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Heartwarming Small-Town Romances and Thrilling Mysteries

Hubby and I recently took advantage of an opportunity to go to Maui. It wasn’t something we’d planned for a long time, but Hubby is an excellent organizer and did a great job in just a few weeks.

We left early on a Saturday morning, flew through Denver and Los Angeles, and arrived on the island 18 hours later. We stayed at a resort that was on the beach (thanks to Hubby’s cousin) with a miles-long boardwalk going past. Hubby could go for a walk and hunt geocaches while I read a book by the pool. Our balcony provided a beautiful view of the sunset. One night we even saw the green flash! That was a breath-taking thrill for me.

Our kids encouraged us to rent a convertible to explore the island. We had a great time with the top down on a Ford Mustang, at least until we got to the yellow “Falling Rocks” signs. Those signs are more intimidating when you have nothing on your head but a sunhat. Thankfully, there were no mishaps as we drove along the volcanic cliffs.

Parts of the island had nice four-lane highways that turned into two-lane roads as we went farther from the population centers. The farm roads took us near the small communities. We also drove single-lane paved roads that followed the coast. The early mornings were the best times to drive those roads, when the traffic was very light. Around noon and all afternoon, they get busy, and it’s tricky finding pullouts and wide spots to pass. On the road to Hana, we met dump trucks, tow trucks, and various other large vehicles which made us hug those “Falling Rock” cliffs even tighter. It reminded us of our four-wheeling days in high mountains of Colorado. Sometimes it’s best not to look down.

Hubby went golfing one day with his cousin’s husband and brothers. I went snorkeling and whale watching. We saw dolphins, spinning and jumping out of the water, and whales. A baby whale had a great time showing off for us with his jumps and flops out of the water. We only saw his mother’s giant back as she came up for air. Shortly after, we heard her suitor. A whale’s groans and singing could be heard on the deck of the boat, but it was even clearer in the hold. What thrill to hear such a sweet sound!

My tour went to a bay where the water was calm for snorkeling. I didn’t see a lot of colorful fish on the rocks below the water, but there were gray ones, a long skinny one (not an eel), sea turtles, and coral. I loved being in the water, and the sights below kept me well entertained for over an hour. I could have gone longer but didn’t want to get left behind when our tour boat left.

We went from sea level to the top of the volcano that formed the island. At 10,000-feet in elevation, the air was noticeably thinner up there. The Haleakala National Park was open. Nearby was a solar observatory. We were there on the spring solstice and got to look through telescopes at the sun. We went back up at sunset and watched the sun go down and the moon come up. The stars were very brilliant from the peak.

The wide variety of vegetation intrigued me. From the flowering trees and bushes, large-leafed plants, long-limbed trees, and jungle like conditions of the north part of the island to the cacti and grasses of the south part of the island, it was all there. I loved seeing the rainbow eucalyptus trees, my favorite. I saw the strangest cactus. It looked like a prickly pear growing on a tree trunk. The trunk was about three or four feet tall, and the prickly pear part was another three or four feet above that. Maybe that’s what you get with them in a humid, tropical environment.

Prices are very high in Maui. Gas was $5.25 a gallon and food at the grocery store was an equal percent higher than our food at home. I suppose all that stuff has to be boated or flown in which adds to the costs. Eggs were over $6 a dozen even though there were feral chickens running around everywhere. You might make a good living gathering all those scattered eggs.

We were surprised at the recycling program they have. Everything possibly recyclable is collected. Anything not recyclable is discouraged. Take-out food has paper containers. The straws from fast-food places are made from plants so they’re biodegradable. At the stores, only paper sacks are used. I really liked that. We should have the same program on the mainland.

We took a red-eye flight back to Denver and got home the next morning. We drug the luggage in the house and went to bed. We had eight fun-filled days in a tropical setting and made memories to last the rest of our lives. Thanks for Hubby’s cousin for making it possible, and thanks to Hubby to setting it up. I hope we do it again sometime. I highly recommend visiting Maui. Just take lots of money.

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