Just getting to this remote tropical island paradise was exhilarating in itself. The specific location of said paradise I shall not divulge per the request of our hosts, who prefer to choose their own guests. The hosts in question were my brother in law and his girlfriend and they have been living a Robinson Caruso-esque life on a Hawaiian island together for the past two years.
One of the first questions people ask is: ‘Do they work?’ The answer is yes, very hard, but not for income, for lifestyle. This fact alone puts them in the realm of a chosen few among us, living out the dream of being in a tropical island paradise without the need of a paycheck. The primary thing facilitating this is that they live on her family’s land.
Far from such civilized luxuries as roads, the options for us getting to them involved either a combination of a ferry, a car ride, waiting for an unreliable boat ride only to be dropped into hip-high water with all our stuff before getting back onto shore which still left us a half hour hike through jungle to get to them, or a helicopter from the main island directly onto their property.
We really wanted the experience of option number one, but were strongly encouraged to go with option number two. The exorbitant cost of chartering the helicopter aside, we truly did want to have the quintessential experience of getting to our brethren's abode the way they were so intimately acquainted with.
Hindsight proved them absolutely correct in their advice of the easier way for a long list of reasons, not the least of which was that if the weather had been bad, said boat would be out of commission, so there was the distinct chance of us spending most of the four days we had just trying to get to them.
With plenty of grocery goodies aboard our six-seated chopper, we lifted off for our thirteen-minute ride from the main island to their far less populated one. The lifetime memories began with the breathtaking sea and landscapes below. I only wished my wife’s brother and spouse lived further away so this incredible ride could have lasted longer. Beaches with windsurfers, gentle white-capped waves, rugged, steep coastlines delineated by some extremely big sea cliffs and typically perfect Hawaiian weather made for a truly remarkable ride.
Before we knew it, we landed on our host’s helipad, a terrace used for growing taro over 800 years ago. As elated to see us as we were them, we greeted each other with hugs and smiles and they barely let us put our stuff away before showing us their house, built of coffee trees, bamboo, tarp, rope and staples, and giving us a tour of their garden.