"You give your children enough money to do something but not
enough to do nothing."
~ Matt King, "The Descendants"
This week some scintillating topics have popped up in convo.
How did I become a thriller writer?
How did you become a professional pirate? Hmm, that second one mught become a series.
The short answer is my nickname is “Adrenalinda”. I’ve always craved a travel rush.
The “lean in a little closer” answer?
I knew I needed a hefty dose of Hawaii. My first Hawaii was Maui, and Pearl Jam under the stars and in the surf. Stellar. Love to do that every winter if we could. I’ve been to other islands, so now all of my Hawaiian vacays gravitate toward the appeal of a secret local spot.
My year-long Big Island adventure began in the Valley of the Gods – Waipi'o Valley and its secluded and seductive black sand beach.
The lush valley is home to ancient sacred temples, tropical rainforests and tall sea cliffs rising 2,000 feet into a crown of clouds. Certainly few places on the island can match the spiritual energy and mystical charm of Waipi'o, one of the most hot-listed and beloved locations in all of Hawaii.
I was invited into the locals only areas accessible by 4-wheel drive and guarded by maverick horses.
Definitely a "city girl is this for real?!" moment.
Here lie the farm lands that have been in the family for 5 generations.
A story worthy of “The Descendants” waiting to happen.
I was 8 miles from cell phone reception but was encircled by WiFi and Coqui frogs. There were a handful of thriller moments that spawned chapters in the third book in progress – but we’ll turn that corner when we come to it.
I began to explore the leeward side of the island and discovered
Castle in Hawaii on a B & B site. I had been a pirate and corsair for hire, so castle always appeal to me. This one drew me out of my rainforest ohana to the southeastern tip of Hawaii.
The castle is a slice of seaside paradise, about 45 minutes outside Hilo and well worth the drive. I do my best to find hidden gems and experiences that go way beyond touristy Waikiki. Castle in Hawaii falls nicely into both categories. Yes, I am already a proud member of their target demographic: I have been known to throw a "champagne pirate soiree" or two while sailing on Lake Michigan. A castle with seaside royal suites? Fresh seafood on the grill? Gourmet and organic meals paired local wines?
Where have you been all my life?
The castle is done in extensive gorgeous detail with a few pleasant surprises when guests arrive in their suites. A moat, drawbridge and concealed secret passages! A stunning lanai to watch regal sunrises, relax, do Yoga and share adventures stories over a tasty beverage! “
You saw a hammerhead shark? You’re bringing home Kona Maine Lobster?
This time you went IN with sharks – without a cage?!”
Yes I saw at least two once-in-a-lifetime sights:
While chillaxin' in the hot tub we saw a humpback whale breach right across the park in front of the castle! I was also there to see Kilauea eruption (video !).
I certainly enjoyed the soothing sound of the surf. I've taken in the "bohemian" black sand beach, local flavors and many delicious. Sheri and the caretakers treat guests like Ali'i (royalty) indeed. They have wonderful stories of living in Hawaii for 10 years and are happy to share their Aloha. It has been so refreshing to find a place like this to call home for 6 weeks of my Pacific Paradise adventure. Yes, relaying stories such as these has inspired pirate colleagues to fly over to experience the Castle and Big Island. It has been an exceptional experience to see special guests and share new stories. We even caught our first ono on the Pacific and brought it to the castle to share and enjoy over a moonlit night on the lanai!
Chart your course for the castle and feel free to pack a costume! Surely some of my best photos are from castle visits. In fact, many of my pirate colleagues thought that I'd grown my own mermaid tresses. Hawaii's just that magical...
Aloha & huzzah!
And the other topic?
“SO when will we be sailing Cannes and Cinque Terre?”
Bright horizons, baby! More about that next time.
Now I’m off to the City of Angels to meet at the intersection of “your genius, your goals and what the marketplace may embrace”.
Now that’s my kind of connection!