Of snorkeling, sunsets and centipedes | Two Decades of Kids and Counting | Sally Torbey | Palo Alto Online |


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By Sally Torbey

Of snorkeling, sunsets and centipedes

Uploaded: Jul 13, 2014

We spent the first few days of our Hawaiian vacation ridding our rental home of occupants of the creepy-crawly kind. The first night I came within inches of stepping barefoot on a four-inch centipede in the bathroom. Then there were the numerous cockroaches residing in the shower. On our second morning, while we munched breakfast cereal, we were joined by two mice racing frantically around the kitchen, although watching our six-foot three-inch son escape the mice by catapulting himself up onto the counter provided some comic relief.

While the vacation home rental company was more blasé about these unregistered guests that we would have hoped, after a day or two we were left sharing our home with only friendly little neon-green lizards, although we did continue to vigilantly scan the baseboards for other visitors and step gingerly.

We greatly enjoyed our daily visits with the rest of the island's wildlife on snorkeling excursions. I love placing my masked face into the ocean and being instantly transported to a vast undersea world. Floating above the reef, watching fish of all sizes, shapes, and colors nibble on coral and dart about defending their turf, or just float rhythmically in the surge of the waves, is transformative. Encountering sea turtles while snorkeling is particularly exciting, they appear to soar effortlessly through the water, flapping wing-like flippers in slow motion.

Like the expansive ocean, the sunsets in Hawaii make the sky seem like a vast dome painting. We were treated to breathtaking sunsets that lasted for hours, starting with the orange glow streaking through the blue sky as the sun approached the horizon and slips below, and ending with deep purple and bright pink clouds reflecting the light in the east.

I find the warm water, trade wind breezes, gorgeous scenery, and an abundance of fascinating ocean creatures all very restorative. I love being a seemingly invisible but privileged observer to their beautiful world. It was worth putting up with a few unwanted house guests!