All that overwhelming beauty


I’m not just jet-lagged today. I’m experiencing a sort of sensory trough after being overwhelmed by stimuli that unfairly increased what my brain expects to be fed.

After the many gorgeous sights — and tastes, and smells, and sounds — of Thailand, there were those ridiculous couple of days in Hawaii. I had been there before, of course — it was where I had graduated from high school. But I was reminded of why I had trouble, back in my college years, adjusting to the mainland scenery.

This was underlined by my wife’s reaction, during the tour our friend Burl Burlingame gave us of Ford Island, and on a drive the next day around Diamond Head, and on up the Windward coast as far as Kailua — then back across the mountains with a stop at Pali Lookout. She had never been there before, and every place we stopped, she got out and started shooting video with her iPad, turning and exclaiming over the water, the mountains, the colors, the light, that incredible Hawaii air…

A most satisfying experience. I’d be like, “I think you’ll like this next thing,” and she’d be all like, “Wow!” I was never disappointed in her reaction.

My eyes have been filled these last days. Now, back on the diet…

13 thoughts on “All that overwhelming beauty

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Actually, I’m not sure my wife exclaimed over the AIR, exactly.

    But for me, that’s always been one of the most remarkable things about Hawaii. It’s just hard to show in a photo.

    The air is always warm but not hot. You don’t need air-conditioning, as long as you’re in a place that is adequately ventilated.

    It’s fresh, and gives your more of a motivation to inhale than air elsewhere does. I mean… here, you HAVE TO inhale to live. There, you WANT TO.

    I remember coming to South Carolina (getting ready to go to college) in August 1971 after living in Hawaii for a year or so. I went out for a walk one of my first days back on the mainland, and by the time I had walked half a block, I was breaking out in this really uncomfortable sweat, and starting to feel like the air was too thick to breathe. I thought I was having a stroke. But it was just the humidity…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      OK, I just said the air is always warm. Sometimes not. There was a definite coolness Sunday up on Pali. Because we were in the mountain mist and exposed to the powerful drafts of the windward side.

      But generally speaking, the air is deliciously warm…

  2. Bryan Caskey

    Since Brad has now posted, I think it’s safe to say we can pull the old blog-mobile over to the side of the road and let him drive the rest of the way. I’m gonna climb in the way-back and complain with the rest of you kids.

    Seriously, though: It’s been fun to guest-post, and I’d like to thank Mr. Globe-Trotter for trusting me with the keys to the car while he was away.

    [We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.]

    1. Doug Ross

      Here’s a 21 gun salute in your honor, Bryan. I know you will appreciate it.


  3. Norm Ivey

    My bride and I went to Arizona–Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Sunset Crater–a couple of years ago. I grew up out there, but she had never seen anything like that scenery. We drove through Oak Creek Canyon in a convertible with the top down. It’s a wonder she didn’t get whiplash with all the twisting and turning to see everything. Leaving Sunset Crater we stopped on the crest of a hill where you could see 40 miles to the Painted Desert. Wow, oh, wow, oh, wow!

    Seeing something with someone who has never seen it before can be more fun than seeing it yourself for the first time.


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