One fond embrace

It’s been two days since we returned from Hawai'i and we’re both still shaking off a terrible case of the jetlag. On the flights home between a slew of B-rated airline movies I found myself removing that characteristic red dirt from my fingernails, which I considered more a sign that I didn’t surf enough than a result of poor personal hygiene.

During those two weeks we balanced our time with the ocean / outdoors and catching up with the friends and ohana we said aloha ‘oe to almost two years ago. Two weeks was obviously not enough.

 We crashed on lanais, conversed with marine mammals, slept under stars and daily reveled in that contentedness you get after having a home-cooked meal followed by good conversation over a few beers. 

One of the books I read on the trip was Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charlie.” In it, Steinbeck travels around the U.S. in an RV (along with his French poodle Charlie) in the ‘60s searching for the essence of what it is to be American.

Throughout his journey, he discovers that each trip has its own personality and that “like a marriage, the certain way to wrong is to think you control (the trip). We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”

Our trip to O’ahu, which included four days on Kaua’i, definitely took us, but it was probably the best trip we’ve taken to date.

As we walked to our gate to catch our flight I saw a tear running down Molly’s face, but it was as much a tear of joy as it was for sadness that we had to leave. 

And though we’ve been away from our ohana there for nearly two years, like the dirt under my fingernails, there are still parts that will always stay with us.  

Next up: Hiking Kauai’s Kalalau Trail and playing basketball with dolphins.


Another helping of the Alps, bitte.

As the last vestiges of winter were being drowned out by songbirds in Germany, Molly and I strapped on our skis / snowboard for one final winter plunge in Stubai, Austria.

Though we normally travel solo, this time we went with 20 folks from the Bavarian Ski Club and had a blast (The club handles all the booking, provides food, beer, transportation & ski lift passes for even cheaper than we could have found on our own.)

The rolling green hills and pastures near our hotel were a stark contrast to the snow that blanketed the ski area just a few thousand feet up. And though the blue runs were more friendly to us than the Swiss Alps in February, we didn’t leave without our fair share of bumps and bruises.

By comparison, the Swiss Alps knocked us out, but we scored a judges’ decision victory over their kid-sister Austrian counterparts. (Molly even conquered a red run without shedding a single tear.) 

Europeans have a different approach to skiing – everything seems to move at a slower pace. Don’t get me wrong, people and even pint-sized pipsqueaks still whizz past you, spraying snow while you’re recovering from a head-first spill, but after a few runs, most relax for a beer in a lawn chair and soak up the sun.

So we sat back, sipped hot chocolate and worked on our tans at 9,000 feet. It was the perfect transition for our trip home to Honolulu. Hopefully the pre-tan (burn) we got in the Alps was enough to welcome our freckles back for the next two weeks.


Meeting up with friends? No Prague-lem

In addition to some unseasonably warm weather (for Germany), Molly and I were pleasantly surprised by a Jermario this weekend. 

(Jermarios are a rare breed who mostly live in Hawaii but occasionally are released into the wild to perform "quality control" on aircraft around the world.)

Though Jermario worked pretty much the entire three-day trip in Ostrava, Czech Republic, with his boss, Bo, we caught him on his layover Thursday night in Prague, which is an easy two-hour drive across the border (note to potential visitors: we're the same distance from Munich and Prague ...) 

After narrowly avoiding a head-on collision with a trolley, we wondered around the Old Town, had some authentic Czech cuisine (complete with a variety of can't-be-bothered, gruff wait staff and live accordion music) and caught up over some of the Czech's finest beers. 

All in all it was a great short trip: Jermario got some work done but had time to hang out, we all reconnected, and Molly got to sleep between two Jeremys.