My Aloha experience. #DolphinsCave #ComingRelease #YA #ChildrenBook #Hawaii #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity


Hawaii is a place I hold close in my heart. I heard many tales of this magical place growing up. My family had done business there, and my mother had been there many times during this. Although the family business had ended, I was lucky enough to see this place when I was in the fourth grade. Oahu was magical through a nine-year-old girl’s eyes. I spent hours swimming and exploring the island with my great grandparents. I remember touring the pineapple groves and sitting next to a very nice fourth-grade teacher.

Pineapples were a cornerstone of my diet there. We ate pineapple ice cream at Woolworths and fresh pineapple at the International Market. What I will remember most about this trip is the Brady Bunch (one of my favorite shows growing up) went to Hawaii the same year. We stayed in the same hotel they did, but not at the same time. Although I didn’t get cursed or learn how to surf, I got a hula lesson at the Kodiak show.

Then, when I was twelve years old, I went back again with my great grandparents.  We stayed in a hut (that was torn down soon after to make way for more hotels) with a path to the beach. I found a Hawaiian lady who was making leis with plumeria flowers along the path. She took the time to show me how to make them, and then I got to keep my work. I spent hours swimming and ended up with the worst sunburn I ever had. For nights after I sprayed myself with water to cool it down and later my shoulders bore freckles of my Hawaiian journey. We picked up some souvenirs at the International Market (now gone) and went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, where we walked through villages while interacting and learning. Then a beautiful show floated by on the river.

My next trip back was on my honeymoon. We explored Oahu: Pearl Harbor, Polynesian Cultural Center, and a Luau. When we weren’t seeing the sights, we hung out on the Waikiki Beach and ate lots of crab Louie and pineapple. Another week was added, and we headed to Maui. Here we drove the famous Hana Drive that took us through all the waterfalls and an amazing black beach that we had to ourselves. Every night in paradise, we sat and watched the sunset.

It was almost 30 years before we went back to Hawaii for our second honeymoon. This time we focused on Kauai and Maui.

On Kauai, we made a point of doing things we’d never done before, including a helicopter tour over Kauai, which produced some amazing views and pictures but also left my husband with a queasy stomach. Next, we took a boat tour to snorkel (my second time ever), and the spinning dolphins and a couple of turtles entertained us. Then we rented a Harley and cruised the south shore of the island, including the spectacular little Grand Canyon. Kauai is an amazing garden island filled with roaming chickens.

We spent week two on Maui. We took the Hana drive again, where I was less brave than I had been on our honeymoon with the narrow road, but it was still just as beautiful as I had remembered it. We explored the town of Lahaina and the Hard Rock Cafe, and other wonderful restaurants. The thing that has the fondest memories was staying at the hotel and lounging around the pool— and snorkeling. We’d get up each morning and suit up for the ocean. There was usually a turtle greeting you at the shore, but we were warned not to touch them it could make them sick. However, the turtle seemed determined to touch me.

Hawaii is truly paradise, full of wonderful people, scenery, and memories. It has become my home away from home and has found its way in An Unusual IslandThis Second Chance, and soon to be released, middle grade/ YA Dolphin’s Cave. I’m hoping for an early December release if all goes well.

The Aloha spirit has found residence in me and my work.

Embrace your inner child with the Aloha Spirit in your heart. D. L. Finn

26 thoughts on “My Aloha experience. #DolphinsCave #ComingRelease #YA #ChildrenBook #Hawaii #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity”

  1. Magical, Denise. Larry and I honeymooned in Maui, and later we returned and visited Oahu. The islands are special in so many ways. 🌞 ❤ 🌞 Congratulations on your new release!

    1. It’s the perfect place to honeymoon Gwen. There is something very special about them. Thank you. xoox

    1. I can’t think of a better spot to go for a honeymoon:) It’s been nice remembering.Thanks, Staci. xo

    1. I’m looking forward to that day when we can travel freely again. Great desitination of have on your list, Jessica 🙂

  2. It sounds wonderful, Denise! Hubby and I were due to cruise around the Caribbean come late February next year, but that’s all off the cards now. Congrats on your new release 🙂

    1. That sounds like an amazing trip to take in the future, once we get past all of this. Hopefully it will be soon for you. We moved up our stuff to 2021 December and hope for the best. Thank you, Harmony xo

    1. I handled that road much better in my 20s than I did later. So glad I wasn’t the one driving it. There were a couple of times I just had to close my eyes….lol

  3. What an incredible and magical journey spread out over your lifetime, Denise! Just wow! I don’t even have words. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to your new release! Please know my blog is open to you to help launch! Have the best day ever!

    1. It really was. I got lucky with my great grandparents when they shared their experiences with me. It’s a good place to remember right now. I appreicate your offer thank you. I’ll let you know closer to the date if that’s okay. Hugs. xo

  4. This sounds lovely, Denise. I look forward to your new children’s book. It’s well timed for me because I am planning to read and review a selection of children’s books over December and January.

    1. Wouldn’t it be the perfect place to retire, Jacquie? Pretty pricey there though, but waking up to that beauty everyday would be amazing. Thanks:) xo

  5. Those sound like wonderful and memorable trips, Denise. I’ve been to the big island three times, and hope to visit the other islands as soon as travel is safe again. My brother just moved to Oahu – so I have a free place to stay – Poor Me. Lol. And congrats on the soon-to-be-released middle-grade book!

    1. They were, Diana. I was lucky to have wonderful grandparents who took me on adventures. We went to the big island for a day trip from Kauai. It was fun to see the volcano park. I believe it blew not soon after we went. That’s perfect to have a relative to stay with rooms are so pricey. I haven’t been back to Oahu in 30 years and want to see the changes since then. I watched it go from small island to city over the years, but its still so beautiful. Thank you 🙂 xo

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