Remember those rare vacation times when you were allowed to have it all, stay up late, splash in the water after the sunset, eat three desserts and drink as many sodas?
Whether these are part of your cherished memories or you'd like to start now making up for some you never had, you can relieve/recreate them with a visit to the Hualalai's Saturday night Surf, Sand and Fun feast.
Enormous tables of exquisite food, you, barefoot in the sand, tiki torches blazing, Hawaiian music playing, moonlit waves lapping the shore, campfire stoked for making s’mores, what more could you possibly ask for? A tropical drink, perhaps? They have those too. For the next few hours it‘s life as you always imagined it.
After a handmade Mojito at the seaside bar, we browsed the salad tables where tabouli, hummus, ceviche, fresh locally grown salad fixings and Hawaiian specialties such as purple yam salad and seafood poke filled our plates. Settling into the covered lanai area next to the hula dancer and falsetto duet, we lingered as the sun set. Was that a full moon making the foaming waves so bright? The sky was soon dark. The mysterious painter of light was revealed as strategically placed spotlights high in the palm trees above us.
We'd waited too long, wrapped in conversation and the music. Now we had to summon our strength, having grown so relaxed, to make our way once more over the sand to the carving tables and chafing dishes. I tossed off my shoes. I didn't need much more to eat, but the assortment of entrees was too tantalizing. I settled on two grilled lobster tails, fried rice, more ceviche. My husband piled on the carved beef, barbeque ribs and grilled ono.
The music stopped, conversations were muffled under the sound of the waves.
A haunting, sweet smell drifted past our table. Waffle cones? Crème brulee? Roasted marshmallows? Cookies, pies, tarts, cakes, ice cream, risen-before-your eyes miniature soufflés -- all of the above were at the ready for those wise enough to have left a little room. We hadn’t.
The waitress offered Kona coffee but I sipped the last of my dinner wine instead. When I asked her to call a rickshaw to take me back to the villa, I was only half-joking. In this setting, ripped out of time and space, I’d nearly forgotten where I was, momentarily forgetting I was too grown up to expect someone to carry me back to the villa.
Then reality sunk in. Ah, yes, it was the Hualalai. I was smack in the middle of paradise. I was old enough now to fully appreciate its wonder.
Such a rare moment of clarity has seldom felt so good.
by smmmarti guide
September 22, 2004
From journal Black Magic: Living Large on Hawaii's Big Island