Friday, January 13, 2012

Ko Olina, Place of Joy

tee hee, this picture was my fave from this day.  It's actually of the sunset in Wakiki that night.  Brandon went on a date  and then met up with my dear school friends Kelly, Claire and Laurance way out in Kahala.

When I was a kid, Ko Olina, which is now a major cluster of high end resorts and homes, was just a flat land of dried up coral and brush.  We found out that some people were going to turn it into resorts, and I remember thinking it was a little funny.  Still, they built the four lagoons, where there used to be rocky shore, almost like a scene out of Field of Dreams: If you build it, they will come.  We thought it was fun to go into their little sales building, where they were pitching the luxury that wasn't yet present.  They had air conditioning, which was a rarety to us, so our family of five, and sometimes 2 grandparents would go.  They had a little movie made for the tourists that told about how Ko Olina was a place of joy with hotels, a golf course and more.  It would sing a jingle that sounded like a saturday commercial that should have a little "bing!" at the end.  It went, "Ko Olina, Ko Olina, Place of Joy...."  I'm amazed to see the difference today.  It's like a minature Waikiki in the making.  There's a boat marina with The Black Pearl from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, lots of hotels, a big old golf course, some overpriced food places, an ABC store, the four manmade lagoons, and LOTS of tourist weddings.  You enter it through a gate and feel like you're being interviewed for a visit to a gated community, but the beaches are public.  There's a large parking lot at the lagoon closest to the marina and that's where most of the locals go.  We went there with my parents a few times on our visit and enjoyed a relaxing beach time with clean bathrooms and friendly people.  Levi even swam with a turtle here.  It's worth a visit, and in spite of the touristy stuff everywhere and, it is really a beautiful place of joy.  *bing!*

Saraiah photobomb of this lovely portrait me and Brandon.  In the background was the Ko Olina wedding chapel.  Every hour or so, a new lovely bride and her entourage would emerge to do portraits just to the side of us, complete with videographer and person-to-dust-off-clothes. 
Not sure what to think about the guava jelly, which we just then discovered was made with high fructose corn syrup, which our family has banished from our diets.  She had no clue, this was just her way of smiling into the squinty sun.
The grandparents and the kiddos at the lagoon with the bathroom in the background.

posing with the sandwich again
Those signs ask us to stay off that area so weddings can be photographed there.  A hotel is in the background.

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