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I asked my wife to start filling in the customs declaration as we flew to Hawaii. I was tired and needed some snoozing time. She woke me to ask a question, or something, and I read through the form to see what she had done. When I saw she had indicated this was her fourth time to Hawaii, I was amazed. Then she reminded me that she had worked for a charter airline and they had sent her to Hawaii at least a couple of times. Well, this was going to be familiar to her, but, not for the rest of the family. It would be be new to everyone in our family to have Christmas away from home.

We landed and were met by our hosts, my sister and brother-in-law in a minivan. They have already been here three weeks and come every year. That means they have plenty of extras, like snorkel equipment, and really know the island of Kauai.

Christmas in Hawaii seems, well, quite unusual. There are some Christmas decorations that are similar to what we see at home. They do seem out of place indeed. I suppose they do it for the tourists, however, the real meaning of Christmas, Jesus, is alive and well in Kauai, due to the large numbers of Christians. There are many churches. On Christmas Eve, our first night, we went to the Grand Hyatt for a Christmas Eve service that rivaled any modern almost mega church service, certainly matching the name of the Grand Hyatt. The massive ballroom of the hotel was full and the service was not particularly geared for the tourist, but, for those who regard praising the Lord part of their life. Fine for some of us in our group, others, they just had to come along.

After the service, we looked around and saw some wood carvings in a shop that were so unbelievable they left my son and I puzzling on how they might have been done. My son likes woodworking. With such mild weather in Kauai, many halls and rooms simply do not have walls, making for an unusual experience walking through the building for those of us from other climates.

The Grand Hyatt is truly a sight and the grandiosity was exhibited with flair at the Christmas brunch we attended the next day. Such an endless array of food that I could barely walk out. No turkey though.

So, that was Christmas. Oh, I forgot to mention my Christmas present from my sister, a small waterproof video camera. I am used to my dSLR and this little fellow is quite different. Not the same quality, but, the convenience is great. Even greater is snorkelling with it taking videos of fish.

I have so much more to write about and will get to it as I can. Also coming up will be photography and videos that I will put on my photoblog and my gallery website. The problem is deciding from the hundreds and hundreds, just which are the best photos. We have been so busy and I have taken so many photos and videos that all I seem to have time for is to dump the files off the cameras and go take more. I am running out of storage space. I also need to talk about surfing and about POG.