When I tell people about my traveling to the fifty states and across countries and continents, they often ask me which location I like the best or think is the most beautiful. I usually think of my vacations as overall trips and not a single destination, so I usually go to my Italy, Germany, or South Africa trips. When I think about a single place, though, it is really tough to argue against Hawaii.

I realize Hawaii is more than a single destination, and all the islands are different, but each of them is certainly beautiful in their own way. I give careful thought when people ask me which island they should go to, as it depends on what specifically you look for in a vacation spot. The thing is, there is something for nearly everyone in Hawaii… even skiing!


For our 10th Anniversary, Madeline and I decided to go to Hawaii. It was our first real vacation since our honeymoon cruise, our first big trip alone, and our first trip to the 50th state.


Because it was our first time there, we had to see Pearl Harbor, since I was born on December 7. We didn't spend but a few days in Oahu, then the remainder on Maui.


My work travel paid off on this trip, as the airfare, hotels, and car rentals were all free because of frequent flier miles. We stayed a night in Hana on points, so that was really nice.

Oahu and Maui, 1996

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From a desire standpoint, twelve years is way too long of a time span for staying out of Hawaii. With every place else that we went to over the years, though, that’s exactly what happened. If it were not for the fact that we bought into Aulani, Disney’s Vacation Club property, the drought may have gone on even longer.


When we did decide to go to our new home at Aulani in Oahu, we also decided that it was time to visit a new island: Kauai. So many people name Kauai as the most beautiful of the islands, which I found hard to believe considering how beautiful the other ones were. I have to say, though, they are probably right. We traveled all around the island (by car and helicopter) and enjoyed it thoroughly. The highlight was the helicopter tour.


On Oahu, aside from the beautiful Aulani, we also swam with some sharks and saw some beautiful parts of the island.

Kauai  and Oahu, 2013

Dana had two weeks off over her 27th birthday. At first we were looking at going to Europe, but the time of year seemed wrong and there wasn’t DVC or MVC availability in places which we were interested. We settled on Hawaii… not that going to Hawaii is ever “settling”. I love it there, and I have no issue going back every 3-5 years. We ended up staying in two of the same places we stayed at in 2013, but we also spent a couple extra days on Waikiki, and we turned it into a 2-week vacation by spending time in southern California on our return trip home.


Dana had never been to Kauai or Oahu, so we got to experience it in her eyes. She did her first helicopter tour, saw Pearl Harbor, and enjoyed Disney’s Aulani resort. We all got to enjoy a movie tour at Kualoa Ranch and the historical ‘Iolani Palace. The food was great, the weather was great, and we all had many laughs. Two weeks was a very long time to be away, though, especially since we stayed in five different resorts or hotels during the period. We were ready to be home.

Kauai  and Oahu, 2016