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Well-deserved vacation

January 7, 2011
By Kerry Hoffman

Well, we're home from the tropically warm, fragrant islands of Hawaii.

Can't say that I am happy about it.

Who would be?

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, near the 23 degree latitude line, the temperature hovers around 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the flowers are in full bloom all the time. (I have never seen such beautiful, abundant hibiscus as they are in Hawaii.)

I always tell Steve, that if I could, I would live there.

Returning home to a blasted freezing rain and teat-freezing temperatures (Seriously, the cows can suffer from frozen teats.), really makes me consider changing my address.

Being in Hawaii was so unbelievably balmy and exhilarating.

Here's why. We spent one day bobbing in the Pacific Ocean, on a 35-foot fishing boat, trying to catch that ever-elusive marlin. Joey, Russell and Steve all managed to hook into three baby tuna fish, which we later used for bait. We trolled back and forth, waiting for a hungry fish to bite into the incandescent tuna. After hours of trying, one finally took the bait and Joey was in for a 15-minute fight with a Sandbar Shark.

That's even more exciting that a marlin!

This shark weighed 80 pounds and was six feet long. A lot of friends and family have asked why we didn't haul the bugger into the boat. Well, just ask Joey. He was close enough to see all the razor-sharp teeth in that shark's mouth.

Nope, we were fine just getting pictures from of the shark in the clear-blue water.

Another evening attended a luau, which Russell thought was just the greatest thing. He could have care less about the delicious pig that was cooked in the ground. He loved the hula dancers.

Apparently, he's never seen dancers move their hips in such ways.

I was able to spend a day snorkeling, which I love to do. This year Russell and I observed way more fish than I did on my first trip to Hawaii, and we just floated around the beach at our hotel, which was near a pier.

Steve's favorite part of our vacation was Pearl Harbor. He enjoyed showing Joey and Russell suicide torpedoes and pretending to be a real gunner on a warship. It's so humbling to know it's the final resting place of 1,102 sailors. (Did you know it's also the final resting place of one soldier and the ashes of his deceased baby daughter? The ashes were never recovered either.)

Steve also enjoyed climbing over the hardened lava the most, which is where we encountered the endangered N? N?, or Hawaiian goose. The male bird thought we were too close to his mate and eggs and chased us across the lava, while issuing his warning hisses. That thing was mean. I still laugh at the vision of us being chased across the dirt-black lava of the volcano Kileaua.

Our wild goose encounter wasn't the only wild life we observed on the islands. (Sadly, this time we did not spot any wild geckos. Russell practiced the gecko mating call the entire plane ride out.)

We spied four or five feral pigs near Akaka Falls on the eastern side of Hawaii and I also happened upon a pencil-sized snake in the same area. I heard it rustling the leaves and spotted it when I looked down. Joey and Russell, in jest, reprimanded me when I started removing ground leaves in an effort to unearth it again for a photo op something about it possibly being poisonous.

There is one draw back to spending a vacation in Hawaii: It takes me an entire week to get accustomed to the Pacific Time Zone, and then it's time to leave. Once I return home, it takes another week to adjust my internal clock to the Central Time Zone.

Other than that, I had absolutely the most enjoyable holiday with my fantastic husband and wonderful children.

I am not kidding. Joey and Russell never decided to argue about who's stronger or practice All-star Wrestling moves like they do at home. They never argued over who got to ride shot-gun in the silver Sebring convertible. Not once did I hear them complain about having to go somewhere or eat a bologna sandwich for lunch every day. (It costs an arm and a leg to eat in Hawaii. So we purchased bread, bologna, cheese, chips and a five dollar half-gallon of milk.)

Like I told my aunt, the memories of this vacation will stay with me forever!

It was a well-deserved, totally-worth-it vacation.

I want to go again!

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



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