The Ananthanarayan, Garla, and Naga families, all related.
Just Back From
Hilton Hawaiian Village (hiltonhawaiianvillage.com; doubles from $479) in Honolulu, the resort with the biggest swimming pool on Waikiki Beach.
Eleven hours, direct from Newark to Honolulu on Continental. Unexpected bonus: seat-back TV’s!
“Every day we had a plan—parasailing and snorkeling, submarine rides, a visit to Pearl Harbor—we wanted to do it all,” explains mother of three, Padma Garla. “But we included two days of downtime.”
The all-day trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center (Laie; 800/367-7060; polynesia.com): seven re-created villages, with lessons in lei making and coconut cracking.
The helicopter ride over Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (nps.gov) on the Big Island. “We could smell the sulfur and feel the heat,” says Varun Garla, 15.
The beach! “The resort has its own uncrowded corner,” Padma reports. “First thing every morning, the kids would run out to the water.”
Pittsburgh, to visit Sri Venkateswara, a Hindu temple.
An Alaskan cruise.