Home > family, this and that > The Den Parents, Jet Setters

The Den Parents, Jet Setters

Thursday, March 22, 2012, 17:21 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments
FlightAlert tracking

Status of United Air Lines flight 989 from San Francisco, California, to Kona/Kaulua, Hawaii, as of 16:00 EDT (click to view larger)

As I type this, the Den Mother’s Parents are jetting their way over the Pacific Ocean toward Hawaii to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. The lucky dogs.

DMM and DMF flew out yesterday from Boston to San Francisco, where they stayed overnight because DMM doesn’t do well on very long trips. At 9:33 PDT this morning, they departed SFO for Kahului-Kona. They will spend four days on the island of Hawaii and eight days on Maui before coming home.

Their actual anniversary isn’t until a month from now, at which time they are planning a bash for family and friends. It had been my intention for many years to throw the 50th anniversary party for them, but two years ago the Den Brother suggested that we instead send them back to Hawaii, where they spent their 25th anniversary. I agreed, not forseeing that in the interim I would buy a house and end up cash poor. Fortunately, I got my annual bonus from my employer two weeks ago and was able to make some catch-up payments to the Hawaii account.

I’ve never been to our 50th state, but everyone I know who has says it’s amazing. On their first trip way back in 1987, DMM and DMF spent time on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. Ever since, they have talked about going back to Maui some day. The Big Island was suggested by my brother and sister-in-law, as well as posthumously by my grandmother who, I reminded my parents, had gone there in the late 1970s and raved about it.

The state of Hawaii is comprised of a chain of several dozen islands, atolls, and islets. The largest and easternmost is the island of Hawaii, commonly referred to as the Big Island. Although the archipelago stretches more than 1,500 miles from end to end, Hawaii is the eighth smallest U.S. state in terms of total area and fourth smallest in land area. It is also significant in being the only state not part of North America; the Hawaiian Islands are technically part of Polynesia, which is geographically associated with Oceania.

The state has two official languages: English and Hawaiian. The latter was in danger of dying out as recently as a generation ago, but there has been an active effort to revive it. Toward that end, the University of Hawaii runs a College of Hawaiian Language.

Ethnically, the islands’ original inhabitants were Australasian. Latter-day immigration brought large numbers of Japanese. Today, a plurality of the state’s residents are of Asian descent—38.6%, well above the national average of 4.8%, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

Since I started writing this post, the Den Parents’ flight has progressed nicely. They are about an hour from landing. To kick off their 11 days in paradise, I wish them Hau’oli la Ho’omana’o, Me Ke Aloha.

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