Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Maui--Saturday, February 21, 2009

I don’t remember any trips that I’ve taken that didn’t involve late night packing and EARLY morning alarms. This trip was no different, despite the fact that I was about 90% packed by Friday night. It’s always the little last-minute things... Anyway, Jean and I were up at 3:30am on Saturday and off to the airport by about 4:15. We had dropped the dogs off on Friday, so our morning was without the usually dog-chaos.

I’ve only been to Logan Airport about one hundred times, but sure enough, I missed the turn. Duh. I guess three hours of sleep will do that to you. We still made it to the parking lot in time, grabbed our shuttle, and checked in at Logan. Our bike cases weighed in at 49lbs and 50lbs—talk about no margin for error. I think I’ll put the cranks or something in my other bag just to give me an extra pound or so leeway. Anyway, the boxes were unceremoniously tossed on the conveyor belt and we were on our way to our gate. Our three-hour flight to Chicago was pretty uneventful, which is really what you want a flight to be.

Once in Chicago, we had some time to kill because our outgoing flight was delayed because of snow. I hate snow. In any event, the delay wasn’t long and soon enough we were packed in the back—and I do mean in the BACK of the plane for the long flight to Maui. We were in row 200 or something like that—the last row in the plane—an area usually reserved for families traveling with loud colicky children.

We had packed plenty of things to keep us occupied on the flight, and to be honest, the 9+ hour journey wasn’t that bad. I did have an annoying issue with my iPod though (user error). I planned ahead and downloaded the next audio book in the series that I’m listening to, however, I failed to realize that I was actually missing the last chapter in the current book. AND, I forgot to upload the movies I had converted for iPod use as well… double duh. I had more than enough journal articles and other stuff to read. Jean snoozed.

Our flight landed, and we made our way to the luggage carousel to find our beaten bike boxes… hmmmm… I was actually concerned that our bikes were damaged (they weren’t). We tossed everything into our Pontiac Torrent and made our way to a grocery store to get supplies. HOLY CRAP food is expensive on the island: three dollars for a gallon of spring water, six dollars for a half-gallon of soy milk, four dollars for a can of soup, seven dollars for a box of Grape Nuts, and on and on and on…

Anyway, stocked up and nearly broke, we pointed our Torrent up towards Haleakala to our accommodations. The road up to our cottage was steep, winding and narrow—a common theme of road design on Maui. We met a guy that looked just like Cesar Milan (but without a pack of dogs) who first saw us driving about with some confusion and tried to direct us into to a driveway to a home that was having a party—we love parties, but we were looking for our cottage. He then directed us into a different driveway, but that was the wrong house too… we finally found the correct driveway—a narrow, steep grade down in to… paradise.

Our cottage was exactly as seen on the Web site—but better. Quaint, cozy, romantic, clean—perfect. I was blown away by the night sky, with its thousands of stars, unaffected by light pollution, and I could have spent hours staring up—if it hadn’t been for the fact that we had been up for almost 24hrs and had flown halfway around the world (almost). We crashed asleep.

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