A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: globalmomma



Hi All,

Thank you to all of you who have been faithfully following globalmomma and my blog throughout Italy. I have decided to start a new blog for our adventures here in Hawai'i, since it looks like we will be here for more than a few weeks.

This blog will be filled with the same types of stories - daily adventures, life with a blossoming toddler, and life 'on the road'...that is to say living from day to day with a suitcase and minimal belongings.

I also hope to fill this blog with ideas about travel on the Big Island, great local finds, and living large here in Hawai'i.

Please considering subscribing to this blog, and thank you so much for the support and comments :) keep 'em coming! and feel free to forward it on to any fellow travelers, parents, or anyone interested in life on the Big Island!


"Hula Momma"
aka globalmomma
aka Kemby

PS ALL previous blog entries about Hawai'i will be transferred over to my new blog at:



Mahalo (thank you) for joining along!

Posted by globalmomma 18:42 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

10 years after 9/11

I remember exactly where I was on the morning of September 11th, 2001. I was in a hotel room in Kauai, waking up on that day like any other day. I went downstairs to the hotel lobby to get my coffee, and that is when I saw a crowd of people, gathered around CNN on a big screen. I heard the news hours after it had already happened, due to the five hour time difference. I saw the planes, the fires, the chaos of crowds and smoke and sadness. I know what I felt was shock, disbelief, and then a profound loneliness. It is hard to be thousands of miles across the ocean from friends, family, and the larger community of your own nation in a time like this. I was removed, isolated from the events, watching it happen as if it was happening to someone else, someplace else. But this was happening in a place close to home, close to me, my best friend living a few blocks away. Here I am on the tenth anniversary, back in Hawaii, and it feels like it has come full circle.

There is a time for every purpose under heaven. (Another Song I cannot get out of my head...for this occasion)

"To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late"

Looking back on the last ten years, I am proud of this nation and its people. Proud of how we have stuck together, forged ahead with new projects, new dreams, new communities, and have helped each other when we have needed it most. It's has been a rough few years for many of us. I am however, disheartened by our politicians and our politics. This is not a political blog, and never will be. But I have to say, these times when I nation most needs leaders, those I had hoped would rise up and claim leadership have not. I have put so much hope in our president, Obama, and I hoped he WOULD be the change he was proclaiming. Sadly, all I have seen is more of the same posturing and bickering, and political garbage that keeps this nation from excelling and holds its people back. I watched Obama's "Jobs Plan" speech this Thursday, and I was again hoping for good things. Positive ideas, middle ground unity, a rising up. What I heard instead was a line drawn in the sand, a steady tug of war that never seems to sway. I am again moving toward disillusionment on both the right and the left. It is not just Obama that I am disappointed in; it is our Congress taking vacation just after a weak, last effort debt deal was passed, the feeling I get from both sides that it is most certainly not ME that they are looking out for, but actually themselves. I have travelled around the world enough times to speak with many different people about perceptions of the United States that range from belief that it is still the best country in the world to thinking the leaders are making major errors in judgment or worse. I hope the best is true. I hope that our leaders can become half as good as we all imagine they can be. I know the people of America are great, and we deserve leaders who are also, unyieldingly, great. Now is the time for our leaders to come together. Now is the time for their very best, for the people that are still hoping. Now is the time.

Posted by globalmomma 14:29 Archived in USA Tagged usa time jobs obama political disappointment recession Comments (0)

Huli huli chicken


Huli huli! I just had the best chicken, no, possibly the best THING I have ever eaten!
We received a tip for a maintenance man in the place we are renting..."If you see a truck that says G.J's chicken, stop and buy it. You won't regret it". So, we stopped along the side of the road, and bought this whole chicken from a truck in the parking lot, beside which was a huge rotisserie roasting the most amazing-smelling chicken over a wood fire. I never would have thought to stop here. But there was a line out the lot, and we nearly didn't get our chicken. Now, I want to make the hour drive back up into the hills of Waimea tomorrow and buy it again.

The wonderful thing about life on an island is the way it reveals itself to you, bit by bit, moment by moment. When you venture out past the tourist zones and comfort zones, you find the magical stuff. I was drawn a map yesterday of some tide pools behind a gymnasium north of Kona. A very unassuming place, by the airport, down a gravel path, that opens up to gorgeous natural lava pools filled with seawater. Large natural soaking tubs for children with a stunning ocean view beyond, but no waves. This is perfect for our son who walks toward the waves shaking his head, no, no, like he is saying, "don't even think of putting me in there!" And here is a place that has public ocean access to these perfect ocean water pools, and we are now privy to the information. Last week we found two perfect toddler playgrounds. This week, fresh, cheap Ahi tuna at the local grocery, and a nice harbor restaurant with the best french fries you have ever tasted, and a marina view. I love this exploration and expansion of a new place. Very similar to falling in love, Kona shows you more and more of what makes it unique and who you are when you are here.

Posted by globalmomma 00:41 Archived in USA Tagged food tide harbor pools kona Comments (0)

Fiesta, wrestling match and safari

sunny 31 °C

Recent quote by Harvey Karp, author of Happiest baby on the block and Happiest toddler on the block:
"Toddlerhood is like three parts fiesta mixed with two parts wrestling match and one part jungle safari"

This made me laugh with the clarity and chaos of it all. Watching my son progress from innocent sweet baby to opinionated toddler has been definitely a growing experience for me, filled with new challenges and forcing me to again go to the books, after I thought I had finally gotten this parenting thing down. I told my husband last night, 'well, here we go. As soon as this parenting thing gets easy, as soon as you seem to have it figured out and are in a groove, it throws you a curveball and you are in a new phase.'

I suppose I should have known this to be true, and I have certainly been warned about it by those with older children, but I guess it hadn't hit me until this week. I thought I had figured out who this child I birthed was, had his personality, his needs, his general attitude figured out, but now it seems to be a moving target. There are days now where I find myself just scratching my head, wondering where to go from here.

The 3 parts fiesta:
1. A 16 month old literally had me laughing harder this week than I remember in a long while. What was it?
First time, it was during his wind-up hyper phase right before a nap, and he was peeking out from behind a door going "a-boo", "a-boo", trying to engage me in peek-a-boo. Then I walked into the closet, turned around, and caught him by surprise "A-BOO!" He literally fell over in hysterics. He was on his back giggling wildly, kicking his feet in the air. Which of course had me cracking up, which kept him going. It was so funny my husband had to peek in on us from his work in the office to see what was going on in there. Nothing, really, just another day with a joyful little kid... and the things that can make him laugh seem so simple, I have to remind myself to take that extra time to do it. Seeing him laugh that hugely is definitely one part fiesta.

Part two. Early morning, I awaken to hear Bodhi yelling, "awa", his word for water. I listen a bit longer and hear running water and more noises, awa, awa. I get up and find him and my husband splashing and spraying the shower hose in the bathtub. "Why are you in there so early?" I ask my husband. Go check out Bodhi's crib and you will see. I step into his room and I see his travel crib, sheet, sides, everything, covered with smeared poo. Looks like someone was a little bored when he got up this morning, my husband said, and then we both started laughing so hard we couldn't stop. Bodhi, when he hears someone else laughing, lets out this fake little, haha! laugh that just made it that much funnier... like he was in on the joke, and maybe he was. An early morning fiesta.

3. Bodhi is a bird chaser. He runs after any bird, pointing and screaming, 'didahh!' (as in doggie, because, every animal is currently a doggie to him) The birds of course, tend to fly away when they see an excited child running toward them, shouting, so he doesn't ever get very close, but it does not seem to deter him one bit from following them. There are so many birds here in Hawaii that this game has turned into a fairly steady event - diddahh! every time he hears a bird call, diddahh! when he sees the little birdies eating remaining crumbs off people's plates at restaurants. This awareness and excitement in the simple things is fiesta #3.

2 parts wrestling match:
Recently, he is becoming more and more determined to keep me in his room or even better, holding him, until he falls completely asleep. Actually, I think he would prefer me to hold him for his entire nap. Well, this is not happening for me. I physically cannot hold him up that long anymore, for one thing. I don't want to, for another reason. Hence, the wrestling match begins. It is baffling to me, this struggle of wills. I am caught completely off-guard. He tries all his angles, he stands up and cries for me, mama! mama! OK, this one still works on me. But he also tries wiggling out of my arms and running across the room, hoping it will become a game and he can stay up a few minutes longer. I try to keep a stern (and straight!) face about all of this. I try to be level-headed and calm, but I find myself using the words "STOP", "NO" and "DON'T" more than I care to think about...

The second wrestling match comes when it is time for dinner ("dodindodin"), and he is more interested in playing than eating. He rubs the food in his hair. He asks to get up out of his highchair as soon as we put him in. Please don't contain me, he pleads, I want to play... He wants to run around with me running after him, spooning food into his mouth while he plays. I mean, really. Can't a baby sit and eat a meal?!?

And this brings me to the one part safari, which is basically the feeling that I have everyday when I literally do not sit down...he is moving so constantly, that it is like being on a safari, observing and following the action as closely as you can. So, (when I have a moment), I am going back to the drawing board... reading, experimenting, and realizing that this whole parenting thing really is a roller coaster, and I just need to hang on and ride.

Posted by globalmomma 14:02 Archived in USA Tagged sleep wrestling patience routine toddlerhood struggle parenting Comments (0)

Partial Enlightenment


Apparently I angered the Gods with my latest post about the vog and volcanic eruptions, because thereafter, we had a particularly cloudy, particle-rich day, and now we have had two straight days of intermittent rain...

I came across a poem from one of my favorite poets, Brian Andreas, called Partial Enlightenment

"The problem with knowing everything's going exactly as it needs to is that
when you're not having that much fun it doesn't even do any good to complain."

Made me laugh. How true it is.

Posted by globalmomma 23:08 Archived in USA Tagged hawaii andreas brian poetry poem Comments (1)

The Vog

Life in Kailua-Kona

sunny 31 °C

So, I have been hearing a lot about the 'vog' that plagues the Kona side of the Big Island. Vog is the smog/polluted air and volcanic dust that spews from the Kilauea volcano (the only currently active one in the Hawaiian islands), and causes health problems ranging from breathing difficulties to lowered immunity to chronic cough. Apparently, as it is told, the winds tend to blow this air over the mountains where it settles over Kailua-Kona and the coastal areas surrounding it.

I have been here now on the Kona coast for three days, and have been coming here yearly for vacation, and I don't feel a thing. The air looks perfectly clear to me, bright, sunny skies, no clouds, no eerie haze, no tightness in the chest. I am beginning to have suspicions that this is somewhat similar to Seattle being known as the rainiest city. Those of us who have lived or do live there know that this is not really true...it is a convenient misrepresentation that keeps many people from being interested in moving there. It keeps many away so that only those who really work for it, or who have lived there long enough to appreciate its beauty will know the truth. That on summer days, the clear days, it is one of the most beautiful places in the United States. (Sorry Seattleites!)

And it does not actually get that much rain. Yes, lots of clouds, yes, grey days, but the sunny days are treasured and enjoyed to the fullest. And we all know that when the rainy days get to be too much, Seattle people just have to get out. You just take a trip during those prolonged days of gloom, and when you get back, you feel fresher and the days are likely getting longer and brighter. It is part of the price of living in a place that cultured, that nice, that naturally beautiful. I have a feeling the same holds true for Kona. No one wants anyone else to know how perfect and lovely it is here, so they tell others about the 'vog' and it discourages them from wanting to live here. But those who decide to stay anyway are let in on the dirty little secret...that the vog days are fleeting, and the beauty and sunshine and ocean and plumeria...
are forever.

Posted by globalmomma 14:32 Archived in USA Tagged islands island big seattle volcanic ash sunshine days hawaiian pollution kona rainy vog Comments (0)

The Tie Dye String Bikini


Yesterday i drove into Hale'iwa looking for a place to buy a new bathing suit. Somehow I came to Hawai'i with only one suit, and it is stretched out so the elastic is unreliable.  I was feeling like a mother should probably stay covered at the pool and not be flashing people when she went to pick her son up, or not lose her top when she lifted him out of the ocean waves, as happened to me several times. I decide I must go buy something that is more amenable to these conditions... attractive yet modest.

So, i naively walk into the first store I find, one of many surf shops, and ask, "do you have bathing suits?" The salesgirl looks at me like I am a purple martian with four heads, and says, "uh, yes"... obviously it was the most absurd question she had been asked that day.  She then recovers, and tells me they are all against the back wall.  I go over and tell the girl I am looking for something with a little more coverage, maybe more 'conservative'.  I pick out six of these more conservative one piece suits, a nice bikini, and one tie dye suit that is a one piece string, with a strip over the belly but open along the sides.  I try on all the one pieces, and although several are nice, they are frumpy.  I know it is what I said I wanted, but I don't like how I feel in these. I try on the string tie dye piece- it's completely crazy, not something I would typically choose, but I just love it.  I am encouraged by the girls in the store: buy it, buy it, it looks great, who says a mom has to wear something conservative? who says age matters?

So I do it. And I drive home thinking, what got into me?  I know... it was something they said about being able to still feel good about how you look even though you are a mother.  Yes, I thought, I can be a role  model for that...  I am allowed to look good, to still wear what I like, to not feel the rules have all suddenly changed with motherhood in terms of what is appropriate to wear and what is not. So I walk out of the store carrying a brightly colored string bikini with a strip down the middle, probably the sexiest most outrageous bathing suit I have ever owned.  Hey, why not?  IMG_2827.jpg

Posted by globalmomma 13:37 Archived in USA Tagged beach surf swimming hawaii suit sexy bikini bathing Comments (3)

Guilty Pleasures

sunny 28 °C

I am currently feeling a bit guilty, since the Eastern Seaboard is about to get pounded by hurricane Irene. And last week there was an earthquake centered in Virginia that shook the coast. And Seattle has had one of the gloomiest summers on record. To have all of this good fortune and summer is really more than one can expect. It is downright obnoxious. I can feel the loathing and jealousy... Yet, this lifestyle is not for everyone. It is filled with its own set of irritations and difficulty. We literally move day to day, and so do our finances. There is not much advance planning or saving. There is not a lot of consistency or rhythm to our days. I worry about the stability of our household as it might affect our son. The only real stability in his life is in our core family, and the fact that we are always here for him, always around, providing a comforting and secure environment...I think it is enough. I think it is what is most important. But he doesn't have the space for large toys and swingsets, his own hand-painted room or backyard. His playground is the local church lawn, where we played yesterday while waiting for Daddy to get out of his interview. The beach right down the street. The cobblestone streets and piazzas of Lucca, where we spent several wonderful weeks. The great room at his grandparents' house, where he could go up and down stairs and throw items into a fountain. He sees everything around him as a toy, a playground, as entertainment. Maybe all children do. I am not sure, because we don't have toys to distract from the interesting play of the world around us. Sometimes I want him to have those things: a doggie, a train set, a plastic playhouse in the yard. Other times I am happy for the way he has learned to entertain himself with everyday items, and I wonder how that will carry over into his adult life. Hopefully he won't be bored, and will continue to look at the world around him as if it were filled with wonder and play.

He did recently take a couple of toys from his cousins that he took to right away...they are called Zoobles. They are small balls that expand when you push a button. They go from eyes closed/ball form to eyes open, arms wide, awake. I must admit, they are interesting, and he now carries one in each hand, wherever he goes. He has even figured out how to open and close them with the push of the small button, our little engineer, always curious about how things work. His second favorite toy is his Daddy's keys, which close up also to be a rectangular black object, but when you press a small silver button, the key pops out. He loves to sit on the floor and open, close, open, close, that key with delight!

Bottom line: Bodhi does not care at all where our home is. He does not seem to get the concept. Maybe that is for the best, in fact, maybe the concept of home tethers us down. He is content wherever we are, and wherever he is. Talk about a Zen master, living up to his name.

The hardest part about living day to day, moving place to place, is missing those that you love, especially as they are going through hard times, like hurricanes, hardships, winter. I miss the community, the connectedness of having shared experiences. I miss day to day contact with people I care about. This lifestyle is not all roses, but it still smells sweet.

Posted by globalmomma 19:18 Archived in USA Tagged winter beach buddhism summer weather hurricane hawaii warm sunshine community zen hawai'i Comments (1)

The North Shore

Turtle Bay, Hawai'i

sunny 25 °C

Ahhh, life is fine. The sun is shining on our 'endless summer', and although it is only August, we have been following the sun since we left Seattle in March. I wondered if I would get tired of the sunny days and the heat, but so far, the answer is a clear 'Nope'. Instead I feel it is incorporating into my DNA in the way a virus might, insidious and silent, until I realize I can not live without it. The sun in Hawai'i is like joy juice lemonade, making me smile as soon as my eyes open in the morning. I love walking to the pool outside our current condo in the morning, taking a cool dip with the baby before breakfast. I love stopping along the highway for a quick five minutes to walk along the beach, getting sand between our toes. Hearing the crash of the waves, smelling the salty, glassy, ionic air... I could get very used to this lifestyle. In fact, I think I already have, as I cannot fathom leaving!

We are running an experiment. On August 24th, we flew Hawaiian Airlines from California to Honolulu. We have a one way ticket, so there is no current set date to 'go back'. We are living each day as if we live here now, jumping in with both feet. When people ask where we are from, we tell them we have just moved here. I try this mental experiment in order to gauge my own motivations and desires. When I tell people a small fib such as this, how do I feel when I speak the words? Do I feel the sense of price and satisfaction I would expect from someone who is happy with their life? Or do I feel somewhat off, that this does just not fit, it is a square and I am a circle. With this particular white lie, I feel good. I want this to be the truth. I like the concept of moving to Hawai'i, so maybe that is just what we will do. Sometimes to get to your deepest, truest desires, you have to try out your thoughts by expressing them to others. This works wonderfully for me, so I recommend it. Another time it felt just right: I was in the auto showroom selling my car in March, before our trip to Italy. The saleswoman asked me, 'What is your work in Italy?". Offhand, I answered, I am a writer. I didn't mention WHAT I was writing about, or the fact that I am a doctor, I only mentioned that my writing was taking me to Italy. "Wow", she replied, "that's awesome". "Wow", I thought, "It really is". IMG_2791.jpg

Posted by globalmomma 09:05 Tagged ocean beach surf sand summer north bay shore hawaiian writer turtle hawai'i haleiwa Comments (1)

The Good Stuff and The Junk Mail

(during a short hiatus)

sunny 30 °C

Sorry for the short hiatus between writings, but I have been 'at home' with family, and while here, the days go by much more quickly. Two weeks at home, and time for date nights, family excursions, shopping trips, beach days, amusement parks, and days spent organizing our build-up of mail and 'to-do's from our long time away. It is odd to again have all of my mail coming to my parents' address...one of the unfortunate downsides of not having your own permanent address is having to use someone else's. But our mail comes in and is stored in a pile on the counter, so when we pass through for a few days or when they mail it, we have to go through a big pile of junk at once, and a major list of tasks begins to form. So does the pile of junk mail and useless credit card offers and advertisements. These days are painful but perhaps better when all dealt with at once; like tearing a bandaid off a wound instead of tugging at it gently, it's no fun, but is over quickly, allowing you to get on to the good stuff.

That good stuff being for Bodhi hours spent on a carousel at the mall with grandma, every morning swinging in the laundry basket with Papa, observing and interacting with his older cousins who dote on him, and focusing all his energy on learning new words. For Momma and Dada it is a little alone time while Bodhi is busy with all his new pals and has no interest in you... it is outings to the pool, working out on the elliptical, getting some projects done, having leisure time. Here's to hoping we all have a little more time for the good stuff, and a little less for the junk mail.

Posted by globalmomma 13:45 Archived in USA Tagged fun pool tahoe time entertainment leisure mail swings Comments (0)

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