Shave Ice Day

Ever have one of those days? You know the ones. They sit in your mind, and sometimes you think back and only for one moment you could go back to that one day. One of my favorite memories of not too long ago, but still in the past was a warm Hilo afternoon. My kids were still young. My kids were 15, 6, 4, and 2. Like many other children, they were a busy bunch. The usual laughing and fighting, but it was a warm sunny Hawaii day. We decided to walk down along Bayfront. The shops there always enticed me to look. All the old window displays with goods and fun things to look at. I had all but forgotten about one of Hilo’s hidden treasuresHawaiian shave ice. Located in the surf shop along Bayfront, many pass by without even noticing it. So we walked in. Like most kids, mine were excited to choose the flavors. All of sudden, the day went from almost dreary and a chore to excitement and energy.
As each chose the flavors, I agreed to the vanilla ice cream upgrade. The cost was quite small, and they were so happy. I can still see my daughter’s big brown eyes light up as they handed her (a huge) shave ice. We walked outside in the bright sunlight, and the kids sat on the curbside eating every last bight/slurp. From combinations of Pina Colada and Rootbeer to Coconut and blueberry or lilikoi and mango, the options are endless. Each one was indeed a reflection of what they loved and enjoyed. As they started to make a mess on the ground (and their clothes), I became fussy and tried to start cleaning it up. My sweet husband stopped me and said, “it’s cement… they are fine”. So I just let them enjoy every sticky, delicious bite. Why not, right? Nothing that some strategically placed baby wipes couldn’t handle. It was perfect. The day, the moment and even a nano of a second. As my youngest son looked at us, his big light brown eyes seemed to dance. I still remember watching the baby lick her hands to get every last coconut vanilla ice cream goodness. Her curly dark brown hair stuck to her face, but she was so happy. Even Kainalu, who was always a little more reserved was jumping around, and he had dug around the shave ice to get directly to the ice cream. I am pretty sure they had to take a hose and wash down that part of the sidewalk…we used a couple of bottles of water to wash it away. No one seemed to care. I can still smell the ocean mist from across the street and the warm Hilo sun against my skin. Most of all, even the teenager was happy.
Today, my kids are adults and older teens. They probably do not remember that day. It didn’t cost much, but geez it was a perfect afternoon. We were all happy and laughing. That shave ice place is still there. They still sell some of the most delicious shave ice. Hands down, they are the best. The price, the best location, and every time I smell coconut or lilikoi it brings back those sweet, warm memories.
When we started writing our tours for the Big Island, we created a tour that takes us to that store. Our family had that moment… but maybe someone else’s will be able too. Gotta love Hilo. Little changes over the years and generations enjoy many of the same fond memories. That is what is so great. So many things in this world change and we change with it. Yet simple things… the ones that are most important in our lives. Those are the things that families seek. I am not saying your life will be perfect if you eat shave ice. However; for us, that moment was.

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