As the first arctic blast of the new year rattled our office and thinned our blood, we battened down the hatches, layered our woolens and turned up stiff-and cold-upper lips. Then we booked the first flight out.

From 39,000 feet up and some 5,000 miles away from the gray winter skies of Texas, the isles of Hawaii-home of Madame Peleand the gods of sun and surf-beckoned.

The immediate tropical warmth assured us that we wouldthaw. But first things first: A tallmai tai and a barefoot stroll on the beach. Maybe nine holes of golf. Or 18. It was winter and it was Hawaii-an ono combination.


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