Maui, Day One!

There was music in the air in Maui…

From day one, we were blasted to a magical place. Where I became enveloped beneath the Maui Island musical streams. It’s musical undercurrent was gentle, but focused on leaving its mark on and in my heart. On day one…I was an island girl. My name means “From the Island”, middle name means “Moon Goddess.” My unspoken self-inflicted truth, was I’d never been to either and probably wouldn’t ever. “Yeah right,” I’d think, “going to the Moon and Hawaii are pretty much the same to me.” I’m usually a hopeful person when it comes to life in general, but for whatever reason, Hawaii just seemed like out of reach and a far-off luxury.

Even in grade school when I was asked to draw a picture of where I would most want to go (a dream come true) and what would I do there, I sketched out a little me buying gifts on a Hawaiian beach. I said I would get gifts for my family and then come back and help the “house-broken.” Not sure if that was a combination of those who had broken homes and who were also homeless, but either way, I had two goals in mind. I had to go to get gifts for my loved ones. Then I had to come back and help house-broken people. Do you think I really knew what I wanted to do with my life when I was a little elementary kid? You see, I’ve spent most of my adult life helping homeless and hurting kids…the last 5 years helping homeless kids graduate from school and through their tough times. I’m still shaking my head about it…my mom found this picture I had drawn back when I was in elementary school that neither of us had seen since it was drawn…we both kinda freaked out. Just a thought-you parents out there might want to take note-I was REALLY glad she saved that.

Anyway, as I was saying, Hawaii was a dream come true for this woman named Ila, whose name meant island, but had never been. As soon as my tush hit the airplane seat, I was 12 years old. I found the cheerful ALOHA letter from the airplane staff & came unglued! See my face? I’m squeezing my lips shut tight so as to not scream with absolute gitty-glee and disturb the airplane peace…

Not joking…it wasn’t easy keeping quiet and “adult-ish”…oh…my god.

I was snapping camera phone pics and quietly documenting the moment-God I wanted to scream and jump around! I went with my mother & her husband (their gift to me…thank you so much mom. I’m starting to cry typing this right now.) She knew I had a horrible couple (well..more than a couple) of years and they both made this trip happen. Everyone struggles, so I still don’t know why I got to go, but I did. AND BOY DID I ENJOY IT! I love you mommy. Love you Marvin!

I made a packed with myself while on the plane. I would meet musicians and take whatever was given to me. I WOULD NOT FEEL GUILTY. I was meant to fly and this was a moment in time that I would not hold back. So Now, I get to share my experience via photos with you! Enjoy them…the first couple are from when I first arrived to the resort & stepped on the beach. All taken with my camera phone.

Inside the resort was a TREE!

I lost it right before the sand in the hand pic…some guy close by looked at me like I was a freak…guess he’d been to Hawaii before. Oh well…BUT I HADN’T! HAA! I ran until I fell over in the sand…REALLY hard running in sand. WOW! How do people DO THAT! The beach was almost vacant in that moment and I could finally bubble over with joy from the half-day of traveling in silence. This isn’t the States anymore ila…you’ve landed on your Moon.

After my extreme Hawaiian head-rush, it was time to grocery shop and then dress up and go out!

My mom rocked! I felt 13 all over again. (13 going on 30???) She booked us a Hawaiian Luau on the beach! Off we went. Below are some moments I captured with my camera. The ocean waves sung, the vibe of Hawaii was working on me & the music I was saturated in the first night on the island was riveting. With my ribs vibrating to the island drum beat, my heart raced when the beautiful dancers emerged, I took my first sip of Mai-tai. It was like when the sun meets the waves of the ocean & a surfer emerges in the landscape of your lense…it was a whole new joy, I had been waiting my entire life to be apart of. I felt home.

My music hasn’t been the same since

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