It happens this way …
May 20, 2019
On Maui, openness and flexibility are required to keep the Aloha spirit alive. Almost every time we planned a day of site-seeing to show Kathy’s mom “our” island, circumstances intervened. Plan A often had to be replaced with Plan B or C.
Case in point:
We decided to head to Lahaina, Kanapali, and other points north one day when my early morning walk changed everything. I looked up at the mountains where the Haleakalā Crater is usually covered in clouds and the whole range was clear. This meant it was a Crater day. I ran back to our condo and told Kathy we needed to go. Within a half an hour, the three of us began the 1 ½ hour drive up winding roads, past groves of lavender blue jacaranda trees, panoramic views of the valley and ocean, cloud banks that we left below as we climbed and climbed and climbed.
We arrived at the parking lot (9,740 feet) where the temperature had dropped 30 degrees and the winds were blustery. That’s when I discovered I had left my camera and driver’s license behind. For those who know me, not having my camera is like walking out of the house naked. I was devastated because this was one of the premier sites in Maui.
My first plan was to go to the Visitors Center to buy a throw-away camera, but it was closed. Kathy suggested a second plan: Ask other visitors to take our pictures and email them to us. Before I could veto this great idea – I’d be too embarrassed to ask – she’d already found a couple from Germany, engaged them in conversation (she speaks German like a native), and they were delighted not only to take our pictures, but to send us their pictures of the Crater as well
Then we drove up to the view-spot at very top of the crater (10,003 feet) where Kathy saw a man with a very professional-looking camera (We later learned it cost $5000). She quickly engaged him in conversation (He was from Toronto where his family had settled via India and Guayana over several generations.) Not only did he snap dozens of photos of us, but he let Kathy take some of him and his wife. Both of them were so delightful, we left each other with hugs and smiles.
We made it back to Kihei – I drove carefully so I wouldn’t be stopped without a license – only to learn that the road to Lahaina, our original destination, had been closed all day because of a traffic accident. Since there’s only one road in that direction, we would have been stuck there and would have missed the wonderful people on the mountain. Maui Magic!