Paradise Found

In the middle of the winter, there is nothing like fleeing all that is familiar in favor of some kind of paradise. Way back in last March we made these plans, never even really being able to project what it might be like for us in December if we were to plan this trip.

But, here we are. In Paradise. On Maui. In Lahaina. And it’s warm and beautiful and oh, so lovely.

The day began at 5:00 a.m. after less than three hours sleep. Our son drove us to the airport (thank you J!) and after check in and security and an hour and a half wait; we boarded an Alaska airliner bound for Maui. Six hours later . . . we were here. We checked in at our hotel and stripped our long sleeves and long pants in favor of short sleeves and shorts and set out to find food. It had been a long day since that egg sandwich I packed for the airport.

But first, a stop at the concierge to make plans for next Monday on Oahu. We opted for the full tour of Pearl Harbor that will keep us entertained from 6:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening. And then we set out.

Without a car, we wanted to see the island up close and natural by walking where we wanted to go. The sun was bright; the breezes warm and inviting; the locals at every placeĀ  welcoming and accommodating. We took our maps and offered directions and went in search of Cheeseburgers in Paradise. It seemed like it was the farthest place away, but no matter, that’s where we wanted to go. My travel partner had been thinking of Cheeseburgers in Paradise since last March when we first made plans for today.

Just as we finished ordering, my travel partner went to change his sunglasses for his regular pair and exclaimed in shocked dismay, “Where’s my other hearing aid?” Somewhere in the day he had lost one and was somewhat frantic as to what he was going to be able to do to replace it. We traced our way backwards through the afternoon – just in our minds as our cheeseburgers were already ordered and we were SO hungry! Together we determined he must have lost it when he changed into his sunglasses as we stepped outside the front of the hotel. So, he called the hotel and patiently explained his predicament. Before he could conclude his story and ask if someone might be able to go outside and look . . . he exclaimed “You have it! Oh, thank you so much. Now we’ll really be able to enjoy our cheeseburgers in Paradise.” Some kind person had found the hearing aid and turned it into the front desk. What a miracle. The clerk admitted that he almost took it and threw it away because he didn’t recognize what it was – the privilege of the young. His supervisor happened to be near and identified the earpiece, so it was on the desk when we made the call to the hotel asking for help. Miracles do happen.

It was a regular celebration when our cheeseburgers arrived. The restaurant is upstairs, and the dinning room is hanging out over the surf and the beach. The hamburgers were good; but the view was even better. Our dinner nourished both the body and the soul. A short stop at a grocery store on the way back to the hotel for provisions for breakfast and we leisurely walked the mile back to our abode for the next four days.

The night life was just coming out of the shadows, but that’s not why we came, so we gladly tucked ourselves in for the evening in anticipation of a 6:00 start to our tour for tomorrow.

The most lovely thing of all; the most lovely moments of this day – is looking forward to falling asleep to the music of the crashing surf just below our bedroom window. The natural sounds of the sea are the sounds of grace crashing into our world. We will sleep well tonight.