I am so talented I’m capable of insomnia in any language.
Including Hawaiian, which, interestingly, does not seem to have a word for insomnia. This might be because everyone in Hawaii knows how to hang loose and sleep. Everyone but me, that is.
We have luxuriated here at Ka’anapali for a full week now, and I have had the luxury of more awake hours than anyone else. (Except maybe for Miss Caleigh, who has given her parents a run for their Mai Tai’s with her “No sleep! No sleep!” performances.
Most mornings I awake at 3 a.m., although some days I have managed to sleep until four, when the mynas explode in chatter from their night roost in the sea grape trees outside our hotel room balcony.
One advantage to being up with the birds is that I get a jump on the competition for pool chairs. The CE, John and I have served as advance troops in securing the most coveted shade chairs for our tribe: there are twelve of us!
The Starbucks counter opens at 5 a.m. I’ve been their first customer all week. After a venti cup of Kona blend coffee the world looks pretty good, even if it is still dark.
By 5:30 a.m., I am ready for the morning stroll. One of our favorite things about Ka’anapali is the boardwalk that spans the length of the cluster of resorts, from the Grand Hyatt at the south end of the beach to the Sheraton at Black Rock on the north end. And best of all, behind the Sheraton is a beach walk that meanders past the golf course and all the way up to North Ka’anapali, where huge cranes announce new development even beyond the Westin Villas and the sprawling Honua Kai condominium complex. Ka’anapali has changed a lot since we first started coming here in the 1980’s!
When we first hit the deck at 5 a.m., it’s just us, the swan and the pool workers bustling quietly in their headlamps. The coconut vendor will soon arrive to set up his wares but for the moment, all is quiet and after we nail down our pool chairs we head out and have the boardwalk to ourselves. I think of the beautiful Hawaiian word alaula, meaning “the light of early dawn”.
By 6 a.m., the first runners appear and by 6:30 the sleepy boardwalk has become a superhighway. Runners and walkers jostle in passing and I start to feel that Maui sunshine heating up on the back of my neck. The glorious serenity of the morning is split asunder by the arrival of the fast-talking time share hustlers who perch like vultures at their kiosks lining the boardwalk. In case you haven’t noticed, Ka’anapali Beach seems to be all about time shares these days.
Once we return from our walk, the little ones start to tumble out of bed and gather for the breakfast buffet spread – omelets, waffles, lots of rice, the Portuguese sausage that is so popular in Hawaii that I hear it is served at McDonald’s, and a feast of fruit – mango, papaya, pineapple, watermelon and, of course, lots of guava juice with which to wash it all down. All this, and the kids still choose Lucky Charms cereal…
After breakfast, everyone else’s day is just beginning, but I’m thinking about the idea of a nap Only the idea of it, though, because a nap would involve sleeping, which is something I don’t seem to do.
While insomnia does not translate precisely into Hawaiian, I did find a word that might work: uluku, a melding of the words ulu for “to grow” and ku for “to stand”. It can be translated to mean “to be restless, as the sea”.
My nights here are, indeed, restless, but I don’t really mind because I love being here to see the alaula. the light of early dawn at Ka’anapali. Being uluku is just fine with me, because I don’t want to miss a thing.