ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Special Birthday

Updated on April 24, 2020
Say Yes To Life profile image

Sixteen-year-old Amber has the most unique, unusual birthday ever!

Yes, there is snow in Hawaii!
Yes, there is snow in Hawaii! | Source

“Happy Birthday, Amber!”

called Aunt Noelani, from the bedroom door.

Sleepily, Amber sat up in bed and looked at the clock. “It’s 5:00 in the morning!”

“I know, but I have something special planned for you today.”

Instantly alert, Amber asked, “A Sweet Sixteen party? Like on MTV?”

“Something even better. We’re going to surf this morning, snowboard this afternoon, and watch the Leonid Meteor Shower tonight.”

“How can we do all that in one day?” puzzled Amber.

“We live on the Big Island of Hawaii, one of the few places in the world where it’s possible. Hurry, your friends are already waiting at Papakolea Beach.”

Amber jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes, and grabbed her beach bag. She climbed into Aunt Noelani’s jeep for the ride to the beach. Finally, Noelani parked on top of a caldera. Amber peeked over the edge. “The sand is green, Auntie! My favorite color!”

Papakolea (Green Sand) Beach
Papakolea (Green Sand) Beach | Source
Close-up of green sand (peridot and olivine)
Close-up of green sand (peridot and olivine) | Source

“That’s right,” answered Noelani. :”This is one of two places in the world where you can find green sand. The other place is in Guam.”

They climbed down the caldera to where Amber’s best friends, Minnie and Micah, were waiting with a sheet cake that held 16 candles. “Happy Birthday, Amber!” they chorused. Noelani lit them, and after making a silent wish, Amber blew it out. But the candles relit! No matter how many times Amber blew, the flames kept coming back. Everyone laughed, and Micah finally put out the flames by squeezing them between his fingers. “Ouch!” exclaimed Noelani. “I don’t think that was a good thing to do.”

“I do that all the time,” said Micah. “Well, Amber, it looks like your wish won’t come true.”

“We’ll see,” said Amber. They had huge pieces of cake, and when it was gone, she said, “Let’s surf!”

“Be careful,” warned Noelani. “The current here is very strong.” All of them were excellent surfers, though, so they had no trouble. After a couple hours, Noelani said, “Now, let’s go snowboarding on the tallest mountain in the world.”

“We’re going to fly to Mt. Everest?” asked Minnie.

Noelani laughed. “I knew you’d ask that! Mt. Everest is the highest mountain in the world, but Mauna Kea is the tallest, because its base is 18,000 feet below sea level, making it more than 32, 000 feet tall.”

They left the beach, and headed for Mauna Kea. After an hour of riding under the scorching sun, Minnie asked, “Are you sure we’re going snowboarding? It’s too hot for snow.”

“Wait and see,” answered Noelani.

Mauna Kea's Lift System
Mauna Kea's Lift System

Half an hour later, they could see snow on top of Mauna Kea. “There it is,” said Noelani, and everyone oohed and aahed over it. Though they were still hot, they were freezing a short time later when they arrived at the Onizuka Visitor Center. “We’ll rest here for an hour. I’ll bring you some warm clothes. Drink plenty of water while you’re here,” Noelani told them. She brought them thermal underwear and jackets, and loaded snowboards onto her jeep.

“Now, let’s go to the snow,” said Noelani, and they rode to the top. Everyone enjoyed themselves snowboarding. Since there was no lift, they took turns driving the jeep to the top.

“It’s getting dark,” said Noelani. “Now, let’s go down to the Onizuka Center for stargazing. Since tonight is the Leonid Meteor Shower, we should see lots of shooting stars.”

Snowboarding, Skiing and Sledding on Mauna Kea

Arrival
Arrival
Snowboarder strapping in
Snowboarder strapping in
Snowboarder going off a jump
Snowboarder going off a jump
Skier going off a jump
Skier going off a jump
Sledding
Sledding
Stargazing in Hawaii
Stargazing in Hawaii | Source

They went back down, and spent the night gazing at the sky and looking through telescopes at distant planets and galaxies. Some meteors were bright as flaming match heads; others were tiny, but moved slowly, and some even had colors. While looking through a telescope at the moon, Amber suddenly screamed in delight. “I just saw a star shoot right across the moon!”

By 1:00 in the morning, the most active part of the Leonid Meteor Shower was over, and most of the people had left. Noelani handed everyone warm sleeping bags, and they were allowed to sleep inside the Visitor’s Center.

“Why did they name it Onizuka?” asked Minnie, crawling into her bag.

“The visitor’s center is named after Ellison Onizuka, the first person from the Big Island to go into space,” Noelani told her. “He grew up in Kona. Unfortunately, he died when the Challenger exploded in 1986, but his work lives on here.”

The Onizuka Center closed at 6:00am. As Noelani drove them home, they watched the moon set and the sun rise over a sea of golden clouds. “This has been really special. Too bad you couldn’t blow the candles out,” Micah told Amber.

“That’s OK, I got my wish anyway,” Amber answered.

“And what was that?” asked Noelani.

“That this would be my best birthday ever – and it was. Thank you, Auntie!”

© 2012 Yoleen Lucas

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Say Yes To Life profile imageAUTHOR

      Yoleen Lucas 

      6 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      Thanks, you guys. peachpurple - go for it!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 

      6 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wow, full of activities birthday, this is what i wanted too, can you give me?

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      6 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting and exciting story with great description of their enjoyments at Mauna kea. Voted up and awesome.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from the beautiful south

      Looks like winter fun to me. Will add you and share too!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)