Day 114: Air Amour; Paramour

Kauai is one of the prettiest of the Hawaiian islands, and it is frequently chosen as a setting for movies. Laetitia and her group had lunch with a view of the conical peak that was filmed and then extensively edited to serve as “Bali Hai” in the film South Pacific. That afternoon they watched some hang gliders. A rather indignant local girl told Laetitia that a man from Kentucky had bought her a few drinks and then tried to get her to go hang gliding without her bikini. It provided Laetitia with the limerick of the day.

When a man who came from Marshes Siding
Sought amore in the air while hang gliding
His reluctant wahine
Kept on her bikini
For she wanted to be law-abiding.

Day 113: PooPoo Place

Sipping a cup of freshly brewed Kona dark roast, Laetitia browsed the books in the Emerald Victorian library looking for something else to do before she moved from Oahu to the other islands. She once again came across the three books from British authors Rob Bailey and Ed Hurst, titled Rude BritainRude UK, and Rude World. The authors had collected names—mostly from the United Kingdom, but some from around the world—that have rude-sounding place names. They provide whatever information they can find about each place and its name, and leave it to the readers to discover what is rude about the name if they don’t already know.

In scanning the books, she paid most attention to Rude World, which listed some places in Hawaii, including one in Oahu called “PooPoo Place.” She decided to take her group by PooPoo Place before touring Bernice P. Bishop Museum. At dinner that evening, she presented the limerick of the day.

A shy young teenager named Grace
Found her parents’ address a disgrace
‘Twas the name that did spoil it
For she thought of a toilet
When she came home to PooPoo Place.

Day 112: Ono, No-No

Laetitia took her group on a submarine ride that provided some nice views of tropical fish. There were some especially interesting ones around some small ships that had been sunk to provide fish habitat. In the afternoon, several of the group went shopping before they reconvened at the beachside restaurant of the Moana Hotel (now Moana Surfrider), the oldest hotel on Waikiki beach. Brad, one group member, had had the Hawaiian fish ono on a previous trip and wanted to have it again. Unfortunately, it was not on the menu, but his desire provided the limerick of the day.

In the Islands, Brad’s favorite dish
Was ono, the Hawaiian fish
But when he ordered ono
The waiter said, “no-no,”
And so he did not get his wish.

Day 111: Youth Sleuth

As Laetitia walked down Raglan Road in the fresh dawn hour, past the ornate sign that said “Tara” and up the wooden steps to the carved door of the Emerald Victorian, she was in a wistful mood. She was going to miss Ireland after touring there for so many weeks.

Before making coffee, she stopped to read two poems by Thomas Moore—The Harp That Once Through Tara’s Halls and Sweet Innisfallen—both of which were embroidered on fine Irish linen and displayed on the paneled wall in intricately carved frames. As she read The Harp That Once Through Tara’s Halls again, she felt Thomas Moore’s sense of loss as he captured in the words of the poem (and song) the faded splendor of ancient Ireland. And while reading Sweet Innisfallen, she felt his sadness at leaving that beautiful place behind as he went into exile.

For Laetitia, the sense of loss was more a mood than a reality. As a Mind’s Eye tour director, she could go back to Ireland any time she wanted. But she knew that if she went back, things would not be the same. It would be like trying to recapture the magic of childhood.

“Enough of that,” Laetitia thought as she went into the kitchen to brew her coffee. As she poured a cup she shed a tear for Ireland, then took a whiff of the dark rich aroma of the 100 percent Kona coffee and said to herself, “Hawaii. That’s where I’ll go next.”

Laetitia did the first day of her United States tour in Honolulu, on Oahu. Several members of the tour group wanted to see the Arizona Memorial at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base, so they went there and also toured the Battleship Missouri, upon which was signed the treaty that ended the war with Japan. That evening, they had Mai Tais at the beach bar of the Royal Hawaiian, or “the “Pink Palace,” as it is sometimes called. It is a historic hotel and was once a landmark on Waikiki, but now it is dwarfed by all of the high-rise hotels. An example of what can happen to otherwise sedate Midwesterners when they come to Hawaii is illustrated in the limerick of the day.

At the beach-side bar, Ruth from Duluth
Drank martinis bereft of vermouth
After which she would goose
Younger men on the loose
As she tried to regain her lost youth.