Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii, Haleakala, Waimea, Pololu, Napali … don’t the place names evoke beauty and serenity? Traveling to the Hawaiian Islands for the first time in 2013 was the achievement of a lifetime of wanting to be there. My father was stationed at Schofield Barracks during the Korean War. As children, our parents made the simplest of things into special events. One of our favorite treats was slideshow time.

Pololu Vally, Akoni Pule Hwy, Hawaii

I’m not sure when our father purchased his 35mm slide camera, but it was probably at this time. As a farm boy from Western Pennsylvania, arriving in Hawaii after seeing Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge astonished him. He brought that amazement home with him, first to his new wife, then to his kids.

The screen would stretch out of the aluminum tube and dominate a wall in the family room. The whirring project would warm up and the clicking would start. There we were, captivated the twentieth time as if it were the first time.

The Hawaiian Islands are Exotic

The allure of Hawaiian travel for those little kids lasted for decades. Wait, no using past tense—it still exists. Our brother went first, then me, but the other two sisters have yet to indulge. Our father loved technology—from digital cameras to cell phones. When slide scanners became available, one made a great Christmas present for him. He set to work scanning all his slides—now us kids have copies of his former slideshow. 

When Google Earth launched, I set it up for Dad and the first place we headed? The Hawaiian Islands. Here are the barracks, here’s the airfield, here’s the beach where we learned Judo. It was like being one of those little kids again, a darkened room, a large screen, and exciting stories.

Oahu, Hawaii blue waves

Oahu

So much to see and do when you venture to this Hawaiian Island this most-populated island.

The Big Island

Hawaii is an oddly opposite island–landing in Hilo, it’s tropical. Drive to Volcanoes National Park and you’re in a world of lava.

Above the clouds of Kalalau Valley, Kauai

Kauai

The Garden Isle of Hawaii is roomy and made for life outdoors.

Palm trees and red sunset in Maui

Maui

Sunsets, craters, golf, strolls and hikes. Don’t miss Maui.

Hawaiian Travel changes you–and you’ll welcome the experience rich enough to last your life.