The handsome couple with their kukui nut leis … minus one white one!
It was an ordinary day. Last day of vacation in the tropical paradise known as Hawaii. The last stop on our journey was the island of Maui where we stayed at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel. The hotel has a tradition of ending your stay by presenting you with a beautiful lei that is made of kukui nuts. On our first trip to the island in 1999 we received our leis at a closing ceremony where they presented a lei to Carol and me as well as our traveling companions Jerry and Just Sue. On our second visit eight years ago we went through the same ceremony, but they added one more kukui nut to the lei which we had taken back to the island. We later found out that instead of another black nut, we should have been given a white nut on our second trip. Their policy states that for every return visit to the Kaanapali they add another nut which is white. Same for this trip. So this time we gave them our leis that we had received on out first trip and had updated on our second trip with the dates that we had visited with them in the past hoping they would remove one black nut and give us two white nuts. Still with me? Got a message laying on our bed the day before our departure telling us of the time for the ceremony when they would present us with out kukui nut leis. All the guests lined up and listened to the song entitled E Kui A Lei Ho'ohenoheno sung by Akoni Akana. It actually sounded like every other song we had heard for the past fourteen days, but I guess it was the thought that mattered. After that the lei presentation began. Jerry and Sue got their leis with many white nuts on them since this was their 7th visit to the Kaanapali. Then Carol and I were presented with our leis. I looked at Carol with a smile on my face and said, "Looks like we only have one white kukui nut." She said, "Yeah, we got screwed out of two nuts!" It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.