During the many years that I worked for the big airline, one of our very successful advertising slogans was "Hawaii: Our little corner of the world!" Of course most employees traveled there as soon as they could, and many have made multiple visits. I didn't, because there were so many other places higher on my priority list.

When in casual conversation the topic of visiting Hawaii came up, colleagues were more than a little surprised that I had never been there. So, to fend off further questions and sometimes disagreements about the appeal of going there, I started responding to questions with the statement that "I am saving it for my honeymoon." The obvious next question was "Oh, are you getting married?" to which the answer was a prompt "of course not," and I would assure people that if I ever did tie the knot again, I would indeed visit "our little corner of the world." That was always sufficient to change the conversation to topics that were always far more interesting.

I did get married again, but we did not go on a honeymoon. So this year, when the opportunity arose to go to Hawaii for a week, I commented that finally, I guess we are going on a honeymoon.

Our usual big summer trip is when we go to California in August. First we visit friends and Uncle Jack in NoCal (northern California, specifically for us the San Francisco area). Then we have gone to SoCal (southern California, the Los Angeles area) to visit friends and my Aunt Lola and cousins. This year, when we considered the September Hawaii trip, we decided both would be doable if we sandwiched the Hawaii destination between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

We had tried September before for the California trip, so we knew that there was the possibility that it might be more chilly, especially in NoCal. But that was certainly not true this year, when the temperatures were soaring and didn't even really cool off much at night. And a real plus is that because school has started, there are fewer families traveling so airports are far less crowded and certainly a lot more quiet. The same is true of airplanes; I have even noted an occasional empty seat on a couple of our flights so far.

I think this Hawaii trip was meant to be. Usually when we are on a long and involved itinerary, there has to be some sort of glitch. And I have a tendency to be relieved when that glitch happens early in the trip. This time, everything has gone so smooth as to be almost scary.

On the other hand, plenty has gone incredibly well plus some unexpected extras. At the beginning of the trip from the mainland to the island of Maui, the inflight crew announced a contest. The flight deck crew would announce the data such as speed, altitude, headwinds, distance to the halfway point, and official departure time, etc. An entry form was passed out, and passengers were to guess the exact time at which the flight would pass the halfway point to our destination.

I slipped the entry form into the book I was reading and forgot about it. Spouse Roger started calculating. Later, the flight attendant came around to pick them up, but Spouse Roger was not yet finished. When he had completed it, he asked if I was going to do it. I said no, then quickly changed my mind and said, "Well, why not." I asked him if it was OK if I just took the time he had picked and added three minutes. Of course he said sure. When the flight attendant made his final round, we gave him our entries. He looked at them and said we had to include not just the hour and the minute but also the seconds, because many times there would be more than one with the same hour and minute and it would be the seconds that determined the winner. So we both added some seconds.

Sometime later, after we had passed the halfway point, the flight attendant was announcing the winning time, but I was reading and not paying a lot of attention. Roger said, "I think you won." I didn't believe that could happen, and even though they had also announced the name and the seat number of the winner, we had not heard that part.

Not long after, the flight attendant came to me with congratulations and handed me a brand new book about Hawaii, still wrapped in clear plastic. I really felt as if Spouse Roger was the real winner, since I had just piggy-backed on his calculations! And he immediately delved into it, informing me that the retail price on the book was $23, clearly worth the few minutes it took him to get that close to the actual time. It has been very useful, and certainly a nice counterpoint to any trip glitch that might still be coming our way.

Now we are just past the halfway point of our stay in Hawaii; today we will visit our former Lincoln, Neb., neighbor who now lives here on Maui. We have still had no real glitches, but I guess that is the way honeymoons, even long delayed ones, are supposed to be.