Reflections: A vacation to remember

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By Thomas W. Ivines

It's good to be back home again but now I need another vacation. I'm tired -- You know what I mean, right? A good vacation takes a lot of work.

When you return you have to unpack, too. After all there's two weeks worth of dirty laundry in your suitcases. Then there's all that mail waiting for you - mostly bills to pay. Oh, there's just so much to do. In my case I returned just in time to go back to work. Yuck! That other stuff is just going to have to wait.

My vacation in Hawaii was great, though. I got to visit and cover all the major Islands including Kauai, and I got to fly a Cessna around and over the big island of Hawaii. That's another story all together but I will elude to it a little:

The airplane I rented had electrical problems and I had to land half way around the Island before finishing my flight. Luckily it was at a major airport. The company I rented the airplane from had an office there and gave me another Cessna to complete my trip around the Island, but that's still not the end of the story. Later, I found out that same airplane crashed the next day killing all three people aboard. An eerie feeling to say the least. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Despite everything I had a great time flying the Island, and I am attaching several aerial photographs for you to enjoy. The sights are absolutely amazing, and when you are experiencing them yourself it's as if being in a fantasy. You just don't see too many cliffside waterfalls cascading into the ocean, especially with emerald-green volcanic rainforests in the background. There simply is no such thing on the mainland.

My wife and I also got to rent a Harley and rode the North end of Maui. That was another real experience. On a motorcycle you are not handicapped with things like doors, windows, and a car body. You can peer right over the non-railed roadsides with gigantic, five-hundred feet, straight-down cliffs, unobstructed. Wow! Talk about another eerie feeling?

Besides flying, riding and driving quite a bit in rental cars, we did a lot of walking, too. Walking anywhere in Hawaii is good exercise. Nothing is level, so even if you do walk downward you still have to walk back up. My legs are pretty built up now and I think I lost about ten pounds. I know I lost some weight because my watch is loose on my wrist and my wedding band spins around my ring finger now. Funny, though, how my waist didn't change much. The latch on my belt buckle is still in the same hole. I guess that's what happens when you get fit. Your fat turns into muscle. Needless to say I must have a lot of muscle around my waist...

Anyway, it is good to be back home again. There really is no place like home and Florida is a wonderful place to live. Hawaii is paradise for sure but Florida has its own merits. For one thing Florida is not so isolated from everything. That's the real reason I would never live over there. A really great place to visit, though.