Hawaiian tiny bubbles

Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
In the wine (in the wine)
Make me happy (make me happy)
Make me feel fine (make me feel fine)

Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
Make me warm all over
With a feeling that I’m gonna
Love you till the end of time

So here’s to the golden moon
And here’s to the silver sea
And mostly here’s a toast
To you and me

So here’s to the ginger lei
I give to you today
And here’s a kiss
That will not fade away

Tiny Bubbles by Don Ho

My days in Hawaii began with breakfast on the Lanai. My swallowing has gotten so bad that I can’t handle all the saliva I produce by swallowing. I carry pretty cloth napkins around with me to wipe my drools, but at times it is excessive. My doctor at UCSF prescribed Robinul three times a day as needed for excessive saliva. The pharmacist warned me that it can cause uncomfortably dry mouth so try half a pill. I found that a quarter pill two to three times a day is enough. It works – no more excess saliva but the saliva I have is thick so I get bubbles in my mouth. It isn’t comfortable but the lesser of two evils. And some irony in the fact that I now take a drug to cause dry mouth when that was one of my biggest early symptoms.

We got to hang with another bubble boy – Stan and I got to babysit Ollie while Jonika and Chris took Andy diving with manta rays.

He makes the cutest tiny bubbles in his mouth after he eats. And boy does he eat! I think we were with him during a growth spurt. He was sweet with us and not fussy as long as we kept him fed. But he sure was glad to see mom, and she said she missed him too.

I wasn’t able to snorkel or swim because of my g tube but I meditated under the beach umbrella or went for a walk while they snorkled.

On Friday we were able to do a Mauna Kea Summit tour. We met the tour guide on the saddle road. It turned out to be a private tour so he could customize it for us. When he heard I was a geologist and Stan was into astronomy, he was thrilled. He also was a former home health nurse so he was patient with my tube feeds. He first took us to some cool volcanic features on Mauna Lani at 8000 feet to acclimate.

Then we went to the visitor center on Mauna Kea at 9200 feet and had lunch. And then we proceeded to the top. Our guide shared the cultural significance of the mountain to native Hawaiians and much of Polynesia. And how you don’t go to the top without a purpose. It was the perfect mix of geology, astronomy, and culture. 

At the top we got to go inside one of the Keck observatories – Stan was thrilled. We were lucky enough to be there when they moved 2 axes of the telescope and the dome in the opposite direction – enough to make you dizzy!

It was raining at the top so we missed the awesome views but it still was a day to remember.

Followed by the last sunset at our condo

And a wonderful final dinner with Jonika, Chris, and Ollie at Rays on the Bay, overlooking the spot where the kids did the manta ray dive. So much laughter, so much love, connection, and hope. They want us to move to the Big Island.

On Saturday we packed up and checked out of our condo, then went with Jonika and Ollie to watch some of the Ironman World Championship. It was great to spend the day with them, and Chris met us for lunch.

 We saw the first pro finish and it was interesting to see the traditional Hawaiian ceremony for the winner with tiki torches and a lei and a palm frond crown. The winner, the defending champion, said it was his worst day and his best day all at once.

Then we got one last beach visit. Andy got to snorkel one last time.

It was a beautiful way to end our visit.

Love, connection, and hope. What it’s all about, even with bubbles!

And then it all ended with a delayed red eye flight back to the mainland, so we missed our flight to Reno. We were flying on miles (free flights) so we were low priority for rebooking. I only had brought enough cans of food for the morning, thinking I would be home before 10 am. We were wait listed for a flight at 11, along with 12 other people from our Kona flight. They rebooked us through San Jose, which would get us home at 7:30 PM. When the 11:00 flight was boarded they had one seat remaining, so my boys let me go home to get food. They had the torture of flying all night and all day with not enough sleep. We will all have to block out the last day and think of tiny bubbles, being warm all over, and the silver sea, and ginger leis, and our Big Island relatives we will love until the end of time.

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