Flag vest diplomacy



1. Hanakapai Falls, Kauai (May 1, 2015)

2. Kailua beach, Oahu (February 18, 2019)

Few countries in the world offer the variety of landscape that is America. From hot Death Valley and humid New Orleans (both below sea level) to freezing Mt Denali (20,000 feet above sea level); from the jagged peaks of the Tetons in the West to the smooth Appalachians in the East; from of, of course, the sun rising over the Atlantic to its setting over the Pacific; the U.S.'s natural beauty is staggering in its depth.

Hawaii is among the country's gems. From what I understand, it's the world's most isolated population center. Its volcanoes, coffee and cocoa plantations, and beaches are certainly not Kansas.

Lauren and I went to Hawaii - our first real trip together - in the spring of 2015. We visited Kauai exclusively, and not with regret. We loved the weather: a bit of intermittent refreshing rain most days, with plenty of sun in between showers. We ate lots of fish, and went on hikes and adventures all over the island.

My second trip to Hawaii was the first out of the continental U.S. with our son Henry. We went with two other couples and their sons, and stayed on the windward side of the island up north.