I’ve been quiet because we were on vacation; I really need to write up a blog entry on our trip to Hawaii, but the short version is that it was wonderful. I’m not really a tropics person normally, but I loved Hawaii. I find laying out on a beach inordinately boring, but there was lots to do: playing in the waves, drinking Mai Tais, trying out a stand-up paddleboard, kayaking in the surf, visiting Pearl Harbor and Volcanoes National Park, snorkeling. One of the pleasant surprises was to find that Hawaiian culture isn’t only alive, it’s everywhere. I hadn’t realized how many of the people in Hawaii are at least partly Hawaiian (I suspect the Hawaiians’ willingness to integrate immigrants into their culture and their families helped ensure that their genes survived even though they had the same massive and tragic death rate that you’d expect once the Westerners brought their smallpox and other germs in). The majority of people we saw or talked to had Hawaiian features; many had Hawaiian names and used Hawaiian words. (Of course, some of that is that everyone in the tourist industry says Aloha and Mahalo.) We were told that lots of people speak the language fluently, though I’m not sure if many speak it as a native language rather than a second one. On the other hand, there’s enough Asian influence that Oahu had a bunch of little reminders of Taiwan for us, including the smell of tuberoses.

It was good to be traveling again! It’s felt like we got back to Oregon, after our years of traveling all over the world, and have just been sitting here not going anywhere. This was our first trip that wasn’t to visit family, aside from a couple of work trips. I do have a bit more travel to look foward to, at least: a surprise work trip to Toledo in a couple of weeks and then one to New Orleans in November to get together with Ted’s college friends. The former should be OK (except that flight times from OR to OH are always awkward – I can either wake up at 4AM or arrive after 11PM, so I chose the late arrival); the latter trip will be fun.

Also, on the Hawaii trip I got through the whole lace part of the shawl I’m making my SIL for Christmas. I also got a sock started, for times I needed something that required less attention, but I’ve only done a few inches of that. It makes me a bit twitchy to have two many knitting projects going, but I think the shawl will take only a few more days. The sweater I was working on was too big to travel with, since I was packing light, but has a body and half of once sleeve done, so I’m hoping to get that done while we’re in fall weather rather than winter. I’ve got a quick vest-ish thing I also want to do in fall, but it’s bulky yarn and should be quick; if I’m done in time I’m considering a pair of slippers for my nephew. Or maybe a bigger pair for Ted.