For summer vacation (and a *zero birthday) we spent a week on the Big Island, followed by a week on Kauai. The former was quite interesting: staying in the tatami room at the family-owned Manago Hotel, followed by a beautiful chalet in the rainforest outside Volcano park, and culminating with a day in Hilo and environs. There was the threat of a hurricane which never materialized, and a 5.5 earthquake that reminded me of home. Whether absorbing the ambience of ancient heiau, or wandering in the volcanic wilderness of pahoehoe and aa lava during a misty rain, the Big Island is fascinating. Kauai, rural wilderness and sunshine, was rejuvinating: staying at the Kiahuna Plantation and snorkeling or feeding the reef fish, or eating shave ice or feasting at Roy’s — it was great. Even found myself at a small dojo in Lihue for a couple of night’s aikido training. More pictures are here.