Zebra Tales
Julien '19

Ohana Means Family

This past spring break I went to Hawaii with a few of my friends. The four of us have been friends since Second Form and have gone through all of Latin together. So this was a celebration of our five memorable years together before we went into our final term at Groton. We had all gone on trips together before, though mostly on GEOs (Global Education Opportunities) offered by the school. In Third Form we all went on the Latin trip to Rome, and last spring we went on the Classics trip to Greece. But Hawaii was our first time on our own.
We weren’t completely left to our own devices, however, as one of my friends’ aunt and cousins live in Honolulu and her mother also stayed nearby. After spending the day at my house, we all flew twelve hours to Hawaii. We arrived at around 6:30 in the morning and were met with leis and a trip to a local breakfast spot. Thus began the first of our many incredible culinary adventures. Maybe it was the lack of sleep or just the fact that I hadn’t eaten real food in half a day, but I maintain that those were the best pancakes I have tasted to date. Seriously, though, the food in Hawaii was mind-blowing. On the first day alone, we went to a Japanese food market, got some local Kona coffee, and crafted our own Poké bowls.

Apart from food, we had many adventures. We were staying on Waikiki beach, so had the water and sand readily available to us. However, we also sought out other beaches known for different traits. We drove forty-five minutes to the North Shore, where we got spicy garlic shrimp (I’m limiting myself on the food stories, I promise) and went to a beach in Haleiwa, where I frolicked in/was smacked down by the biggest waves I have ever seen. We also went to Kailua beach, which is apparently known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Having now seen it myself, I can concur with the travel brochures. Other than beaches, we went to Pearl Harbor, visited the aquarium, and hiked several trails, including Diamond Head and Manoa Falls.

I had so much fun getting to explore a new place with some of my closest and oldest friends from Groton. It’s baffling to think that we are now only two months away from graduating. We’ve been through a lot together and I am incredibly grateful to have such wonderful people in my life. Living together for so long has made us extremely close and I know that, no matter the distance, we will always be friends. And who knows? Maybe years from now we’ll all go back to Honolulu and remember the wonderful times we had that ushered us into our senior spring.