Of snorkeling, sunsets and centipedes | Two Decades of Kids and Counting | Sally Torbey | Palo Alto Online |

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Two Decades of Kids and Counting

By Sally Torbey

About this blog: About this blog: I have enjoyed parenting five children in Palo Alto for the past two decades and have opinions about everything to do with parenting kids (and dogs). The goal of my blog is to share the good times and discuss the ...  (More)

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Of snorkeling, sunsets and centipedes

Uploaded: Jul 13, 2014
We spent the first few days of our Hawaiian vacation ridding our rental home of occupants of the creepy-crawly kind. The first night I came within inches of stepping barefoot on a four-inch centipede in the bathroom. Then there were the numerous cockroaches residing in the shower. On our second morning, while we munched breakfast cereal, we were joined by two mice racing frantically around the kitchen, although watching our six-foot three-inch son escape the mice by catapulting himself up onto the counter provided some comic relief.

While the vacation home rental company was more blasé about these unregistered guests that we would have hoped, after a day or two we were left sharing our home with only friendly little neon-green lizards, although we did continue to vigilantly scan the baseboards for other visitors and step gingerly.

We greatly enjoyed our daily visits with the rest of the island's wildlife on snorkeling excursions. I love placing my masked face into the ocean and being instantly transported to a vast undersea world. Floating above the reef, watching fish of all sizes, shapes, and colors nibble on coral and dart about defending their turf, or just float rhythmically in the surge of the waves, is transformative. Encountering sea turtles while snorkeling is particularly exciting, they appear to soar effortlessly through the water, flapping wing-like flippers in slow motion.

Like the expansive ocean, the sunsets in Hawaii make the sky seem like a vast dome painting. We were treated to breathtaking sunsets that lasted for hours, starting with the orange glow streaking through the blue sky as the sun approached the horizon and slips below, and ending with deep purple and bright pink clouds reflecting the light in the east.

I find the warm water, trade wind breezes, gorgeous scenery, and an abundance of fascinating ocean creatures all very restorative. I love being a seemingly invisible but privileged observer to their beautiful world. It was worth putting up with a few unwanted house guests!
What is it worth to you?


Posted by GC, a resident of Community Center,
on Jul 13, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Thank you Sally... thank you for sharing all the joys of the holiday vacation. The catapult to the counter top was well appreciated and you added to my 89 year old mother's day and mine. Thank you Sally and son... Hawaii is one of my favorite places in the world and I got married there because of it. Reading your description I am vicariously there... having just done the things a good daughter does.

Posted by Sally Torbey, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jul 14, 2014 at 9:11 am

Sally Torbey is a registered user.

Hi GC,
Thanks for reading and commenting. Sometimes in the middle of doing one's duty for family a mini-mind vacation to the tropics can save the day! Hawaii is also my go to spot.

Posted by Maria, a resident of Professorville,
on Jul 14, 2014 at 10:16 am

The "neon-green lizards" are really beautiful and they eat nasty insects. Traditionally, they are supposed to bring luck. We were happy to see them in our garden! Thank you, I was again mentally in Hawaii!

Posted by Sally Torbey, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jul 14, 2014 at 11:26 am

Sally Torbey is a registered user.

Hi Maria,
Thanks for the info on the lizards. They really are delightful with their antics, but I wish they'd found the centipede first!

Posted by Palo Alto Mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jul 14, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Sally, Sounds like you had a great trip, except for your rental. We had a situation like that in Jamaica with the bugs in the bungalow, but we had travel insurance so we were able to immediately move to another resort without having to pay anything to the first place, even though we had paid in advance we got everything immediately refunded. It's worth considering for tropical destinations.

Posted by Sally Torbey, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jul 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Sally Torbey is a registered user.

Thanks for the tip, Pal Alto Mom, we will look into travel insurance for our next adventure.

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