I spent four years on Guam when I was growing up (two years when I was in first through third grade, then two years later when I was in junior high school). I've thought occasionally about going back there to visit, but it would be very expensive and it wouldn't be the same in any case. When I was there, I was an Air Force brat. Now, I'm just an old civilian who wants to poke around Andersen AFB, Nimitz Hill, Apra Harbor and the like. I understand that the place has become quite a destination for Japanese tourists and has been enormously built up along the waterfront near Agana. When I was there, we had one Dairy Queen on the entire island and no McDonald's. I'm confident that situation has been rectified by now.
Going to Hawaii is, in a lot of ways, like old home week. It's basically the same sort of tropical island, right down to the red clay dirt.
(Did you know that there's a company selling t-shirts and hats that are dyed with that red clay dirt? And after all the time my mother spent trying to get those stains out of our clothing. Gretchen and I thought about getting a t-shirt for Dr. Bob that said "Older than Dirt", but since the e-mail tagline he's been using is "Younger than Dirt, Older than Bronze", it wasn't quite right, so we didn't. Anne's laundry will probably thank us for this.)
But I look at the sky, and the trees, and the beaches and it's what I remember, for the most part. So Hawaii'll do quite nicely to evoke those old memories.
Do I need to come back here, though? Not soon, I think, and not this way. Sam thought that five cruising days there and five back would be a bit much and he's pretty much correct. High seas and varying degrees of seasickness just add to that conclusion.
(As I type this, the light in our bathroom has now failed for the third time in seven days. Fortunately, they haven't taken the flashlight back yet. *sigh*)
But if I come back, where will I go and what will I do? Well, that depends.
If I want to do a lot of things, I'd probably go to the big island of Hawaii. I could spend more time there looking at the volcanoes, hiking out on some lava flows, and taking in the scenery. That would all be good.
But if I just want to chill out and relax, I think I'd go back to Lahaina, Maui. We could get a room in a hotel on the beach and spend a bit of time in the water -- which I managed to avoid completely on this trip. We could catch a ferry over to Lanai and Molokai if we wanted to do something a little different. And there's the wonderfully eclectic waterfront district that Jerry and Carol and I spent time exploring with a multitude of quirky shops and good places to eat.
And we wouldn't have to do anything that we didn't feel like doing.
You know, that sounds pretty good.
(And, no, it's not just the cheeseburgers...)