The problem with packing everything you own is that someday you may want to take a picture of a beautiful lei your husband gave you (I’ll thank you to keep the jokes to a minimum) but the lighting is low and your tripod is god knows where. So, blurry, but aren’t they pretty?!

At some point I will post about the ridiculous road trip to DC, and the various shenanigans there, but after hearing one dramatic story after another from people I did come to a conclusion in mid-flight somewhere over Denver: my days as Mother Hen have to stop, if only for my own sanity. At some point I have to accept that it is not my job to make everyone’s problems go away, a realization that might have served me well before I went to Maine in the first place. Not that I would have done anything differently in Maine, but, you know, perspective.

Right now, I’ve been in Hawaii for about 24 hours and I LOVE it. It’s gorgeous. My apartment is breezy and cool. Today Tom and I took advantage of my jet lag and went out very early for some sightseeing and did the loop of the island. In a lot of ways, it’s like being in Maine: rocky coastlines to scramble over (as a lifelong member of the North Atlantic Rocky Shore Billygoat Club, I managed this in a skirt, flipflops, and carrying a four-pound camera), lots of farm stands on the road, and it’s overrun by tourists. Except here it’s year-round and there’s no road salt, calamitous snowfall, and there’s COLOR. My God, the color. Flowers, vegetation, the ocean, it’s all beautiful and NONE of it is gray, praises be. My heart will always be in New England but if there’s an uglier place than Maine in February and March, I’d hate to see it.

For now, we have photos! You can click here to see them. I put in one of Tom to prove that he’s actually ON the island and not just posting pictures from Google Images. There’s also a terrible one of me–my patented Squinty Sneer is on full display–but just so people can see how white my skin is. People, if only in this regard, I am pure as the driven snow. I was far and away the palest person we saw today, and I’m wagering I’m the palest person for about 2500 miles around. Tourists from Wisconsin have more color than I do, I know because they were laughing at me. And despite liberal and frequent applications of American Skin Cancer Foundation-approved sun block, I already have a burn. But look at that photo! If we lose power, we can use my skin to light the night. I actually glow, and not in a good way.

Tomorrow: yoga, unpacking, job applications (a few interesting bites already, actually) and if I can find aerosol-spray sun block for self-application on my shoulders, I’m off to the beach.