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We finally went to Hawaii.It did not disappoint, after 30 years of waiting. Well, probably not 30, but Andy has relatives there, and we’ve been married 30 years, and I always knew we’d get there, just didn’t know when.

So this year was the when. Tracey and Roberto got married, went off on their honeymoon, and the rest of us went to Hawaii – Pinky, too, to see her sister.

The weather was glorious, the views beyond spectacular, the Pacific Ocean and Hawaii’s turquoise and bright blue waters did not disappoint. The waves were just big enough, not keeping us out of the water, but keeping us from going in too far for fear of rip tides. (There were signs up for that all over the place!)

I probably had the best horseback riding experience ever there. Perhaps second to the dude ranch, because that trip was when I first galloped and where we saw the coyote yipping on top of a butte. But on this Hawaiian ride we went onto the beach and rode with majestic mountains surrounding us. It really was like walking through a dream.

One thing that surprised me was that they didn’t have healthier food there. I thought with all the tropical fruit (their pineapples were delicious), things would be fresh and more pure. Not so. The mushroom burger I ordered turned out not to be a mushroom, but a greasy hamburger topped with overcooked mushrooms. Other meals were okay but nothing that healthy. We finally went to a dinner out at a place called Duke’s, which had a yummy vegetarian meal with quinoa and kale (my body was so happy) and an awesome salad bar. We eventually bought food to make at our condo (the second half of our stay) but prices were really high compared to back home and we stuck to basics – peanut butter and jelly, bananas, yogurt, fruit, granola, eggs, basic salad fixings. It still beat eating out. So, anyway, that was all a surprise.

The thing about vacations – even those in paradise – is that it’s always great to get back home. I am beyond happy to be back in my garden, harvesting the results of all the early season’s hard work. Andy made us a jar of beet juice and another of carrot juice. I’ve had my shakes, plucked yummy cherry tomatoes from the garden and eaten them whole, roasted some beets, made some bread, dried some greens, and I bought a bunch of peaches from a local farm that we’ve been enjoying.

There’s no place like home. We will enjoy Hawaii in pictures and in memories. Not sure we’ll ever take that long trip again – it was beyond long – but that’s okay. There are so many other places to see in this world, and the town I live in is idyllic, too, a once-vacation spot for city folk. Don’t mind hanging around here at all.

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