Yeah, so you think that you know Hawaii. The beautiful beaches, the unnaturally blue water, the tropical climate and the aloha spirit. But really, you don’t know Hawaii because it is so much more than that. Anything that you can read or see or think you can be a part of doesn’t come close to Hawaii.
Hawaii is the boss who organizes a pau hana (see, you’re lost already) going away party on the beach at sunset. It is the friend who provides photography befitting an art gallery as a going away gift. It is the business associate who brings balloons for my six year old because he thought that he would attend and be bored. It is the friend who insists on taking photos of me with every attendee at the gathering, some of those photos I am yearning for already. It is the fellow lobbyist who asks me to hug my Mom for her when I get home. The buddy who, despite having surgery that day and an extremely long commute to attend, showed up and in good spirits. This is Hawaii. All of these people, disparate, yet together, it is my Hawaii. I will miss this. The only thing that makes this bearable is that I will be back, before the year is out. This is the Hawaii that you will never get in your two week vacation. It is real and I love it.