Hopping between the two outlying states of Alaska and Hawaii is a great way to experience extremes. James is in Hawaii with the ship for training, and last week, the Kids and I flew down to visit. When I left Cordova, fall was settling in, each day, the temperature was dropping a little bit, so we were transitioning slowly into winter (after an unusually chilly and rainy summer even by Cordovan standards). But last week, I spent a lot of time like this:

Aside from the knitting, this is not my usual vacation pose. (The socks, in honor of Socktoberfest, of course, are being worked in Mountain Colors Twizzle, and would have zoomed along nicely during the vacation if I hadn’t decided to change the stitch pattern after I was about 5 inches down the ankle.) I’m not typically a pool-side or beach-y person. I don’t like wearing my swimsuit (or anything above my knees for that matter), and I don’t really like just sitting in the sun, but Hawaii had its effect on me. I even got to be fond of fruity drinks. My favorite was the lava flow: Coconut milk, strawberry puree, pinapple juice, vodka.  The pool was the best place to relax because the kids could safely play while adults socialized. You can’t see it in this picture, but the beautiful, blue pacific is right behind me and you can hear it, and see it if you just turn your head.

One thing I do like about warm weather is sandals and the toes to put in them (funny that I’m knitting wool socks, but it was the best travel project I had ready to bring). Our first day there, I was able to sneak in a pedicure.

We stayed in a hotel which was in proximity to great beaches, the zoo, the aquarium and lots of fun things for kids to do. But if we go again, I’m hoping we’ll be able to find better meals–one of the downsides of Waikiki was the food. Everything is so commercial, it’s hard to find restaurants with fresh food. We stumbled upon our best meal after going boogie boarding at Bellows Beach on a day we rented a car. (Turns out we love boogie boarding!)

After the beach we stopped at a strip mall with a Vietnamese noodle shop. I had one of my favorites, the Vietnamese sandwich which is fusion of french and Vietnamese cuisine in the best way. A baguette prepared with mayonnaise, pickled veggies like carrots, cabbage, cucumber, cilantro and some protein–mine was fried tofu. Yum! James and the kids had excellent noodles. Towards the end of the week, we started to get a little more creative about food like bringing takeout from Whole Foods to the pool. (If you want to see more Hawaii pictures, they’re on flickr.)

On Sunday morning, we arrived back in Anchorage after a night flight and we had a day’s layover before our flight home to Cordova. Insted of leis, here’s how we were greeted when we stepped off the plane:

Brrr…. Back home now and I’ve got major inertia, I’m finding it a bit difficult to get back into the swing of things with writing and work. There’s no snow in Cordova, but the White dusting on the mountains is moving lower every day, it seems.

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