|Tradition: Our "ohana" name in stacked rocks|
It’s not easy to find another family that you can vacation with. It’s a leap of faith; can you really get along for an extended time away from home and deal with all of the things that come up? Like each kid’s quirks and food likes/dislikes, or each person’s circadian rhythms, or even just splitting the bill… These things don’t seem like a big deal until they come up and then you can see if you really are compatible… or not.
We are super lucky. We’ve found our split-apart family, the one that completes us with their own 3 kids and super-cool parents, the one that brings out the fun in our dysfunction. And even luckier, they are Hawaiian, and our trip to
Maui is less like a resort-bound tourist vacation and more like visiting a good friend’s home, winding our way through the jungles and eating picnic lunches in unbelievably beautiful scenery. The important thing is being together, wearing swimsuits all day long, having friends to ride with for the millionth time on the elevator, always being able to turn and say, “Oh my god, did you see that?” and that other person is right there, right with you, understanding.
We’re like ohana now, family. When we sat down to dinner at Aloha Mixed Plate in Lahaina on the first night (Shackoa, party of 10), the kids found their spots and argued, laughed, danced, joked like cousins. “Remember when we were here the last time?” they said, as the sounds of the luau next door wafted through the night air.
Yesterday, Kanoe turned to me and said, “We’re exactly like the Brady Bunch, if you include Alice and her boyfriend. Or the dog.” And so we are.