Of our 27 Christmases together, we’ve spent only one on the road away from Phoenix. That came in 1997 when we traveled to snowy Amarillo, Texas, to visit my ailing mother. It would be her last Christmas. She died less than three months later.
This Christmas on the road will be different. It is, or we hope it will be, our first “fun” Christmas away from town. We’re leaving this evening for a nine-day stay on Oahu. It sounds nice anyway. ” Off to The Islands.” Or one of them anyway.
I can’t say when the idea of Christmas in Hawaii began to germinate. It certainly came before last August when we made the plane reservations. I wanted to do something exotic in 2013 since it was one of those rare years in recent times we didn’t go abroad. Upstate New York was great last summer. I enjoyed seeing new country, as I always do. But exotic it was not. It does not have the aura of spending the Holidays in The Islands.
“The Islands” evokes adventure, a break from routine. Palm trees and coconuts. Papayas for breakfast. Mai-tais in the evening. Beautiful sunsets looking down on the Pacific from high rain forests. But really, that’s too idyllic for me. It could be the opposite. Troubles and woes. But whatever, it will mark a departure from the norm, of contending with frenzied shoppers and city streets full of crazy drivers with devices stuck in their ears.
Christmas, when you think about it, has turned into a horror show on the Mainland. Maybe it will be that way on Oahu. We’ll find out.
I’m pining for a layed-back Christmas in any case.