Celebrating Thanksgiving with a luau | Colleen Smidt

Aloha from the beaches of Maui. The Smidt family decided to forgo the usual cooking and eating of turkey on Thursday and the manic, frantic shopping for those limited got to have it doorbuster specials on Friday to instead save for, plan and now embark on a weeklong vacation in the Hawaiian Islands.

This week marked 20 years of marriage for Jason and me. Having met in 1990, we married in 1992, bought our home in Bremerton in 1998 and had our only child Nick in 2001. When we married, we did not have a lot of money. Our parents did not have a lot of money, but we pooled the resources and managed to pull off a very nice traditional wedding surrounded by friends and family. We had very little left over for the honeymoon and had to keep it close to home, short and simple, but like most young couples just starting out we were simply happy to finally begin our lifelong journey together.

We promised ourselves that someday we would have that topical Hawaiian honeymoon we missed the first time around. Well, after 20 years, that someday is today. We are here and even better we have Nick with us to enjoy and celebrate this important milestone as a family.

On the agenda is the typical Hawaiian luau, snorkeling with fish and turtles almost every day and a trip up Haleakala in the very early morning hours to watch the sunrise on the world from 10,000 feet.

Nick will be missing three days of school, but what he will gain in knowledge of the world through his personal experience goes well beyond what is found behind a desk and in a book. It just so happens that his sixth grade class is studying plate tectonics so exploring what the Hawaiian Islands reveal about the earth and its constant cycle of creation and destruction will be something he will always remember on a very personal level.

I purposefully booked our room at resort that does not provide TV, radio or Internet in the rooms. Except for the occasional photo upload for friends and family via a Wi-Fi hotspot outside the resort area, we will be unplugged from the digital world for a week. Instead, replacement activities will include an hourlong presentation from a local marine biologist on marine life that our resort offers to its guests on a weekly basis.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone back in Bremerton. Be safe and dry for the holiday. Happy anniversary to my very best friend and husband Jason. These past 20 years at times seem like a handful of days and at other times seem like forever already. I can’t imagine having accomplished any of it without you.


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