We just got back from two weeks in Hawaii. Our goal was to do as little as possible, and we were wildly successful. I brought a huge stack of New Yorkers and caught up on four months’ worth of reading. Normally a very aggressive traveler, I let go and looked forward to our lazy days punctuated by eating, drinking, pool time and beach time. I bought a swimming suit (one of the most traumatic experiences of my entire adult life) and a sundress. I felt a little ridiculous, but no one seemed to notice or care.
We did squeeze in a few activities with redeeming social value, including a trip to a lighthouse and nature reserve on Kauai. On Oahu, we went to the Pearl Harbor exhibit, which is a wonderful example of our taxpayer dollars at work. An excellent museum, well-made videos and a boat trip to the USS Arizona are entirely free and bring this historic event to life.
My last visit to Hawaii was 40 years ago, and I didn’t remember how extraordinarily beautiful it is. Hawaii is a brand that continues to deliver. There are endless ways that people can spend a ton of money here–luaus, helicopter rides, surfing lessons, snorkeling expeditions and climbing into a shark cage to commune with sharks.
But the best of Hawaii comes without a price tag. Lush vegetation, warm breezes, endless sunshine, beautiful beaches, rolling surf and at least one little shower every day to cool things off. Happily, the Hawaii brand hasn’t diminished in my 40 years, and I can’t wait to go back.