We are in Hawaii! We've been planning the trip for months - actually since April since we last went to Columbia, SC to see Mom-in-law Betty. She mentioned she was attending a conference in the 50th state, and we decided then and there to invite ourselves along! Then Niece Shannon wanted to join in, then Sis-in-law Susan from Dallas jumped, so we've got a real party! We're doing lots of sightseeing things, since neither Melinda nor Shannon have ever been here. It starts with an observatory tour at Mauna Kea tomorrow morning, and there will be snorkling, volcano-watchin' and lots-o-fun along the way.
Finally, Hawaii materialized out of the mist! Out our starboard-side windows, Maui materialized first, with Molakai in the distance. A little further along and mighty Haleakala, a 10,000+ foot tall extinct volcano came to dominate our window. It is of particular interest to me because like Mauna Kea on the Big Island, its peak is home to several telescopes for both national defense and astronomical research. I've never been to Maui, but know about some of its instruments there.
Finally we landed on Hawaii - the Big Island! We were literally in the last row of the plane, so were the last to depart, and turned to take a picture of our faithful steed - a 757 - I've not been on one since likely the last trip here in '03. We had a little time to kill till Shannon arrived, so made it to the car rental place - of course, since nearly everyone on the plane goes to rent a car, we had a lice wait in line. Back to the airport, we could stand a snack, but the airport restaurant is only for passengers after going thru security - bum deal! Fortunately we found a little stand where I had the best chili dog ever! The chili dog plate special came with white rice and about 10 molecules of potato salad, but with a diet Pepsi to wash it down, it was truly paradise on earth! We ambled back to the terminal just as Shannons plane landed, and after getting her a lei, there she was! It was good to see her, and she gets to hang with us till Betty and Susan arrive in a few hours. More fun later and through next week!