My public and friend reaction was a polite “Sure.” Inside, inside my brain roiled with visions of the silly cutesie bumper stickers that seemed to be everywhere at the time: “Here today. Gone to Maui.” Everyone spoke of Maui in hyperbole and they did it nonstop. You know how there may be a new song that you actually like but after awhile, with too much airplay and too many covers, you are sick and tired of it. It has become an ear worm. Well, I was full up hearing about Maui at this time. Also, from what I’d heard I was envisioning an island full of golf courses, golfers and sterile resorts. Next: Maui is an island. Gee, we rode our motorcycles to Orcas Island for a three-day weekend once. It was great fun and we had a nice time and it was beautiful BUT. One day we rode the circumference of the island in one direction, then the next day we did the island in the opposite direction, then sorry, but I was kinda done. Ready to come home to the kitty, the microclimates, more options for a variety of rides. I was a bit concerned about island claustrophobia. Unbeknownst to anyone else, even my own spouse, Klee, I really would have rather gone to Mexico. But, this was friendship and a great opportunity and it was against my nature to be too close-minded about it.
We packed our snorkeling gear and off we flew. OK, the flight in was beautiful, once on the ground, the scents and sounds of birds and breeze through palms…pretty nice. We arrive at our condo in Kihei and thank goodness this was not a resort area AND the grocery store was within walking distance, an ocean walk AND bonus, was named “Foodland”. I ask you, is there a better name for a grocery store? Then there was “The Bad Ass Coffee Company”. Things were looking better and better. Our lanai had an ocean and sunset view, though we walked across the street to Kamaole III Beach to watch the sunset amidst the sound of the ocean and the myriad conch shells being blown just as the sun slipped under the ocean for an evening snorkel.
No need to go into the details of our trip, the snorkeling,the “rent-a-wreck” which I highly recommend not only for the road to Hana and continuing on down the circuit around the island where rental car companies tell you not to go; we found the best benefit was that in this vehicle we were not viewed as tourists so we actually met people.
I’ve left out the most important part of this story. From first setting foot in the Kihei area, I felt wonderfully, comfortably at home. My posture improved, my shoulders unhooked themselves from my earlobes as I de-stressed, I could breathe and I found my smile again.
Much too soon, the day came to turn in the keys of the condo and catch a plane home. I wanted someone to ship our cat over and my laptop and arrange with my boss to let me telecommute. I stood on the beach dressed not for snorkeling but for travel back to the mainland. I felt the warmth, heard the ocean and the breeze making soft background percussive breaths as it blew through palm fronds. I stood on that beach and I cried.