We awoke early on Saturday for eggs at Betty’s Beach Cafe and reported to Goofy Foot Surf School by 9am. Brothers Keith and Nick were our instructors, with one teaching my youngest (who’s 7) and the rest of us with his brother.  After some instruction on the beach, we went out into the water, and all 5 of us were able to get up on our longboards!  My 9-year-old son decided after a couple of runs that he needed further challenges, so he did a “cheat 5” and…

We arose at 4:20am, quickly donned winter coats, and headed out for the winding uphill climb to Haleakala Observatory. We parked the car at 5:30am and walked to the observation tower; it was 20-something degrees outside and windy, but we were determined to experience the famous Haleakala sunrise. Unfortunately, the dense cloud cover prevented our seeing quite the sunrise I’ve heard about and seen in pictures, but it was still a worthwhile experience and the first time I’ve seen the sun rise with a bunch of eager strangers…

We awoke early and watched the sunrise from our lanai in Hana and then headed counterclockwise along the road we’d followed the day before (since construction prohibited our continuing clockwise as we’d planned). On the way, we stopped to check out the black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park–another phenomenon I’ve wanted to see my whole life but had never seen in person–arriving at 7:30am.  It did not disappoint.  I loved walking along the tiny black pebbles of “sand” along the ocean.  We explored a lava tube cave…

This springtime’s “where’m I gonna use my Delta companion pass this year” question was easy to answer.  Since going to Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris last June and to Ketchum, Idaho last fall, I’ve been a voracious Hemingway reader–both of his works and of the biographies about his adventures.  I wanted to go to his house and museum in Key West.  Last weekend, we went. We landed at 10:30am, picked up a convertible Camaro, and pulled up to Joe’s Stone Crab 15 minutes before its 11:30am opening…

We landed Tuesday evening at Kahului airport, took the shuttle to Avis, and drove our Ford Explorer to Mama’s Fish House for dinner before sleeping at its inn.  Our kids’ Christmas present was finally beginning. I had the “traditional Hawaiian” meal for dinner, and the smoked wild boar was the best pork I’ve ever eaten (and I eat a LOT of smoked pig).  We learned of the restaurant and inn from the 1000 Places to See Before You Die book I consult before going anywhere new. Because we…