Aloha and greetings from beautiful, rainy O’ahu Island. I’m looking out the window at my brother’s home outside of Honolulu admiring the picturesque palm trees, tiki torches, and dark rain clouds. Yes, we arrived in Hawaii during a wet spell. Although it was sunny a few hours ago, it’s pretty much rained ever since we arrived yesterday evening. Nonetheless, I’m happy to be here. I’m glad to be underway at long last, and I’m relieved finally have a chance to relax and spend time with my brother and family. We last saw them in November when they came to visit us in the D.C. area. I hope that the weather improves, especially since the NFL Pro Bowl will take place here tomorrow. The weather feels more like a fall day on the mainland than what you would expect in paradise. My brother assured me that, contrary to popular belief, Hawaii is not balmy year-round. Our first trip to Hawaii was much difficult. Our son was not yet born and the weather was spectacular. We came here for the first time in 1998 and visited O’ahu, Maui, and the Big Island. We’re hoping to come back within a couple of years and visit Kauai…when the weather is better.
The last few days have punished our bodies and spirits. Our packout and apartment checkout turned out to be much more difficult than expected. My wife fell ill with a stomach flu and gave it to both my son and me, and we’ve all felt terrible ever since. I feel better now, although my stomach is still restless. My wife and son are still under the weather. The flight from D.C. to Hawaii via Atlanta made life even worse for us. I am not happy with our treatment by Delta Airlines and will rant about that on another day. The flight exacerbated our illnesses, and we were all miserable the entire time. No one enjoys a 10-hour flight; having the stomach flu made it much worse. However, my son was a real trooper and did well on the flight. I am so proud of him! I’m really thankful that my brother put us up (or should I say put up with us?) for the weekend so we could all rest and recuperate. We still have another 11 hour flight to Seoul and need our strength for the final leg of the journey. I hope we can all get over this illness and have a much better experience during our flight to Seoul.