Last week we went to Bellows for Ray’s birthday. Poor Ray planned his own birthday since we arrived the day before. In my defense, I had planned an impromptu Redneck Riviera party but we’ll wait on that until next year. Bellows is where I find my aloha. Ray managed to reserve one of the oceanside beach cottages. They are so hard to come by. So I woke up and off we went.

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Because seriously… who couldn’t find their aloha here? And as worried and worked up as I’ve been, I think Ray was thinking more of me than his birthday. 

Our first wakeup, Ray and I went for a walk. There was much to discuss about my trip without little ears. On our walk Ray was laughing at my fear of bad squishies. 

In case you’re wondering our bad squishy looks like this.

IMG_3261That long line is actually lots and lots of thin hair like tentacles that shoot barbs. It’s called a Portuguese Man Of War. They are nasty little boogers. They aren’t actually the jellyfish from Nemo but they hurt like the dickens and allergic reactions to their venom can be BAD. 

So we went out to the beach with a warning to the kids. Keep your eyes open. They are bad this weekend. Houston, we have a problem. Have you met this kid?



That one in the middle with the board? I seriously think she took it as a dare. She is not going to miss a little body board or body surf because of some stinking marine animal. 

Bria wasn’t actually on her board. Hanan decided she wanted it. Bria went out to body surf the white wash. Probably not the best idea I ever had to watch that happen but we knew the lady next to us had some spray for stings. I was braced for it to happen to someone, I just had no idea who.

Pretty soon I heard Hanan yell, “Bria’s stung! Bria’s stung!” Bria comes out of the water with the little blue hairs everywhere. She had one very long one wrapped around her left arm. Her legs looked covered but that’s an exaggeration. Both legs had at least one wrapped tentacle and little hairs scattered. Ray started pulling them off. They were stinging him. I grabbed what I could but there was one thicker blue one that I couldn’t get. If you rub them, they can get stuck and require a trip to the ER to pull out barbs. Back in the water we went. Ray was washing his hands, I’m rinsing Bria’s legs. The rest of the blue hairs slid right off thankfully. 

My kid whined. She yelled. She never really cried. I got her cleaned up and settled down. Jack and I went up to the cabin to potty. When I came back down, Bria decided to work on a sandcastle, accidentally dug one up and was stung again. This time she was so mad she pulled the tentacle off herself. Heaven help us if anyone teaches that kid to cuss. 

It wasn’t pretty. 


DSCF1360The sting happens for about an hour. Then the itch starts. I’m thankful for nice people willing to share their spray. It really helped and I will now keep a stash in our bag. 

We weren’t sure if it was jet lag, the adrenaline rush, or the venom but this was our result. Most likely it was ALL OF THE ABOVE. 

DSCF1363That NEVER happens. Bria napped for about an hour. We finally woke her up when I started worrying that she was getting too much sun. She ate some lunch and went straight back at it. 

Never fear. Even bad squishies can’t make us lose our aloha. We always find it again right away. 

IMG_3234It would be hard to lose it forever here.