At the end of their visits, vacationers generally agree about the things they liked about Hawaii. Not surprisingly, those ‘likes’ include our magnificent weather, the beaches, the unique attractions regardless of island, the prevailing Aloha Spirit, the accommodations, the courtesy of our service people, and the huge variety of menu offerings — especially their ethnic persity — at our restaurants.

If you’re going to be vacationing in Hawaii, you’re sure to encounter local people who will ask you if you’re having fun and what you’re enjoying in particular. Chances are, you won’t get around to asking THEM what they like about living in Hawaii.

Our likes, for the most part, aren’t the same as yours will be. To begin with, we pretty-much take the weather for granted. It’s always “nice.” Given the exceptions of long rainy spells or the rare hurricanes, the weather comes and goes day after day. We can go to the beach any time we want. We can play golf, hike, walk our dogs or tend to our gardens year-round.

We do cherish the Aloha Spirit, although we don’t generate it consciously the way a concierge or a waitperson might. We just sort of expect each other to be warm and welcoming. We’re eager to help each other out, to entertain each other, to meet each other’s friends, to share our food and drink.

We do not take the scenery for granted. Some of us rise before dawn just to see the sunrise or plan our meals around the sunsets. Many of us have private scenic spots where we go for solitude, to just think. We have favorite areas in which to walk, or drives we look forward to. (On Oahu, driving east on a usually-busy Kalanianaole Highway, the full moon will hover — larger than most humans ever have seen it — just to the left of Koko Head and it inspires awe.)

Those of us who live in metropolitan areas enjoy occasional visits to town for shopping and visiting; if we live in the city, we like to go into the country for the change. If we’ve lived on one island for a few years, we have no desire to be on another island unless there’s good reason to go. We don’t get rock fever, regardless of what you might imagine or have heard. When we take trips, we’re really glad to get home.

While we eat out often and enjoy the variety, we tend to stick with our favorites. We love and appreciate each other’s cooking; and, boy, do we share! In every office, someone, almost every day, brings in home-made mango or banana bread, chili, chutney, a chicken or fish specialty or an original desert.

We love to exchange lei and give far more to each other than we do to arriving visitors.

We enjoy exploring, but in a different way from the way a tourist explores. We may have heard of a special place from a friend, or we might pass a road that leads to an area we’ve never seen. Even though these are tiny islands in the great scheme of things, there’s always something new to discover on every one of them.

We will visit most of the sights and attractions you will encounter only if and when we accompany you. The ‘important’ ones are seen by our kids during school hours.

When we hear or read about racial strife in other places, we reflect proudly and gratefully on our persity and our mutual tolerance.

We recognize how important your visit is to our economy, and how important your word-of-mouth review will be when you return home. We try to treat you accordingly while you’re here, and we genuinely look forward to your return.


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