Hawaii is a beautiful set of Islands, the 50th state in the United States of America and home town of President Obama. We (my husband Ram, my children Surya (12) and Maya (10) and Ram’s sister Meera and her two kids Vinay (14) and Shria (9)) went there for a week’s vacation. Being a big group, we rented a lovely 3 bedroom home on the North Shore of the Island which was literally on the ocean. At high tide the waves crashed against the backyard wall of the house. At low tide we had a nice little beach to walk and play in. Apart from the lovely warm beaches, mango trees, coconut trees which reminded us of Chennai and green fields and orchards that reminded us of Kerala the whole island was really laid back and had this air of calm and laziness in the air. We visited the Pearl Harbor memorial where 2000+ US soldiers died when Japan attacked without warning, a pineapple plantation and also my son tried his hand at surfing – the most popular sport in Hawaii. Hawaii is part of a set of “Polynesian islands” and we visited a Polynesian Culture Center which is being run by a university as a means to generate money to educate students from islands like Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga etc. One of the shows was showing how to climb a coconut tree which just amused Ram and me. For someone who does not swim I was obviously nervous about the ocean but kids are just kids. They love to do what thrills them with not a bit of fear. Hope all of you can enjoy Hawaii some day - beautiful place indeed.

Here are five photographs.

Shantha Ranganathan (Vasu)

Hanuama bay

Pearl Harbor memorial

Polynesian culture

Surya surfing

The vacationers

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