We headed off in the car to see a town famous for Hawaiian art galleries today, parked, and walked past a hair styling salon.
I jumped in (literally) and asked, "How much would a hair cut be?"
Okay. So we decide who wants what and Ileana marches in and says, "Hi! We're here for a haircut. He wants one" (pointing to Ioan) "and she wants one" (pointing to me) "and she wants one." (Pointing to Mom).
The woman, who looks like a little elfish grandmother with crazy gray hair laughs. "Okay then."
Ioan sits down first. As we're all getting settled in the small salon, she says,
"I wrote a book. It's about my family. I wrote it for our family reunion three years ago."
"Oh." We say, and Mom takes the book. It's one of those books you can make on a computer and then send off to a company to print (think Blurb or Shutterfly or any of those). Inside are pictures of her family
"We have a coffee farm. One of my brothers runs it." She says as she takes out the strange tool that cuts men's hair. I want to say electric razor for some reason.
"Is today your first day on the Big Island?"
"It's actually our last." We say, somewhat sheepishly.
"That is too bad! I was going to invite you to our tours! We do free tours so people can learn about things they've never learned before. Do you drink coffee?" she asks Mom. Dad has gone walking.
"Why not?" she asks, giving Mom a bit of a look.
"It upsets my stomach?"
"You can't drink it?"
"I can drink it, it just hurts my stomach."
"Our coffee won't hurt your stomach. It's something in the processing."
"I'm sure." Mom says.
"Have you had any traditional Hawaiian food? Teriyaki beef, or pork, or poi?"
"I've heard of poi!" (It's already my hair being cut, and I can't see anything past my own nose properly).
"Have you ever had any?"
"Not yet." I say, grinning.
We kind of couldn't stop grinning during this entire conversation, by the way. She was just so… personable! And funny! And very good at talking about herself, which, as Mom said, is very refreshing from the usual hair dressers, who merely ask you how your life is.
Since we didn't tell her anything about the actual trip (we realized we never would have gotten off the subject had we started), we were fielded with questions of the sort:
"What's your favorite part about the trip?"
Awkward silence, but I said,
"Ah, yes, it's very cold in New York. I hear they had terrible snow storms! There was a snow storm in November, very big, very bad, right?"
Awkward smiles from all ends, which hopefully wasn't noticed from any end.
"I think so." I said, just to be on the safe side.
"You must take some coffee with you. I'll give you half a pound."
And we're going to visit the farm tomorrow, too!