In October we were off with the Rotchfords to Hawaii to visit with their daughter and her family, Carmen, Jamie, Ian and Connor. Steve and I flew to Dallas, where we met up the Fred and Lupe. Fred had arranged for us to fly first class. In Dallas we waited in the American Airlines Admirals Club, were we had complimentary juice, coffee, soft drinks, herbal tea and light snacks. They also had a cash bar.

Once we boarded the plane, the flight attendant offered us mimosa, champagne, coffee, tea or soda as our per-departure beverage. We enjoyed a couple of mimosas as the other passengers boarded. A ramekin full of hot tropical nut mix was delivered to us, as soon as we were in the air. The mix as so good we had to have a second ramekin.

Our first course for dinner was a salad with cabbage & carrots with a choice of Caesar or ginger vinaigrette dressing. For our main course, Steve and I had the Macadamia nut chicken with pineapple papaya marmalade. Our side was steamed spinach with choice of King’s Hawaiian bread or traditional white and wheat bread rolls. We we offered Red Tree Merlot or Chardonnay wine with dinner. The little salt and pepper shakers were cute, as was the small bowl of butter.

For dessert are choices were ice cream sundae or a cheese plate. Of course, we went with the sundae. The toppig choices, over the vanilla ice cream, were hot fudge, strawberries or crushed pineapple. I went with the pineapple with chopped pecans and topped with whip cream. Our late night snack was warm macadamia nut chocolate and/or cranberry white chocolate shortbread cookies. We had both.

When we landed, the Kelly family gave us our first lai. It was so exciting to see them again, since we had notnseen them in several years.

We attended Mass on Sunday morning and received another lai. This time not flowers but shells. Before Sunday Brunch, we traveled up the mountain to overlook Oahu’s Kaneoch Bay. From here we could see the bay, the Marine Base and Coconut Island.

The Officer’s Club was built in 1941 and still supports the proud tradition and heritage of the Marine Corps way of life. The club perched on top of a hill over looking a majestic view of the Pacific Ocean and Koolau Mountains.

The North Beach is located along the windward side of Oahtu, accessible only through Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Base. The rugged beach is located next to housing, just a short walk from the Kelly’s home. With its with lava shelves the shoreline pools water as waves pound the shoreline.

This was not a beach for snorkeling or swimming but the guys did try. They discovered it is a beach for marveling at Mother Nature’s ferocity as waves crash and as the ocean breeze picks it up. It is a beach that you want to stroll along and be reminded of just how powerful the ocean really can be.

In the evening, Steve and Fred were looking at the computer, checking out an African map, to see exactly where Holan was going to be traveling. Fred felt she should not be going to Africa, because of the danger.