaying palms and make an important decision.  A decision that started with a box of See’s Peanut Brittle.

Several years ago, I bought the peanut brittle from a friend who was selling it to raise money for the choir group she belonged to.  The cost of the peanut brittle was  $15 and I gave her a twenty-and so she gave me a five dollar bill in change.  This five dollar bill…

Hawaii 5

I went to the website on the bill and I entered the serial number.  And lo and behold, the bill was first registered  by someone in Honolulu!  How cool is that?

I plan on taking the five dollar bill to Maui-but the question will be “to spend or not to spend.”  Part of me wants to return it to Hawaii, where it started it’s journey.  But part of me wants to bring it home again.

And I have to be truthful  and confess that this particular bill has been along on several other trips to Hawaii -and we’ve always decided to bring it home again.

Because if we bring it home again, it gives me hope that there will be a next trip to Hawaii, and another chance to make the decision…

And I want to go back.  My love of  Hawaii is in my blood.

100_8384Oahu 208 copy






  1. Beautiful pics! Hawaii is one of the 8 states I have yet to visit. One day though! I hope!

  2. There are only about 8 states I've never been to, either. (I was born in Virginia, by the way.)
    You will love Hawaii when you visit some day!

  3. Valerie,

    I hope you have a wonderful trip and it sounds like you will. I can tell your heart lives in Hawaii. My boyfriend used to live there and he constantly talks about it.

    I loved the pictures and the story about the five dollar bill. I also don't what I do:~)

    Have fun!

  4. Thank you Sara- I'm guessing the five dollars comes back with us:)
    I bet your boyfriend misses Hawaii, too. It is just so wonderful there!
    Thanks for reading, and commenting:)

  5. Oh, you lucky, lucky girl!!! So excited for you!!!

  6. Great news Valerie! You are delightfully sentimental- it makes your writing rich and detailed. I hope you have a wonderful trip, take lots of pictures and have lots to tell us when you get back!

  7. Thanks Melissa! I'm ready to go! (And eat some chocolate covered macadamia nuts!)

    And thanks Kim-I'll take lots of pictures and hopefully I'll get a great blog post-or two from the trip. At least I'll have to write about the fate of the $5:)

  8. I love your $5 bill story! I have a sneaking suspicion that bill will be with you all your life, a symbol of your love for Hawaii, and your intent to always return. I've never been to Hawaii, but hope to see it one day.

  9. Thanks Joanne! I have a sneaking suspicion you are right-I don't think I'd have the heart to spend that $5. I hope you get to see Hawaii some day too:)

  10. How cool is that? I can't wait to see photos of your trip and read about your adventures.