Hawaii Report #3

Hanauma Bay

Saturday was our day to take the Grand Circle Island Tour, taking us all around the island of O’ahu. We mainly saw beautiful views of cliffs and beaches, although Cousin Greg was quite the snarky comedian and told us some local history we hadn’t heard yet. After the tour, we went to the mall for conveyor belt (kaiten) sushi, and had an early night.
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Hawaii Report #2

Coconut Tree Climbing

Friday was our day to go to the Polynesian Cultural Center. When we’d bought our airfare and hotel package, the PCC was listed as one of the possible touristy things we could tack on for an additional price. Since we tend to gravitate toward cultural sorts of things anyway (like Behalt in Amish Country, for instance), we decided to go for it. It wasn’t until after everything was bought and paid for that we read online that the PCC is owned and operated by the LDS church, and that the center is more of a theme park than an actual cultural experience.

Even without booze at the luau, though, we still had a great time:
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Hawaii Report #1

So, you’re probably wondering how Hawaii was.

Hawaii was fantastic. Gorgeous weather, beautiful scenery, fun things to do, good food, and Japanese restaurants and tourists out the yin-yang. There’s a lot to talk about.

This time, though, I’m going to do things a little differently, in the hopes that I’ll a.) get through my travelogue before summer’s over, and b.) not bore you silly with exacting details that you don’t need. As with last year’s trip to Tokyo, I wrote in my notebook every night all the notable things that happened that day. I think I’m going to just scan those in and comment on them as necessary, and add links to my flickr pictures for that day.

I’m going to try to put enough commentary on my flickr photos that the best way to find out about the trip would be to just do watch the slideshow. I don’t have all the photos up quite yet, though.

So, let’s go briefly through Days #1 and #2, shall we?
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Back From Oahu

Hibiscus in Waikiki

We arrived back in Toledo around 7:30pm today, with a little sunburn and a lot of good times under our belts. Rest assured that I’ll be sharing all the fun details and photos in the days (or weeks) to come. For now, I’ll just say that the highlights of our trip included two luaus, snorkeling, parasailing, and taking several tours. That’s only touching on the very basics, though.

Believe it or not, Aaron’s already in bed asleep, since I managed to sleep better on the plane ride home than he did. I still have a bit of juice left in me before I crash out myself.

A hui hou (until we meet again)!

Into The Wild Blue Yonder

Bright and early tomorrow morning, Aaron and I will be driving up to the Detroit airport and flying out to Hawaii. Don’t expect to hear much from me for the next week or so (not like I’ve exactly been the prolific blogger of late). I may post occasional updates to my Twitter from Aaron’s Nintendo DS (since our phone is incompatible with Twitter — damn Tracfone), so keep an eye on my Twitter page.

Expect us back in a little over a week (factoring in recovery from jet-lag) with photos and stories and video and a great tan.

Aloha!

Hooray For Tax Returns

Funny, isn’t it, how something really spectacular — a vacation, or a great meal, or even just a fleeting feeling — can hang so heavily over the rest of your life? Nothing else will quite measure up to that moment of wondrousness, and it would be easy to spend the rest of one’s life searching for that elusive something that would match or exceed that one golden moment.

That’s the trap. When Shakyamuni Buddha postulated that life is suffering (dukkha), he also explained that part of this suffering is being stuck on the happy moments that fail to last. It’s not healthy to keep chasing after the next big thing.

That doesn’t stop us from trying, though. It doesn’t stop me from going to Red Lobster and ordering some expensive lobster tail, knowing full well that it won’t hold a candle to the whole steamed and stuffed lobster I had in Boston during our honeymoon in 2003. It doesn’t stop me from looking fondly at the memorabilia I bought and the photos I took during our week in Tokyo last year (note to self: still need to finish blogging that trip).

And it doesn’t stop us from planning new vacations with our tax return money.

Let’s segue now, shall we, from the realm of the spiritual to the realm of the worldly, and talk about things like TurboTax and NWAWorldVacations…
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