In my time “away” from bridge and other things, I was lucky enough to spend time in some beautiful parts of the world. I found the Italian Riviera, for example, to be absolutely breathtaking in spots.

I was not prepared, however, for what I found after I left sultry Atlanta.

As you may know, I headed right for Hawaii – and I was completely blown away. That place is paradise, I tell you: blue water everywhere you look; beautiful, friendly people, plus a climate to die for.

Just listen to me – blown away and to die for are phrases you never heard anyone say in the “old days,” but I have decided that maybe those days weren’t as “good” as we remember. I don’t know who said it, but I like the quote: “If you’re yearning for the good old days, just turn off the air conditioning.”

Not that it’s germane to the topic, but I can tell you that most people in Hawaii don’t even need A/C. They don’t have “good old days” in Hawaii. Today’s days are just like yesterday’s – great!

It takes a long time to get from Atlanta to Hawaii – I was pretty groggy by the time the plane landed – but it’s worth the trip.

I spent the first weekend in Kaneohe, part of Oahu, which also includes Honolulu.

I love the names you hear all around the islands. I found out that Kaneohe means “Bamboo Man.” In fact, just about every place you go has a name that means something poetic or historic or colorful. I learned about a former king of another area I visited, called Kailua (“two seas”). The king’s name was Kauakahiakahoowaha. I didn’t dare to ask what that means. What do you reckon his friends called him?

Anyway, I stayed with Bev and Arnie Drill in Kaneohe and had papaya for breakfast one day. They were very hospitable.

Bev and Arnie Drill shared their home with me.

Bev and Arnie Drill shared their home with me.

Everywhere I went, there was a spectacular view of something, mostly the Pacific Ocean, I guess. You can get an eyeful anywhere, it seems. I was stunned by the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, for example.

I did manage some bridge while I was in Hawaii, specifically the Unit 470 Sectional in Honolulu. Our 50th state has a lively and competitive bridge community, I can tell you.

After that, I stopped by the Kailua Bridge Club and had a chance to meet the owner, Edith Neff. She was just like the other Hawaiians I met – very charming. The club is very nice, and everyone made me feel welcome.

Oops, I’m late for my bridge game. I’ll have to post more about my trip to Hawaii later, so, check back soon!

That’s me at the Kailua Bridge Club.

That’s me at the Kailua Bridge Club.

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