There are many similarities. Both places have majestic mountains and beautiful beaches. The people in both places are warm and friendly. We have red clay. They have red soil too. We are known for our spectacular waterfalls in western North Carolina. Ditto out there. I left my native North Carolina and vacationed with my wife Cindy in Kauai last week. Paradise? Yes, I can't argue with that. I snapped the picture you see in this blog above the Napali coast in one of those jaw dropping moments. The brilliant blue of the Pacific meets the lush green of the forest and red dirt of the canyon. Kauai, the oldest of the Hawaiian islands, has incredible climate diversity. We helicoptered over the wettest spot on the planet but just a few miles away is the arid west coast. The coastline is rocky for the most part but there are sandy beaches. The sand, however, looked more like oatmeal than the gritty stuff we wiggle off our toes in Carolina. There is even a mini "Grand Canyon" in Kauai. You have to see it to believe it. The only downside was the long trip out there. Three hour layovers in Dallas and LA didn't help. The trip back was much easier - a straight shot from Honolulu to Dallas. I slept on the way back. I watched the Hurricanes win the Stanly Cup and wore my Canes jersey to dinner that night and celebrated with a couple from Raleigh. It was a great vacation but it's good to be back. I can't wait for the Tall Ships festival coming up this weekend. More on that tomorrow.