Hawaii is amazing, a warm and friendly place, and the people make it so. Their native language was challenging, but we get by with the occasional "aloha" (hello or goodbye) and "mahalo" (thank you). Mainlanders must learn to relax and slow down, it's not a rat race here. We found ourselves in a slow paced world and a true cultural melting pot. Hawaiians drove courteously and were patient even when traffic was congested. All the Hawaiians we met were friendly and generous, and every conversation ended with a pleasant smile.
Over time we forgot our mainland habits and began to appreciate Hawaii for what it is: a happy place. From day one we began the adjustment to local customs and eventually became part of it, enjoying their culture and learning that flip-flops could be slippers or shoes, always the perfect attire for their uncomplicated lifestyle. As our lives became simplified, we understood the pleasures of paradise. What a pleasant gift.
And so to the people of Hawaii, we can only say... Mahalo!