by Anniel 4/8/15
Today is April 8, Anno Domini 2015. After a relatively warm and dry winter, not really surprising in a sub-Arctic Desert, it is snowing big, fluffy flakes, so we won’t remove our snow tires today. The snow does make me want, however, to have some fun and revisit our hunt for a wild stuffed bikini on a trip to Hawaii.
Hawaii is the stuff of short term dreams. After awhile, living on an island can be stultifying, especially when everything costs money and then more and more money. Nevertheless, people who get tired of a long Alaska winter frequently find a trip to one of the islands a welcome break. Just the smell of green, growing things makes lungs feel good.
In the old days Western Airlines had a wonderful thing called a “Triangle Fare.” One could fly from Alaska to certain West Coast destinations, then to Hawaii and back again to Alaska at a cost of only $25.00 extra. You could also choose the West Coast/Hawaii/Alaska/back to the West Coast route. Then the airlines added a prize (usually a bottle of champagne) for the passenger who most closely called the time to the half-way point of the flight between Hawaii and Alaska. Bear always won when we flew, and he then gave the champagne to someone who looked thirsty or deserving, or maybe both.
Many years ago, when our first three children had just turned 5, 4, and 2-1/2, we managed enough money take the whole family “Outside.” For all you “Outsiders,” that’s the common local term for anyplace that isn’t Alaska. We got “triangles” for all of us, and went to San Francisco and then the Napa Valley, where Bear’s father joined us, and we took him with us to the Island of Maui.
Our oldest son, Richard, was the 5 year old. While changing planes in Honolulu to head for Maui, he asked his dad and me if he would be able to see a “wild, stuffed bikini” while we were in Hawaii. He was so serious but I did ask where he had heard the term. That brought a shrug like we were nuts for not knowing what he was asking. Bear, of course, pretended to be as puzzled as I was, but finally told Richard to keep his eyes open. So he did. Wide open.
On arrival in Lahaina, Richard’s eyes darted at every woman who walked by wearing a swimsuit and it seemed like every 2 seconds he would ask Dad/Mom/Grandpa “is that a wild stuffed bikini?” The answer for a few days was an exasperated sigh, and “No, sorry.” Finally his father said, “If you have to ask, it isn’t.” He did quit asking.
We decided one morning several days after our arrival to relax at a beautiful secluded beach. Bear and I were out talking and paddling around in the gentle surf, and grandpa was standing on the beach with the kids, who were digging with little shovels and buckets trying to build castles in the sand. I saw Bear look up the beach and his eyes kind of — well, bulged, might be the word. I looked up and saw a couple walking down the beach. The man was just an average nice-looking guy, but to this day I can honestly say I have never seen a more beautiful woman. She was lightly tanned, had very dark shoulder length wavy hair, a gorgeous womanly figure, and she was wearing a rather modest black bikini. She was not flamboyant at all, just absolutely lovely. She also looked intelligent and kind.
As the couple came closer I saw Richard look up, do his own double-take, and then he ran right over to stop in front of the woman. She also stopped as he looked her up and down a few times, then turned to us and, as loud as he could, yelled, “Hey, Dad, now I know what a wild-stuffed bikini is!”
Bless the gorgeous woman’s heart, she smiled and blushed, then patted Richard on the head and went on down the beach, chuckling with her companion. Grandpa turned his back, began whistling and pretended not to know his grandson. I looked at Bear in time to see his red face emerge from the water where he had ducked to hide. He watched the couple walk away, turned to me and said, “Well, the kid has impeccable taste.”
He certainly did, and that moment was worth the price of the trip. • (1823 views)