I surprised my husband with a trip to ... he didn’t know where.

I surprised my husband with a trip to  … he didn’t know where.

I harboured the surprise for more th

an a year. As the time of departure arrived I had to be extra careful not to let it slip during the last-minute preparations. Oops,— I told my friend not to call on the phone to our destination because “the calling costs are high there “in Hawaii,” I said.  Guess who was standing behind me?

He didn’t learn where until the pilot came on the intercom to tell us the weather there.  He told us because of El Nina the weather patterns on our little island paradise had switched and our side was now having all the rain and thunder/lightning storms. So, we went over to the other side of the island where there was clear weather.

Our week’s stay in the resort was to start the day after we arrived so we had to spend one night in a … well, the rating was 7.5 out of 10 so I thought it would be OK. There were three police cars barring the entranceway of the hotel and two people that were being detained. Surprise — not what it looked like on the ads.

It was midnight and kind of quiet but, in the lobby, a friendly “lady-of-the-night” chatted us up as we registered.  Surprise — not the entertainment I ordered. The resort was great, we toured around the island and even went zip-lining. I have to admit that, except for the truly horrifying spectacle I knew I made in the harness, zipping was really fun — everything you wanted to do as a kid. The last of the eight different lines were half a mile long so we were zipping, alright. However, the biggest surprise of all was yet to come.

I realized on the way home, driving through the canyon and then into the Cariboo, that we have everything in B.C. In Hawaii they were so proud of their huge ranch but we have one that can be seen from space. They told me they have “11 out of a possible 13” climates on their island — we have all 13 and I think I drove through at least four on my way home. There is thick foliage, waterfalls, gorges, rivers, real-looking mountains and lushness in Hawaii and, as I looked around, I saw all of that and more.

We have scenery as spectacular and dramatic as anywhere in the world — more so, in many places. So, the best surprise of all was realizing that every vacation environment is right here.

Colleen Crossley is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.