Hawaii (without the kids)

Somehow, we always gravitate to Hawaii when deciding where to go on our annual without-the-kids vacation. As a reminder, the goal of this vacation is a yearly exercise as to remember who the other person across the breakfast table is as planning for the day that we become empty nesters. Our joint requirement is that it be somewhere warm. Jim’s requirement is that there be things to do and good restaurants to eat in.
This stay was our most mellow visit to date. Most of the week was completely unplanned (including dinners!). We went for long walks around Diamondhead, spent time at the pool, watched the sun set over Waikiki, and saw the fireworks that happen every Friday evening. We didn’t even do any house/condo-hunting!! (You, too, are free to join in the great family debate and choose to be either part of Team House or Team Condo.)
The only downside of the trip was that Marcus went down with the flu while we were there. We offered to come back early, but he was insistent that all he really needed was Advil and Sprite—both of which were in plentiful supply at our house.
This photo of us makes me look like an alien, which only confirms Jim’s theory…

In the meantime, enjoy the scenery of one of the most beautiful places on earth!

Deer Valley (and meeting Congressman John Lewis)

We have some very lovely friends who invited us for a second year to join them at Deer Valley for Presidents’ Day weekend.  Neither Jim nor I ski (growing up in Kansas means you don’t have a lot of mountains nearby), but the kids enjoyed it last year when they tried it.
We started off the trip by bumping into Congressman John Lewis in the airport.  He had given a very inspirational talk at our kids’ school a year or two ago, and Jim took this opportunity to have our son meet him (in addition to having heard him) and get a photo together.  Congressman Lewis is a genuine civil rights hero, and we very much respect his principled and non-violent stand on civil rights.

with Congressman John Lewis

with Congressman John Lewis

I think of the Deer Valley ski resort as the Nordstrom of ski resorts.  The staff there from top to bottom is extremely service-oriented and friendly.  We must have been asked half a dozen times whether we’d been helped while we were waiting for the kids’ ski instructor.
And the scenery is beautiful.

Deer Valley

Deer Valley

Both kids picked back up where they left off skiing last year.  By the end of the first day of skiing, our son was skiing on the green runs (this would be his 4th time out on skis), and our daughter was skiing the blue runs with reasonable confidence.  This improvement and the kids’ ski styles are completely consistent with their personalities.  Our daughter skis cautiously with good form—her one desire being not to get herself killed as she goes down the slope.  Our son, not having much of a frontal lobe at his age, zips down the slopes unafraid of speed, falling, or ledges.  Fortunately, we came back with two whole and undamaged kids (their efforts notwithstanding).

skiing!

skiing!

What better way to spend Presidents’ Day weekend than with a little bit of history and a lot of fun!