Thank you for visiting Jagged Edge Reviews. We have a lot of exciting reviews, guest posts, cover reveals and book blitz coming up! I apologize we are going through a bit of a change as we have been away for a short time but we are getting back into the swing of things! Just getting a bit organized again, please be patient.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guest post by Cameo

First of all… A special “Thank-You!” to Kati of Jagged Edge for having me as a guest on her blog. It’s great to be here!

My Home: A Place Called Paradise:
Yes… I have been blessed to live in such a beautiful place; a place where the sun shines throughout the year; a place with beautiful, white, sandy beaches, coconut palms, fresh fruit and flower trees, and spectacular mountains with waterfalls; a place I’ve lived most of my life.
My mom and dad met here on Maui. She was a beautiful, young girl who came on vacation with a friend. Yes, back then, her glowing, white skin stood out amongst the locals. My dad, a dark-skinned, local boy– born and raised on Maui - was supposedly sitting under a coconut tree, strumming his ukulele, singing “Pearly Shells”. It was love at first sight… so that’s what I’ve been told.
She said my dad gave her a smile that melted her heart. But what she didn’t know… until later, was that he didn’t have any front teeth. He’d lost them in a fight. Boy, he must’ve been mighty sly with that toothless smile! (BTW: he ended up getting cool, realistic-looking, permanent teeth. A gift from my grandmother. I wonder why???)
Well… they ended up getting hitched, and moved to California. I was born in San Francisco, but was raised in Quincy, California in a place called Two Rivers. My grandmother owned a lodge there, where the whole family lived… for a while. My mother begged them to visit Maui, and after they did… they all packed up and moved. That’s when I was three, and I’ve lived here ever since.
We’ve seen a lot of changes to the island over the years, and I must say… paradise does have its downfalls. For one… the traffic has gotten really bad with all of the expansion. Secondly, there hasn’t been much rain, so we are constantly on water restrictions. They shut down the pineapple mill, which has been around since forever. Then, the vog (volcanic smoke from the Big Island’s erupting volcano) is constantly in the air. It causes symptoms like burning, watery eyes, asthma, rash, etc… Most visitors don’t know this, but it’s constantly there. Access too many of the public beaches have been cut off by homes and resorts. Prices on everything have gone sky high. Get this… Maui’s gas prices are 50 cents higher than any other island. What’s up with that?
But then… it is a wonderful place to visit. I see tourists lying out on the beaches, soaking up the sun, and there are some places for adventure. The Haleakala Crater is one. It is our largest mountain at 10,000 feet. People usually drive up to watch the sunrise. I also book reservations for horseback tours that go down into the crater… Anyone interested? Lol Then we have our whale watching excursions, parasailing, driving to Hana. That is a beautiful drive. I’ve done it once, and once is enough for me. They have shirts that say… I survived the road to Hana…
The cool thing about living on an island… you know a lot of people. We see people we know practically everywhere we go. It seems like my husband is related to half the population here! We go into a store, and he sees someone. They talk and talk and talk… so I’ve learned throughout the years… keep shopping! He’s usually still talking when I return, anyway.
Most adults here are referred to as Aunty or Uncle by the children, even if you’re not related. The Aloha spirit is still around. It’s harder to see it nowadays because of the stress of the economy, but you can still feel it. Family is everything here, and every chance we can, we all find a reason to get together and party.
The biggest parties, thrown by locals, are first birthday parties and graduations. It is a local tradition that when the baby turns one, to have a baby luau. Family and friends gather for this wonderful occasion. The reason… many children in the past, didn’t live past their first birthday, so when they did… there was a great celebration.
Graduations are big here too. The stadium is usually filled to capacity with family and friends of the graduates, and everyone gives leis. Flower leis, ti-leaf leis, candy leis… you name it… they’ve probably given it. I saw one made out of tampons. Okay… all-together now – “Ewwwww!”
After the ceremony, graduates are sent to designated locations so family members can find them. My daughter graduated this year, and she had so many leis placed on her, that she couldn’t breathe. We had to peel leis off of her, several times, so she could get some air. It was crazy! Hundreds of leis! Then the graduation parties… These aren’t small parties given at your home. Well… some still do, but most parents rent community centers and have a big bash. We had almost 400 family and friends show up for my daughter’s graduation party! Crazy!
So this is where I live. I love it most of the time, because I don’t get to enjoy it as much as I’d like. I need a vacation, so I can get to the beach!
Oh, and before I go… you gotta check out this new novel… In My Dreams… I hear it’s pretty good book by this mostly awesome author!

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