Over the weekend I arranged my ticket to Hawaii! Alan’s five-week OB/GYN rotation takes place in Honolulu and before my semester started, we had been talking about how great it would be if I could accompany him. I had envisioned myself on the lanai with my laptop, working on my next novel; grocery shopping and making dinner for my exhausted amniotic-fluid-spattered partner….
But until Random House made its offer, I hadn’t been able to financially swing the idea of taking five weeks off from work.
I told my class today that at the end of April a substitute would usher them through the end of the semester. They are such cool students – I feel like I have their blessing.
Thanks to the fact that my credit card earns airline miles, my flight to Honolulu was free (there ARE advantages to being deep in debt, it turns out). I had a funny phone call with the airline frequent flyer rep. At one point, she said, “I don’t know who you are or how you can manage to go to Hawaii for a month…” (apropos of my trying to decide whether to leave on a Monday, which involved a five-hour layover in Seattle, or wait until Wednesday with a one-hour layover—she was urging the earlier flight to not lose a precious moment in Hawaii). It was fun to explain that I had just sold a novel – turns out she is a writer, too, working on a play about her life. We had a very non-airline talk for a while.
I’ve only been to Hawaii once before, to Maui about six years ago. We stayed in a tent the whole time and only ate one meal out! It was great. I remember getting a week-long snorkel rental for $7 and we snorkled almost every day.
I nearly died in a series of battering waves all taller than me. I was still blowing my nose and having sand issue forth for weeks afterward! I still remember how panicky I was when I couldn’t stand up—the undertow just wrenched the ground from beneath me and then the wave would pummel me into spastic somersaults. Alan saved me.
On the less-frightening side, we had incredible hikes past waterfalls and lush greenery. I remember swimming in caves whose water was supposed to turn red each year with the blood of an Indian princess who had died there tragically (apparently, there are brine shrimp that actually make it red at certain times of year).
I am just so excited to think of five weeks to explore Hawaii and focus on writing! It’ll be like my own private artist’s retreat!! I will use the time wisely.