Sheraton Waikiki

DeAnne Writes About Aqua Zumba

Yesterday I attended an Aqua Zumba class in the pool here at The Sheraton Waikiki. I’m not sure why I thought exercising for the first time in three years in a too tight bright red bathing suit in front of other people was a good idea but I’m not caring a whole lot about what people think of me these days.  Actually, I have realized people are not thinking about me at all. Go figure.  

I found a space in the very back of the class because it was in the shade and my people in Scotland didn’t do Aqua Zumba so genetically I am melanin deprived. The class was taught by two beautiful young women in their 20’s, Yumi and JoJo,  both of whom were really good dancers. We started off with a routine to Madonna’s Material Girl.  The last time I danced to this song was when in the 80’s in the dance club of my youth wearing a tight black dress, with my red hair standing straight up tripled shellacked in hairspray, surrounded by dozens of would be suitors.  Now here I was triple shellacked in sun screen and surrounded by tourists. The thought of this made me laugh out loud and I wished my kids were here to see me.  It would have embarrassed them so much.

Class was great but let me point out that the twenty-year-old teachers were doing it on dry land and we in the pool had water and age resistance working against us so we were always at least four counts behind them.  Yumi and JoJo were dancing on the concrete and I really wanted to tell them to quit doing that because it will cause injuries.  Then I would have to show them all the parts of my body that still hurt from doing parades at Disneyland 40 years ago. But, I didn’t. They were running around and kicking their legs above their heads telling us to, “Kick and touch your feet!”  I yelled back, “I can’t find my feet!”  

After a few numbers I was starting to get really irritated with the other participants because they didn’t know “hold your space and don’t get in mine” dance class etiquette. They were all getting closer and I was becoming a bit claustrophobic so I started dancing bigger and splashing to get them to back off. I was reminded of the Miss California Pageant 1980 when on the live television broadcast you see me push through the other Miss Whatever’s from the third row to the front row in the Loser Dance Number done while the Winners changed into their swim attire.  In my defense none of the other Losers knew the choreography and even if they did they did not deserve to be in front of me.  By the end of the dance I had cleared a path eight feet around me in all directions and I was working the step touches within an inch of my life.  I have the video if you want to see it. 

I was brought back to the present when JoJo said, “Get ready! We are Rollin on the River!” When Tina began to sing I hollered, “Get out of my way! I’m doing the original choreography and I need more space!”  Then, just like the the Miss California pageant in 1980, I pushed past the others and made my way to the front row. JoJo asked if I would please stop flinging my wet hair around because I was getting water in her eyes.  At one point the music stopped and she was trying to figure out where we were in the song.  I said, “One bar after the second chorus. Ready? 5,6,7,8!”, and started splashing her again.  She said, “I’ve got this” and made me return to the back row.

After class JoJo smiled at me nicely as I hoisted myself out of the pool.  I got the obligatory, “Good job” and then they she watched with confused amusement as I hobbled over to a chair and strapped myself into my Plantar Fasciitis boot.  I looked her dead in the eye and said, “This is your future.”

Aqua Zumba was really fun and I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow. In preparation I am going to buy a long sleeved swim shirt and Zinc Oxide so I can stand in the front row and not worry about the sun.  JoJo will be so happy to see me.

DeAnne Writes About Hawaii

I am changing the name of my Blog. My Not So Empty Nest is a Fairly Empty Nest and that’s not a good title for anything. Welcome to “DeAnne Writes About Herself”.  I have decided to own the fact that all I really want you to do is tell you stuff so no more false advertising. 

I am joining the History Chicks Podcast on a tour of the Boston area in October.  I had a credit with American Airlines so when I went to book the ticket two days ago I was going to use it but it was expiring this week! So, I did the only logical thing and booked a ticket to Hawaii on a flight leaving in sixteen hours.  I know the logic is weak.  I am spending more money than I would if I just let the ticket go but I didn’t want American Airlines to have it.  Which brings us to todays post.

I love Hawaii.  I feel a deep spiritual connection here.  I even had a dream one time that I was flying around Honolulu and all the buildings and sidewalk were made of wood and old fashioned looking.  I could hear Pele calling me saying, “Come.  Be a warrior.”  And when Pele calls Sister, you listen.  

I have been fortunate enough (through a friend with a connection at the Sheraton Waikiki) to be able to come here several times.  I’ve always had a canoe full of children and their friends with me and I would dream about how wonderful it would be to travel here alone someday. I would imagine what it would feel like to not spend the day making sure no one wanders off, get sun burned or drowns.   Children are not conducive to relaxation.  That is why when I found out my ticket was expiring I said, “I must go to Hawaii!”, and started to pack.  I still haven’t lost the thirty pounds I gained during Covid so my “resort wear” didn’t fit- at all.  I had no time to worry about it, or even care, so I threw a couple of floral California King bed sheets and some safety pins in my suitcase and figured I’d just make do. 

Not to sound overly dramatic but when I arrived in my hotel room and realized I had a view of Diamond Head and no children I fell to my knees and began to weep.  It’s a little cheesy to love Waikiki so much when there are so many more beautiful and peaceful places here on the Islands.  But, I do.  If you face one direction you see the beautiful ocean.  If you turn around and face the other way you see a Mall. Paradise.

In my haste to get here I forgot to pack a much needed hat.  After my cry in the room I scraped myself off the floor and immediately went to the hat store conveniently located in the hotel lobby.  The sales clerk looked at me and her eyes grew wide. “You are so white!”, she said.  “Promise me you won’t go outside!” ‘As if’, I thought to myself, ‘this skin hasn’t seen the sun since 1984.’ 

I am so happy to be here. The irony is I really miss my family but I will get over it. I can do whatever I want and I look adorable in my Bed Sheet MuMu. Mahalo nui au.