I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, and about a month ago I finally went! (I invited myself along on my parents’ trip and they were too nice to say no. How Watson Brewer of them.) Of course I re-read this Super Special beforehand to make sure I had a BSC-riffic experience.
Okay, so Stoneybrook High School offers a trip to Hawaii. (Really? My school would never…) Unfortunately they only give a few weeks’ notice, and Mallory already has plans and also can’t afford to go. Did I say unfortunately? Let’s be real. No one but Jessi really cares if Mal is there or not. With her complexion she’d probably get hella sunburnt anyway, so she’s probably better off. Kristy isn’t going either, because she’s working at Mrs. Stone’s day camp with Mallory, but her (rich) family is taking their own trip to Hawaii in August. Logan is going, and I hope he gets nicknamed Luau Logan.
ANYWAY. About fifty kids and six chaperones are going, and each baby-sitter had to pay for half her trip, with her parents covering the other half. (Damn, baby-sitting business must be good.) Jessi convinces Stacey, Dawn, Claudia, Mary Anne, Abby, and Logan to help her keep a journal/scrapbook for Mallory. Here we goooo…
The trip’s itinerary is like this:
- Fly to Hawaii and land on Oahu island.
- Five days in Honolulu, with trips to Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor, and Manoa Valley.
- A small group (including Stacey) flies to Maui, while the rest stay on Windward Oahu with a day trip to the North Shore.
- Then back to Honolulu for the flight back to Connecticut.
Of course my trip most closely resembles Stacey’s… she’s my spirit animal. I spent four days on Oahu and a week on Maui. On the morning of the Hawaii flight, we get introduced to Abby’s Five Stages of Packing: Shock (that the suitcase won’t close), Denial (that she has too much stuff), Anger (at the fact that she didn’t pack earlier), Bargaining (with the objects to make room for one another), and Mourning (for the clothes she must leave behind).
The gang has a rowdy flight to Hawaii, where they land on the island of Oahu! In the above photo of them on the plane, Dawn kind of looks like a blond 1969 Patricia Krenwinkel. Just sayin’. Mary Anne calls Hawaii “the most beautiful place on Earth” (page 33). Logan is disappointed that he didn’t get lei’d upon landing – he thought it would be like “The Brady Bunch” (#same, Logan). The SMSers stay at a hotel called the Honolulu Surf. While on the trip, Mary Anne and Logan are trying something called TBI – Together But Independent. Their friends rag on them for spending too much time together, so they’re going to try to each have fun with their own friends and not spend all their time together. Stacey and Robert are also being a little bit distant, but nobody quite knows why.
On their first full day, Jessi, Claudia, and Mary Anne take a guided walking tour of Honolulu. They see a statue of Kamehameha the Great (a warrior king), ‘Iolani Palace, the State Capitol, the Mission Houses Museum, and the Hawaii Maritime Center. They travel through Merchant Street and Chinatown. Eventually they all get ice cream near the Aloha Tower.
Meanwhile, Mallory is having a shitty time in Stoneybrook. Jenny Prezzioso, amiright?
Claudia goes to Pearl Harbor with a small group the next day. The site has extra significance for her because of her Japanese heritage. (Mary Anne goes, too. Being allergic to the sun, it would be a waste for her to spend her time at the beach.) At first Claudia finds the history interesting, but then when she thinks about all the people that died because of the attacks, she feels sick and wishes to be blond-haired and blue-eyed, to dissociate from the destruction. 😦 Poor Claud!
Abby and Stacey, meanwhile, are shopping on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. Stacey goes off in search of actual fashion, while Abby (whose mother calls her a “tsotchke maven”) buys a bunch of tacky souvenirs: a windup hula dancer, a tin pineapple pencil sharpener, a glow-in-the-dark Waikiki plastic tumbler, and a poster of a grumpy-looking bulldog that said “I’d rather be wind-surfing”. Keep it classy, Abby. Next, the girls and their group hit Kapiolani Park, followed by the Waikiki Aquarium, and then they hit Waikiki Beach. On the beach, Abby stumbles upon a camera crew filming a sunscreen commercial and – because she’s pretty good at volleyball – she gets to be in it! She has to report back the next morning for filming. YAS QUEEN ABBY!
Jessi, Dawn, and Logan head off to Mount Tantalus, the highest point in Oahu. Dawn pulls a Margo Pike and almost barfs from carsickness on the way there, but we narrowly avoid that disaster. Jessi is taking pictures of everything – nine rolls of film so far (remember when film was a thing?) – and I want to be like, “Jessi, please listen to John Mayer’s song ‘3×5’ and LIVE YO LIFE instead of watching your vacation through a lens!” But Jessi’s a fictional eleven-year-old so I can’t quite get my message across. Dawn feels better in the fresh air (hippie) and loves it when they get to Paradise Park in Manoa Valley, where they eat in the Treetop Restaurant.
Abby is beginning to daydream about gaining stardom after her commercial job; she is pretty sure she’s going to win the role of “glamorous thirteen-year-old asthmatic in [Steven Spielberg’s] new movie, ‘Abigail’s Dream'” (page 102). Gotta love Abby. #HUSTLE #DONTQUITYOURDAYDREAM Abby reports to the Diamond Head end of the beach to shoot her commercial. She kinda flubs at first but manages to make it work. ABBY’S A STAR, ABBY’S ON TOP, SOMEBODY BRING HER SOME HAAAAAM! (Wait, can Abby even eat ham? Never mind.) Oh, but side note – she ironically didn’t wear sunscreen in her sunscreen commercial and got burned to a crisp.
Stacey and Robert fly with a couple of others to Maui, where they’re going to camp at Haleakala. They’re having a bit of a tiff, though – Stacey’s jealous/suspicious because Robert has been flirting with other girls. ~Stoneybrook drama!~ Once they get to the crater, they have the chance to see a Brocken specter – Stacey sees her silhouette in a rainbow. She’s so friggin’ fabulous. At the top – Pu’u Ula’ula – Stacey sees a view as amazing as she is. (Y’all know she’s my fave.) But Stacey and Robert’s relationship is beginning to bear more than a passing metaphorical resemblance to a rocky crater.
Claudia and the rest of the still-on-Oahu gang move to a new hotel and visit Punchbowl Crater National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, a graveyard of thirty thousand soldiers. (Yikes.) Again Claud feels self-conscious about her heritage, and kind of hides out a little. Then they move on to the summer palace of Queen Emma, where Claudia sees a Japanese cottage. She can’t escape this whole thing. The group then drives through the Ko’olau Mountain Range, stopping to check out the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout.
Mary Anne is super stoked that they can see Gilligan’s Island from their new hotel, the SeaView Family Resort in Kaneohe. I would be too – I could write about it for Live The Movies! And, in a very Mary Anne move, she decides to stay at the hotel (instead of going on a fabulous tour) to help a family find their missing five-year-old son. Of course the son was just kind of a dummy who went to the wrong room, got stuck, and fell asleep, but Mary Anne gains hero status by baby-sitting his sisters and then finding him. The hotel proprietors even want to hire her to baby-sit the next day. So Mary Anne – WHILE ON VACATION IN HAWAII – says yes. I can’t with Mary Anne.
And of course Mary Anne’s do-gooder step-sister Dawn finds a dirty littered beach down the way from their hotel and makes it her mission – WHILE ON VACATION IN HAWAII – to clean that shit up. I gotta say, I’m way more on Stacey and Abby’s wavelengths. But whatever.
Stacey is a badass, so she goes on a helicopter ride. But… it doesn’t turn out so great. They end up flying into a storm, and the chopper starts spiraling down next to the crater. Pete Black barfs and Stacey blacks out. OH SHIT. But it’s cool – everyone survives. This is the Baby-sitters Club, not “Pretty Little Liars”.
Back in Stoneybrook, Mallory is zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… whoops, sorry, dozed off there for a second. Where were we? Oh, okay. In Hawaii, Mary Anne goes to baby-sit for the Reynolds fami…zzzzzzz…
SMASH CUT TO everyone finding out that Stacey’s helicopter went down! WHAAAAT. Search parties are out looking for Stacey, Pete, and the others, but they haven’t been found yet. Mary Anne (knowing that Mr. Reynolds’s WWII veteran father would be showing up that afternoon) convinces Claudia to baby-sit there so she can get another perspective. Claudia is reluctant but in the end finds it valuable – Grandpa Reynolds convinces her that her heritage is nothing to be ashamed of, and that everybody’s ancestors have done terrible things at one point or another. Claud feels better about that but is, natch, still worried about Stacey.
Dawn of the Jungle convinces Abby and Jessi to help her clean up the nasty beach instead of moping around about Stacey. (Abby’s bikini is fab, BTW.) In just a short while, Dawn and the crew clean up the beach and give the kids who swim there some tips for keeping it clean. Dawn may be annoying, but at least she does accomplish some good things. And – great news – when they get back to the hotel they find out Stacey is safe! (Phew.) After going down in the Kahikinui Forest Reserve, the lost group camped out for the night, then hiked to the Kaupo Gap, and finally into the town of Kaupo. Stacey, being diabetic and having gone without enough food, wakes up in the hospital with Robert at her bedside. Awwww. She’s okay! And she gets to rejoin the BSC after flying back to Oahu.
The gang celebrates at the Polynesian Cultural Center, where Robert pushes Stacey around in a wheelchair due to her blistered-up feet from a gnarly fifteen-mile hike through the forest. Now on the North Shore, the group visits Sunset Beach. The next day it’s off to Waimea Falls Park, where Stacey can walk on her own two feet again, and lunch at Matsumoto, where shaved ice is a specialty. Then we get a Logan chapter! And Logan finally gets lei’d on the way home. And Logan and Mary Anne both admit that they hated TBI and are going to get surgically conjoined (except not that second part, really). And it’s back to Stoneybrook for our favorite baby-sitters.
P.S. Mal loved the scrapbook/journal. Of course.
As a side note: I gotta say, this book (coming later-ish in the series) was really spunky and witty compared to some of the other more saccharine books in the series. I guess Hawaii brings out the best in the BSC.