Monday, November 4, 2013

Weekly Recap: A Maui Reflection

View from our Papakea condo-west Maui
We are back from Maui, Hawaii (as well as from an extended smaller trip to see family in western Washington). Upon reflection, I feel as if I have been adrift at sea for the past two weeks and slowly swimming back against the surf.

Our patio on left; quiet romantic breakfasts
every morning
After a week back home of regrouping and letting life take hold again, my feet are finally planted on the shore. This was our first time to Hawaii. For years I have heard others describe their
adventures and experiences in Hawaii, with eyes glistening and hearts aglow. A family of four I know has made this trek yearly for as long as I can remember. They claim to not worry about the expense and simply spend the rest of the year paying off their credit card debt. Another friend and his wife travel to Maui yearly to the same condo, where they hole up with visiting family and loads of books. More recently, two dear friends island hopped and had a marvelous time. Frankly, we just never could afford it before, and we were hardly the big spenders this time around either.

Vince at seawall
Maui was lovely of course, but I must confess there is no comparison to our experience living in Southeast Asia in the 1990s, where we basked in the rich diverse cultures of Malaysia, Thailand
and Indonesia. Beaches and sunsets were breathtaking and we had the snorkeling experience of a lifetime on Tioman Island, complete with komodo dragons fighting on the beach. But what Hawaii has that no other Pacific tropical region has is the safety of U.S. borders. As one wanting to visit every country in the world, I find this comforting in our increasingly unsafe world. No worries, no passports to update and stress over, no food issues, no language barriers, no money quandaries.......and no civil wars! 

We rented a condo on Maui’s west coast for five days, where we had an unobstructed view of the ocean and the island of Molokai. I had forgotten how powerful the surf can be.....AND NOISY. Vince woke up in the middle of the night to the surf shaking our room and the seawall just twenty feet away, and began surfing the net on his phone for a tsunami warning. It turns out there had just been a major earthquake in the Philippines, so he was a bit stirred up. Ha-ha. False worries in the end. All in all, it was a gorgeous setting for early morning breakfasts on the patio, with the sun barely surfacing and few people about. Given the 3-hour time difference, we woke early on most days.

The happy couple
Bryce, Brenda, Jennifer and Richard.
The wedding groomsmen and
bridesmaids (bride's daughters)
The rest of our time was tourist-packed, exploring the sights, the old town of Lahaina in particular, and
anticipating the wedding on the second day, our main reason for coming. Vince’s brother and his girlfriend were married on a beach north of us. The wedding went well without a hitch and they seem to be off to a happy start. We had to laugh though when we first arrived. Apparently the beach is a popular wedding location. The parking lot was full when we  arrived and there were brides and grooms and bridal parties walking about, all waiting their turn. But from the pictures you would never guess anyone else was around!
Vince at Haleakala crater

More than the beaches, for us the highlight was visiting Maui’s dormant volcano, Haleakala. Often socked in with fog and clouds at 10,023 feet, we decided to google the mountain's weather beforehand and saw that only one day had possibilities. We lucked out. The top was clear and sunny that day. The views overlooking the vast crater and cinder cones were absolutely surreal. We are so glad we went.

"I'm sitting on top of the world"
Hawaii's state bird, the Nene. Oh, I so much wanted
to see one, but never did. I have this bird in my book!

We had passed on the snorkeling, submarine rides, zip lines, and sailboat rides, concentrating more on local history and scenery. (I think we are more travelers than tourists).

"Drums of the Pacific Luau"
However, we did go to a traditional luau (a must :) and Maui’s Ocean Center, a large walk-through aquarium in Maalaea. Also in Maalaea was the only quilt store in all of Maui, where I found a locally made quilt with a turtle design. We gave this to Doug and Karen as a wedding gift. Wish I had taken a photo. They loved it! 

Maui Ocean Center

Surfer on northern coast, along the road to Hana. Surf looked about 4 feet high. One surfer lost his board and had to be rescued by another surfer. I'm glad they watch out for each other! 
Baldwin house. Missionary home in 'old' Lahaina. Lots of history in Lahaina. (We visited this town twice). Home had two feet thick walls, as was customary in England. Turns out it was perfect insulation in the tropical heat.
A good trip, although it is always nice to be home again. If only it did not take so long to reacclimate. I have so much to do. I woke up to snow on the rooftops this morning and an overwhelming drive to finish my last two chapters...or else. Grrr....BIG GRRR....time to get tough (on me)! I have a ton of books to read and review, too. But aren’t Mondays great? They inspire fresh ideas and provide untold energy. Wow....I have the whole week ahead of me. I am eager to jump in and see what I can do. How about you?      

Copyright 2013 © Sharon Himsl

Sharon M. Himsl

Writer/Author. Blogging since 2011. 
Published with Evernight Teen: 
~~The Shells of Mersing


  1. If you ever want to break a habit, go on vacation. That's what I learned. Conversely, vacations are terrible for keeping habits and yes, when you return, you feel at loose ends. I have discovered the same is true, even when I have been editing or revising my current manuscript. When I am not moving forward, I have forgotten "where I am in the book," and that gives me huge anxiety. Like you, I am digging in today.

    Good luck on making progress.
    Really enjoyed your Hawaiian recap.

  2. Such a problem it seems for many, but we need these vacations, however large, to restore and refresh the brain and soul. Wouldn't have it any other way! Thanks for stopping by, Cathy.

  3. This looks like it was so much fun. I love all the pictures.

    I went to Hawaii several years back. I loved it.
    Best of luck making progress.

  4. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip, and also like you need a vacation from the vacation. Glad you made it back safe and sound.

    1. Hi, M.J. Vacations are overwhelming sometimes. They really mess up a schedule, but worth it! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I have very fond memories of Hawaii. I lived there for about 6 months when I was with YWAM in Honolulu. Hit all those tourist spots, and really grew up fast, spiritually speaking. As a young man, and a fairly recent convert back in 1989, YWAM Honolulu was exactly what I needed. I met some wonderful people from around the world, and grew closer to God. Thanks for making me think of these wonderful days. I'd love to go back one day, and travel on to the mainland.

    1. Wow, a good memory to treaure in the growth of your faith! These are the kind of memories that stay with us for a lifetime. Thanks for sharing.


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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.