The universe does like its balance. After two years of traveling to Grand Forks, ND, during winter, polar vortexes, and all kinds of cold and snow, I was unexpectedly chosen for a work trip to Hawaii.

As I sit here reminiscing, I’m struck by how difficult it is to put my thoughts into words. Hawaii is a place of incredible beauty — and I only saw a tiny sliver of what the islands have to offer. Staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village with only three personal days, I managed to drink my body weight in Mai Tai’s, swim with turtles, sit on the beach, eat like a local, and hike up to see a lighthouse and some of the most gorgeous views ever.

Following are some of highlights from the trip. You can see all of my images over at Flickr.

Day 1

Day 1, Saturday, after an 8 hour non-stop flight. On this day, HI was 3 hours behind Denver. (That will change on Sunday, with daylight savings.) Arriving around 3:30 HI time, I wasn’t about to let jet lag or the time difference keep me from wandering around the resort and taking it all in.

After about 12 hours of travel, the first order of business after checking in is to stop at the bar and relax for a bit. (Of course it’s outside!)

  • My first ever Mai Tai. It was everything I hoped it would be. The origins of the Mai Tai remain steeped in controversy, which I find fascinating. Read about it at Mai Tai Cocktail Recipes and Origins.

  • At check-in, I was told my room didn’t have much of a view. I guess if you live in Hawaii, this isn’t much of a view. I, however, thought it was AWESOME.

  • It’s impossible to capture the smells and the feels of Hawaii, on the beach, at night. This image reminds me of all of those things.

Day 2

Day 2, Sunday. This was a day of no plans and no destination. Just walking around and seeing where my feet, and my camera, would take me.

A few blocks away from the resort, I came across a local spot for breakfast, which was just what I was looking for. They were full, but asked if I wanted to sit at a booth with another single diner. I sat with Sheila, who was visiting from Arizona. She was friendly and we shared a drink and some small talk. I had a delightful breakfast, and then headed across the street to Ala Wai harbor.

  • Across from the Harbor Pub, there’s a harbor! I spent an inordinate amount of time walking up and down and admiring all the different boats. My camera loves the old naval-boats-turned-private-and-run-down ones.

  • So much to see at Ala Wai harbor, but there’s still an afternoon and evening to go. (You can check out all my awesome harbor images at Flickr 2020 March Hawaii.)

  • Heading back in the direction of the resort, the universe continues to align. The path along the harbor, at the edge of the beach, just happened to drop me at Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon — which is part of my resort.

  • After a great day of walking around, it was time to relax on the beach. There’s no place I love more.

  • Good-night, Hawaii! See you in the morning.

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