Aloha, Hawaii

When you live in a city where it rains from October to June, it seems eminently sensible to head out somewhere sunny in January. I think it should be a standard prescription for the January blues. Think our health care system could cover the costs?

The trip started off a bit shaky – too hot, not feeling so great (I do NOT recommend snorkelling and nausea together!) and feeling like I’d stumbled into a Dr. Seuss book about the idyllic land of weddings and romance.

She was single, gadzooks! Beware!
For there were couples, everywhere!

But, once I sorted out my gremlins and got over my seasickness (again, snorkelling and nausea =  not good), the trip turned into all kinds of awesomeness.

I snorkelled with a manta ray, stood on Mauna Kea at 10,000 ft as the sun set on my right and the full moon rose on my left. I saw Jupiter and six of her moons through a big telescope. I drove our fun Jeep on all kind of winding roads with stunning vistas of the ocean. I perused artisan crafts and had the best Tahitian vanilla ice cream. I saw hot flowing lava hit the ocean in a hissing mass of steam and awesome power and felt the heat of two thousand degrees on my face.

I stood on near the edge of a volcano crater as it steamed and smoked. I walked on cold lava with new life springing forth, hiked across the lava to see petroglyphs and walked under the earth through a lava tube. I saw more colourful flowers and birds than I could ever name. I was wakened early in the morning by rain sweeping through the jungle (nice) and also by a very loud rooster (not nice but I do like eggs for breakfast).

I had heartfelt talks and giggles with one of my closest friends who has known me for over half my life. I had interesting conversations with the new people we met along the way – from Hungary, Japan, New Jersey and Seattle.

And, on the last day, as we sat and soaked up some end-of-the-trip sun, some dolphins came by to say hello. Or, maybe goodbye. Or, maybe just Aloha.

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