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Thursday, June 11, 2015

ON THE MATTER OF HOLIDAYS

Today is a holiday in Hawaii, King Kamehameha Day.  We are the only state that honors a king.  You can read the details by clicking on that day.  I last year walked to the ceremony, and you can read:


The lei laying activities start at 3PM today, and on Saturday, there will be a parade through Waikiki.

There are ten annual Federal holidays, with a few states only having those to offer.  Several states have four additional holidays, Hawaii among them.  Texas has twelve, but nine are partial or optional.  Then there are Puerto Rico with eleven local holidays and Virgin Islands  with twelve.

Worldwide, Finland, Brazil and France are entitled to 30 holidays a year. and Lithuania, Russia and the UK 28 days.   Refer to Wikipedia for there seems to be some confusion.  For example, while Australia, New  Zealand and Japan get 20 statutory holidays/year, in the next paragraph it says, "Japan and India top the global list with 16 days of public holidays a year."  Further, "Brazil and Lithuania would have the world's most generous holiday regime with a potential of 41 days off a year, while those in Finland, France and Russia could receive a total of 40 days."  The USA is listed at only 25 days, with China  21 days and Canada 19 days.  The USA 25 days come from 10 Federal holidays and 15 days of vacation.  Ah, I  get it, statutory holidays are like vacations, and public holidays are holidays.

In China, a period of a week to two around the Chinese Lunar New Year or their Spring Festival can be a problem for visitors.  People return to ancestral homes and train stations can get impossible at the beginning and end of the period.

Japan celebrates Golden Week prompted by, on April 29, The Emperor's Birthday and Showa Day, combined with three straight holidays:  May 3 (Constitution Memorial Day), May 4 (Greenery Day) and May 5 (Children's Day, but more specifically, Boy's Day), so everyone takes almost a week off to travel somewhere, like to Hawaii.  Hotel's get overbooked at prime holiday sites.


Then there are portions of Europe that pretty much close down in August, because of these days off, which can be good and bad.  Traffic is less, but the popular attractions remain open.  Here is one recommendation:

So the best is to do as the locals do: Get up at 8:00-9:00 to get breakfast, buy something at the local markets, maybe have an early lunch, visit a museum. Then go to bed, take a nap, wake up at 6:00pm and start at the local cafe with a cocktail, stay up until 2am carousing the streets, stopping everywhere to enjoy, rinse & repeat.

I only travel when the Spring cherry blossoms and tulips are blooming and during the change in Fall colors, so I automatically avoid the above.  But every day is a holiday for those who live in 15 Craigside, so the following is my typical day...golf, flowers and food:


Note that rainbow, and immediately above is Kolby Irei, whose mother is the assistant golf coach at Punahou.  Kolby will become an eighth grader at Stevenson Middle School, and drives the ball as far as anyone I know.  He has played every day this year.  He has a handicap around one, just like me, but his is for 18 holes, and mine is for one.  Close by the course is this goldish tree and two white hibiscus:


On the way home I picked up some foie gras, for a couple of days ago I brought back to my apartment a whole rotisserie chicken, and made the leftover into chicken soup, with mustard greens and truffles.  A bought a bottle of BUTTER, which truly was a buttery chardonnay, created by John and Michele Truchard (John's parents founded Truchard Vineyard) only in 2009.  Not cheap, but a good value:


Some Castello blue cheese, endive and radicchio made for a truly enjoyable high-end hoity-toity dinner on my lanai at sunset.

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Tropical Storm Carlos popped up in the East Pacific, will attain hurricane strength, then weaken before testing Baja:


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