Last Thursday I returned from 10 terrific days in Hawaii. The average daily temperature hovered near 80 degrees, and at night the lows came in right around 68. I’m quite sure they use the same temperature ranges in heaven.

When I left the mainland, it was snowing in Portland. I hadn’t known it would be snowing in March when I booked this trip last December, but it made boarding the plane all that much sweeter.

I stayed five days on Oahu, then four and a morning on Maui. I packed in more “touristy adventures” than you can imagine, and enjoyed every moment of my time in the islands. Every experience thrilled me and seemed to enlarge my capacity for awe.

Pearl Harbor, the Polynesian Cultural Center, a sunset luau cruise, snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, sightseeing along the palm-lined beach at Waikiki, and simply sitting and gazing at Diamond Head kept me smiling on Oahu.

On Maui I went on another snorkeling adventure and got up close and personal with a wild green sea turtle, attended another luau and Polynesian show, drove to the 10,023 foot summit of Mt. Haleakala, and traveled the infamous 52 one-lane bridges and nauseatingly winding “Road to Hana” and well beyond!

But for me, the highlight of this trip came when I boarded the very helicopter used in the television series “Magnum P.I.” and took to the air for an astounding look at the coastline of west Maui and the sea cliffs of Molokai. The pilot, a 35-year-old woman named Kate, flew us in close to the waterfalls and even did a sharp turn over the ocean to get a better look at the whales migrating below.

Things are just things, but travel memories are priceless. And while I may not have the newest car, or a flat-screen television, or even carpeting without significant wear spots, I don’t give a hoot about that stuff. A t-shirt slogan I saw on this trip perfectly summed up my spending philosophy: “Screw the economy! I’m going to Maui!”