What I Did on my Winter Vacation (2014 edition)

In Fall term, the stars aligned and my finals were scheduled to be finished relatively early. As soon as my wife heard that, she said, "Hawaii." So my family went to Hawaii over the holidays. (Yup, again. Hey, it's been three whole years.)

There's a joke that every tour guide in Hawaii tells. If it's your first time to the islands, you're a malihini. "That means you're a newcomer," the tour guide says. If it's your second time to the islands, you're a kama'aina. "That means you're rich," the tour guide jokes. Har har. (Kama'aina actually means "child of the land," but it usually refers to someone who is a resident of Hawaii.) The joke isn't too far off the truth: it's expensive--expensive to go, expensive to stay, expensive to do anything. And the Canadian dollar being worth USD$0.85 also hurt. Ouch.

Here's the lagoon at the Hilton Hawaiian Village:

I love the flavours of Hawaii. Macadamia nuts. Having Kona coffee and a papaya for breakfast. And check out the cool flavours of yogurt (haupia is like coconut pudding):

I'm also a sucker for cereal--there are all kinds of wacky ones. Cap'n Crunch Oops! All Berries! Peanut Butter Toast Crunch! Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme!

 My wife liked going to the beach, but the kids preferred the pool (no sand between your toes; no salty seawater getting in your mouth--yuck!). Me? I'm more of an iced-coffee-and-a-book-in-the-shade kind of person. What I like best, though, are the cultural experiences--the opportunity to learn about different cultures and showing that to my kids. In Hawaii, there's no better place for that than the Polynesian Cultural Center (having great food and enjoying an amazing show are great, too!):

Finally, there was Pearl Harbor, a poignant reminder of the human consequences of war:

How did you spend your winter vacation?

Why aren't you studying?


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