...to tell you that we'd gone to Hawaii. Sorry. Actually, not sorry. But after five years without a real vacation (and by "real" I mean "with a salt-water beach and palm trees") we just packed up and went, no regrets and little time spent packing. I mean, they have Wal-Marts in Hawaii, so whatever we might fail to bring can be had without much anguish.
No anguish necessary. We brought everything we had to have (like, how badly does anybody need socks in Hawaii?) and Maui suits me just fine: Ten minutes after we got into our room overlooking Polo Beach, Carol was out on the balcony staring at the blue ocean, when she yells, "A whale!" And by cracky, one of them 40-ton bass yodelers had just thrown itself out of the depths and most of the way up into the sunlight. For another half an hour we watched, and they were out there in force, frolicking, flapping their flukes, and finding it all a fine, fine time.
Didn't expect whales. And after five years, I'd forgotten a certain amount of beach discipline. That blue water looked so damned good after a deep frozen winter that simply won't end (and still hasn't) that I just waded in, forgetting I was wearing my expensive titanium-frame prescription sunglasses until a seven-foot wave crested over my head and knocked them off, simultaneously sending twin columns of high-pressure saline solution up my nose. Once I could breathe again I realized that my sunglasses were nowhere to be seen, and Carol and I spent another half an hour examining the ocean bottom during the wave troughs. We found a hotel key card and then somebody else's sunglasses, as well as a heavily corroded penny and a sea urchin spine, before Carol sang out that she had them. That was a helluva break, considering how the waves were stirring up the sand on the bottom. The lenses picked up a few pits and scratches but are otherwise intact, and that is a mistake I doubt I will make again any time soon.
To celebrate our unlikely victory, I returned to my hard-drinking ways at dinner that evening, and had not one but two margaritas with my grilled walu.
Not much more to report. You all know what Hawaii looks like, and if I had had the presence of mind to install a photo editor on my new laptop before we left, I might have been able to post a picture or two here. The weather has been perfect, if a little windy. The food's good, the bed's great, the company sans pareille. I vacation as men might choose, though if I do get to choose, I choose not to wait another five years to do it again!