Twenty-six of us from Kentucky teamed with ten other tourists from Michigan and Montana, to visit Oahu, Kauai, and Maui.
Nancy Bollinger celebrated 22 years with Holiday Vacations as our Tour Director on this trip.
After surviving the tsunami, we started with a tour of the USS Arizona Memorial, a touching tribute to the thousands killed in Pearl Harbor at the start of World War II.
There was spectacular scenery everywhere you looked, and authentic portrayals of craftsmanship and survival techniques provided by members of various ethnicities in the Polynesian Cultural Center.
You could enjoy every thing from horseback riding to swap meets to souvenir hunting and golf, and the sunsets were just as spectacularly as you could have imagined.
A luau wrapped up our last night in the islands, including a fire dancer who climaxed the show.
And a pod of humpback whales wave good-bye to us before our trip back to Bowling Green.
It's almost more than one can take in, perhaps the most beautiful place on Earth, filled with loving, compassionate people. And we shared it with people who had started out the trip as strangers, but ended it as friends.
For a look at pictures from Hawaii visit Gene Birk's facebook fan page: