Tuesday, August 31, 2004

My wife and I first went to Hawaii many years ago, back when we were just starting to date. It was where we realized we loved each other. One of my main memories from that trip though was cramming our luggage into a Miata and driving away from the airport in Hawaii, towards our hotel. I remember being so incredibly happy to be on this romantic tropical island, with this fantastic woman, cruising down the highway in a convertible. I was giddy, or at least as giddy as a fairly stoic computer programmer gets.

So, on last week's trip, as we drove towards our hotel in our Mustang convertible, I couldn't help but recall that first trip. I love my daughter very much, but it was bittersweet to drive down the Maui highway with her in the backseat. We had a good vacation, but it's hard to compare it with that first romantic trip.

The trip went pretty well. My wife didn't lose her wallet and no one got ill. For the first time in over five years, I got TONS of sleep, although this was a bit of a mixed blessing. As it turns out, putting two adults and a five year-old in a hotel room is a little awkward. My daughter would fall asleep at around 8:00 or 8:30 at night, and then we pretty much had to be quiet in the dark since her bed was mere inches from ours. I bought a tiny little flashlight and I'd read my book with it. It felt the teeniest bit naughty to be doing this by flashlight, but, ultimately, it was not very naughty. No more regular hotel rooms for us.

The hotel did, however, have a "Kids Club" program where you could drop off your child for hours at a time. Thankfully, this was appealing to our daughter (mostly because she got to watch tons of TV in the "Club"), so the wife and I got to enjoy some "Adult Club" time. Of course this partially consisted of Scrabble, but not entirely!

We spent lots of time each day either at the swimming pool or at the beach. It shouldn't have been surprising to me, but everywhere I looked there were people in bathing suits. I kept awkwardly noting that I was semi-accidentally staring at women in bikinis. Each time I'd feel self-conscious and look elsewhere only to find another woman in a bikini. As it turns out, Hawaii is chock-full of such creatures. I tried not to feel like a lech. Bikinis rock.

On the flight back home, we got a lesson in bad parenting from the mother behind us. She'd chastise her kids with random punishments, then she'd revoke those punishments just as randomly. She seemed surprised when the kids didn't behave. Look, no one is going to confuse me with Parent of the Year, but I'm pretty sure that parenting requires at least a modicum of consistency. Frankly, I'd recommend three or four modicums.

Overall, I'm pleased to give this vacation a rating of First-Vacation-Since-The-Kid-Was-Born-Where-I-Was-More-Relaxed-Than-I-Am-At-Work. Huzzah for Hawaii. Huzzaii!

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