Smith’s School of English has several vacation periods each year and this year the Golden Week Holiday, which for most Japanese employees corresponds to the first week of May, started about a week earlier for the Smith franchisees. It turns out that this was a blessing as I wanted to go to Hawaii and the week from April 25th to May 1st worked out great. I got to use my frequent flyer miles for my wife and my tickets and we spent a great week in Honolulu visiting my son, who just moved there with his family. Honolulu holds a special place in my heart since it is where I graduated from the university and where I met my wife. We checked out the places we used to live and frequent and surprising most were still there. We hit the beach a few times, drove around the island, ate the coconut creme pie at the Crouching Lion restaurant on the north shore and took a sunset dinner cruise. It was an all-around good time and a nice break from the work of building and running my school. The trip also gave me something interesting to talk about with my students and allowed me to bring into the lessons a few Hawaiian expressions such as “Pau Hana”, “Okole Maluna” and the interesting directions used on Oahu (Mauka: toward the mountain/ Makai: toward the ocean/ Diamond Head: toward Diamond Head and Ewa: toward Ewa beach) during the lesson on giving directions at my Smith’s school of English franchise at Okamoto. Many of them have either been to Hawaii or really want to go there, especially after hearing about it from me. Also, Smith’s can help to staff my school if I need to take a holiday that is not one of the pre-scheduled times during the year. It really gives a franchise-owner piece of mind.