Last night our Hawaii trip was kicked off with E&Z&H&G’s annual Bon Voyage dinner for us.

Our little servers greeted us with roses, banners, art, and hand printed Mexican-themed menus. This year Grandpa Whitey joined the festivities. (Zanna had said they were going to dress him up as the maitre d’—Gus later told us Grandpa Whitey would be a “dumbwaiter.”)

Karen asked Gus to help her understand his art. She correctly identified the building as our condo with palm trees in front, and the volcano in the neighboring Big Island. But the wave image she thought were surfers—uh huh. They’re boys playing in the waves, tricking people with fake shark fins!

Grandma and I were enthusiastically coerced by our board-game-loving grandson into playing Clue. Harper and Gus helped us out (we needed all their efforts) and after Grandma and Gus eventually and incorrectly guessed the who-where-what, I won! By default! The sum total of my strategy—hey, it worked!


Grandpa Whitey regaled us with stories about his first winter on Madeline Island. It’s been 3 or 4 winters since Lake Superior has frozen over, so it’s new territory now with wind sled transportation the only available way to get off-island (instead of the ferry) until an ice road is permissible and plowed. Apparently the local who creates the road, lines it with Christmas trees so people don’t lose their way. And the road can change over the winter, depending on conditions, so the Christmas trees will be moved to create the new path. We learned that once the road is done, tourists like to come over just to experience it/say they’ve done it. But a lot of traffic creates waves under the ice, which can affect its stability—yikes! He’s taken so many beautiful photos and has so many thoughts and stories, a blog might be in his future.

Then, to cap it all off—SKOL! THE VIKES WIN! After dinner we watched the last half hour of the game. When it looked bleak and that they were going to lose again in the same old way, I went upstairs to separate myself from the heartache. But something told me to man-up and watch the sad ending to a very good season with my family. WOW!!!! To add to the excitement, Zanna face-timed with Packer-loyalist Auntie Jane in Bethel Alaska. When she answered the phone we all sang SKOL Vikings as loud as we could!

Harper and Gus got ready for bed and then came out to say goodnight in their matching BB-8 pjs. Oh! There’s nothing in the world that compares with the pure joy of being a grandparent!