If left unattended, everything in Hawaii is overtaken with vegetation. People can lose gardens and planters overnight to fast growing species. Even plants are routinely overcome by other plants. Here a tree is overtaken by a vine in what may have been a parking lot not long ago. (Photos by Tom Sadowski)
If left unattended, everything in Hawaii is overtaken with vegetation. People can lose gardens and planters overnight to fast growing species. Even plants are routinely overcome by other plants. Here a tree is overtaken by a vine in what may have been a parking lot not long ago. (Photos by Tom Sadowski)
There was a new noise this morning; it's a foreign sound in February yet a familiar one; oh yes, that's it: the neighbors are cutting the lawn on a riding mower. One thing about living in the northeast: everything goes dormant in the winter except for keeping the squirrels out of your bird feeder or in an older house, your bedroom. There is no need to keep your eye on the flora or fauna. Here in Hawaii, if you don't get out with a machete to beat back the vegetation every few hours, you will turn around and your house will be absorbed into a mass of green, surrounded by chickens.

I took another shower today. It's notable because this took place in the outdoor shower stall here at the cottage. Looking down, you have your bare feet on warm concrete. But when you look up, there are glorious blue skies and palm trees. Turning on the water is not an exercise in fear; you will not be frozen in place if you are unexpectedly hit by a torrent of cold water. Everything is mellow: the cold water is cool and the warm breeze which occasionally finds its way into the shower stall is never chilling; it's just a warm breeze. You can even use the concrete floor as a pumice stone for your feet.

The only danger is in dropping the soap. There is a 12-inch space between the bottom of the wooden stall and the concrete floor. If the soap bounces out into the garden you may be left soapless unless you are willing to do some old fashioned streaking to retrieve it.

Oh did I mention that our daughter is meeting us here? Wait, there's more: the daughter's boyfriend is also flying in to meet us for the first time. Yes, here is where the vacation gets complicated. They will be staying with us … for awhile. All I know about him is that he is a tattooed hardcore surfer. The daughter calls; she missed her connecting flight in Los Angeles. Calls go back and forth. She has been put on another flight and should be here just after 11 p.m.

After dark we drive to the airport in Honolulu on the other side of the island to pick up the daughter. The airport plays Hawaiian music over its public address system and some of the announcements are made in Hawaiian. It's something we didn't notice when we arrived as zombies the other night. It's a very nice touch. The girl finally shows up but alas, her bag does not. This triggers an epic chase of the bag which will take three days. I will spare you the details.