Give Me a Sign



We were lucky enough to spend last week on the big island of Hawaii, a first time trip for our whole group. Of course, this being us, it couldn’t be as simple as just packing up the kid and going. Nope. We took my mother-in-law along. Then my brother-in-law decided he’d like to come, too. Which was awesome since my husband doesn’t get to see them much, but slightly more complicated with Roger coming from Texas, us from Montana and Darlene from South Dakota. My job was to make sure Darlene left the continental United States on the same plane as us. Roger was on his own.

We arrived at nine o’clock at night, pitch dark, to an airport in Kona that is basically a bunch of tiki huts with a whole lot of confused people wandering around in the open air between them. We followed the general flow of traffic to locate baggage claim as there was no sign we could see pointing us in that direction. Then another kind soul guided us to the area where we should wait for our rental car shuttle because, again, no sign.

Then we got in the car and quickly realized that blatant signage seems to be considered unnecessary in Hawaii, despite the fact that a high percentage of the folks wandering around are not from there, and an equally high percentage of that percentage are people who are, shall we say, slightly beyond their prime. The combination means you really shouldn’t plan to get anywhere in a hurry.

Consider the beaches. Yes, they are marked. Nice, generic signs that say ‘Shoreline Access’. Which shoreline? Well, if you must find a specific beach, say the one where you’re supposed to meet your surf instructor, you have to pull into the parking lot before you’ll find some obscure sign the declares, nope, this ain’t it.

But of course we all have smartphones with GPS and navigation assistance, so no problem, right? Right. Except Hawaiian words are damn near impossible to spell, and did you ever try to talk Hawaiian to Siri?

Me: “Directions to Hapuna Beach”. Siri: “I am unable to find a location called ‘Hop on it’.”

Me: “Directions to Pu’uhoanua National Park.” Siri: “Who pooped on what?”

So we defaulted to an actual paper map, only to discover that the powers that be didn’t see fit to include certain details. Like mileage between landmarks or towns. The alternate route of Highway 200. And the access road the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station.

Apparently they figure there’s only so many places to go on an island, so how lost can you get? Eventually you’ll circle back around to where you started. And they must have a point because somehow we managed to arrive at all the right places, mostly at the right times, and with all of our crew in tow.

We didn’t even leave Roger in Hawaii, no matter how much he begged.

Kari Lynn Dell


He came searching for his missing horse….and lost his heart. 

Available February 3, 2015 from Samhain Publishing. Visit to pre-order your copy now.