July always reminds me of when my mom took my brother and me to Hawaii in 1985. I was 11 and he was 9. It was vacation time and our dad wasn't there so we were given more leeway that normal. Our mom laid around the beach while we set off on one adventure after the other. Mischief abounded.

We decided to try parasailing and paid at the booth, then bounced along on a motorized raft that carried us out to a dock where people were taking off and landing. A guy fitted my brother and me with harnesses and waved us off to the side to wait our turns.

We watched people shriek in terror as they were carried into the sky and we grew afraid.

"Heath, I don't think I want to go," said my brother, wide-eyed with fear.

"Well, you better go let them know," I told him. I was still set on going.

As the guy unclipped a lady's harness, my brother scurried over and tapped him on the arm. The guy didn't notice him at first so he tapped again.

By now, the woman was unclipped and walking away. "Excuse me, sir," squeaked my brother in a mouse-like voice. "I, um ... I don't think ..."

The next thing I knew, the man clicked the carabiners onto my brother's harness and gave the boat driver the thumbs-up. The boat took off and away my brother flew with a high-pitched shrill that I can still hear to this day.

Another day, we rented a WaveRunner, which was like a two-seated jet ski. The guy at the counter warned us to be careful but I saw an excited glow in my brother's eyes.

It was our first time riding one so I let him drive and sat behind him. I clung on for dear life as he raced full throttle away from the shore, hollering in his ear for him to slow down and go back toward the beach. Either he didn't hear or he didn't care because we continued at top speed and the shoreline grew smaller.

As we neared the buoys that warned us we could go no further, my brother turned sharply and the WaveRunner flipped, hurling us cruelly in opposite directions. When we surfaced, both spitting up water, we saw it was upside down and bobbing just below the surface. The beach looked incredibly far away and we were alone. We were wearing life jackets so we floated next to the WaveRunner.

I dunked my head under water and opened my eyes, spotting a line of shark netting, strung out to keep sharks away from shore. That would have been great except there were big holes in it.

Now there were two things I was afraid of - fires and sharks. I came up in a panic and told my brother about the netting. We began clamoring to get on top of the overturned vessel. There was only room for one person.

When the rescue crew arrived, my brother was sitting on the overturned jet ski while I was in the ocean crying. The guys told my brother it wasn't manly that he left his sister in the water. They pulled me onto the motorized raft and made him tread water while they righted the WaveRunner. It was waterlogged and the seat floated under water.

Our rescuers made my brother ride the submerged vessel as the raft towed it all the way back to shore. He cried about sharks and pleaded to be let on board the entire time. I felt no pity.

Soon after that incident, we heard about a nearby beach where children were feeding frozen peas to tropical fish in the ocean. We bought two bags and hiked down to it. The beach was empty but dozens of kids were laughing in the waves, surrounded by hungry fish.

We had goggles so we could go under water and see the fish swim up as we fed them. It was a blast. I was throwing out fistfuls of peas when suddenly I heard my brother shriek. I came up from the water to see him toss his bag in the air and dash toward the shore. I ran after him. "It had teeth!" he cried. "This big!" He made a circle with his thumb and index finger. He could not be coerced back into the water so that was the end of that.

The next day, we hit the little shop at our hotel in full force, gathering armfuls of candy with the cash our mom had given us. While walking to the counter, we spotted the nudie mags in a narrow aisle and wandered over. We were paging through them and giggling, unaware the store clerk had spotted us between the shelves. A large big-boned woman, she screeched at the top of her lungs when she saw what we were up to.

"I sees yous kids over there! I sees what you is doin'!"

Her screech was so loud and unexpected that it scared us out of our skins. We tossed our candy and both magazines into the air and bee-lined for the door.

"Don't yous come back here!" she hollered behind us.

After two weeks of terrorizing Honolulu, there was probably a whole island of people who wanted to say that to us. By the time we left, we had exhausted every avenue of mischief we could find. We had the time of our lives.

As our mom spent the days sun-worshipping on the beach and the nights enjoying dinners and shows with us, she never guessed at all we were doing when she was not around. "You're my two angels," she told us each evening. We smiled silently. If only she knew ...

Heather Hill is the community news editor for The Battle Mountain Bugle. She can be contacted at h.hill@winnemuccapublishing.net.