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From the Farm

There and back again

December 31, 2010
By Kerry Hoffman

If you read my column last week, you recall that there really aren't a ton of things to do on the farm. Although, I think Mitch and Steve have argued that point with me.

I'm kind of spoiled, during the winter. I don't have to do much outside other than milk the cows and go cross-country skiing at some point during the day.

OK, once in awhile I shovel the sidewalk, out of the kindness of my heart.

To me, winter seems like the perfect time to take a vacation to a warm, tropical place with palm trees, oceans and deep-sea fishing.

Unbeknownst to many of my readers, that is exactly what we have been doing since the 22nd of December. (By the time this runs in the paper, we will have been home for one day already.)

This year, we decided to go over and above. Actually, we have planned on taking our boys on a tropical vacation for many years. With Joey a junior in high school already, we decided it was now or never.

We wanted to show them another type of climate and culture, so look out Hawaii, here we come! You'll never be the same.

Steve and I have previously been to the Aloha state, and we vowed that someday we would return, with our boys in tow. We figured if we waited till they were older, they would hang by the beach all day.

I originally wanted to go on a cruise, but Joey wanted to do some serious deep-sea fishing; Steve wasn't all that hip on a vacation spent on a big boat either. Russell was ready to go anywhere.

So Steve chose Hawaii. I just about died! (They got to pick; I get to pay.)

Of course, I will have gone snorkeling. What would a trip to the warm tropical waters of Hawaii be without snorkeling?

Joey and Russell will have visited the top Mauna Loa, where I will have threatened to throw them into the volcano for a sacrifice. I will have warned them that taking a piece of lava rock is strictly forbidden and considered extremely bad karma. By the way, a new vent opened on the top of the volcano, so that should be interesting.

We will have spent an entire day on a rented 35-foot boat trying to catch the elusive tuna, striped marlin, grouper and possibly a mahi mahi. I booked a trip where Joey and Russell have to prepare all the bait and actually become a "valuable" member of the crew. I cannot wait to watch them work.

Joey was being a total dork the other week and showed me a television show where a man was deep-sea fishing and a marlin jumped into the boat, stabbed the man through the mouth and ripped the right side of his face off.

Isn't he sweet?

I was already concerned with him being pulled over the side of the board by a huge fish.

Before we left, I was secretly hoping to "run into" President Obama, as he was going to be in Hawaii as well. Hey, I figured Joey and Russell could befriend Malia and Sasha. They could all spend time together and I wouldn't have to worry one speck the Secret Service would ALWAYS be around.

Russell thought the Obama's would be a stuffy lot and that Malia and Sasha were quite young and they wouldn't have anything in common with two girls, but I assured them that the

Obama's are everyday-people just like us. (OK, maybe not just like the Hoffman family.)

As I briefly mentioned previously, I am also clandestinely hoping Joey and Russell want to spend time on the beaches of Hawaii to check out the "smiles" on all the girls. Steve, on the other hand, may need to be a bit more supervised on the beach. Drooling is not very becoming.

So as you read this column, I will again be milking the cows in the dastardly-cold milking parlor in southern Minnesota.

I promise to fill you in on all the fun details in my column Jan. 7, 2011

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



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