Aloha! As I mentioned in the comic strip blogs recently, I’m kicking it in Hawaii with Mombot for the next several days, visiting with friends and family and soaking up some sun and surf. I couldn’t mention it earlier, but the main reason for taking this trip was to attend a surprise 60th Wedding Anniversary for my aunt and uncle. Since the event took place today (Saturday, July 23), I can finally write without fear of family members visiting my website and getting the surprise ruined. I’ll write more about the party later as it deserves a blog of its own, but for now, here’s what I’ve been doing for the past few days in paradise.

My mom and I left from Burbank, CA last Wednesday morning (July 20th) and arrived on Oahu – where Mombot was raised – later that day. Since then, it’s been a very casual, relaxing trip. I can’t remember the last time I was on a real vacation so it took some time to sink in; I think the first night after going out for food and drinks, I came back to the hotel and worked on Friday’s JEFbot for a few hours before crashing. The next day I took my mom to the Ala Moana shopping center so she could pick up gifts for the Anniversary party, and dessert for a dinner we had that night with my cousin, aunt and uncle.

It wasn’t until Friday I really started getting into “Vacation Mode” and spent the afternoon hiking and surfing with my sister, Linda/Xinda. Oh, did I not mention she’s here with us? That’s because we didn’t find out she’d be joining us until late Thursday night, when she came pounding on my hotel door. Earlier in the week she had threatened to A) Spend the entire time at my apartment while I was away, changing things around and possibly painting another wall, or B) Surprising us in Hawaii and getting a room at our hotel. I assumed she would choose option A as who buys an expensive, last minute plane ticket to Hawaii, just to terrorize one’s mother and brother? (Granted, also to hang out in one of the most beautiful places in the world.)

Anyway, it all turned out pretty great as she and I spent Friday afternoon on the beach – she hung out at Duke’s drinking iced teas, taking pictures and napping on the sand while I went surfing. It was the perfect day for it, too, as the ocean was fairly calm which meant the waves were just the right size for me to get back into the swing of things (I think it’s been at least four years since the last time I surfed off this very beach.) I plan to go back in the next day or two, but had to take a break since I got a bad sunburn on the back of my calves (the two places I didn’t put sunscreen on, wouldn’t you know) so gotta give those time to heal. In the meantime, I hiked up Diamond Head – kind of a tradition everytime I come to Oahu – and took my evil sis along. She made it to the top of the crater, but just barely, as it’s a pretty arduous climb and she hasn’t been able to exercise much lately, due to some health issues she’s been dealing with. After that, we drove back to the hotel and picked up Mombot for some local eats.

Like I said, it’s been a pretty chill vacation so far, and I think that’s exactly what I needed; it’s been years since I’ve had a proper getaway that wasn’t somewhat work-or-JEFbot-related, so it’s been strange not having to worry about much beyond when the next time I’m going to the beach, really. Yes, I did bring my computer and artstuffs along so I can post new comic strips while away, but I’m mixing in the JEFbot work without interrupting any Vacation Fun Time. And really, writing and drawing from my hotel window overlooking the beach while listening to the sound of the surf is still vacation time as far as I’m concerned. And hey, the McDonald’s fast food joints here on the islands all have Spam and/or Portuguese sausage and egg breakfasts, and that’s all I need to start each day with a smile on my face for now.

See you in a day or two with a new blog post, and next Tuesday with a new strip!

For some other photos and social networking while I’m away, check my: