By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 11/18/2019
Posted: 5/14/2011
Topics/Keywords: #Maui #Hawaii #Kahului #HanaCoast #Kipahulu #Travel Page Views: 781
Jason and I take a trip to Maui, Hawaii.
Paul and Jason at Kipahulu Airport.

When I was still in the hospital with necrotizing fasciitis, it became evident that my illness was taking its toll on Jason. Before I even came home, it was clear that somehow my illness had affected him. He was unable to sleep during the night and unable to stay awake during the day. He told me he was having trouble focusing on his tasks at work and couldn't hold a coherent conversation when he was with me. Clearly, something had to be done.

We went together to see his doctor, who recommended that Jason take short-term disability leave from his work so he could recuperate from the stress of my illness. He had been working at the same place for twelve years, and paid into that insurance all that time; so he had almost three months of full pay to see us through this new crisis, even though it meant he would have no days off when he went back to work.

About a week before the doctor said Jason could return to work, I received my tax refund and convinced Jason that even though it made no financial sense to do so, we deserved an awesome vacation…and we had to take it now before he returned to work full-time. I suggested Maui.

He wasn't hard to convince!

Normally, airfare to Hawaii is pretty expensive. But I went to Priceline.com and bid a really low price on two tickets. To my surprise, the bid was accepted! I then made the other arrangements we'd need: rental of a camper (as I did when I was here by myself, two years ago), reservations at a luau, and more.

Our flight from Phoenix was scheduled for 5:35 this morning, meaning we were supposed to be at the airport about 3:30, meaning we would need to leave about 2:30. We planned to go to sleep really early last night but of course were far too excited to sleep. We stayed up, packing and repacking, until it was time to leave.

These days, one checks in and prints one's boarding passes at home. You can do this no earlier than 24 hours in advance, meaning I should have done it yesterday morning at 5:35; but of course I was asleep at that time. So by the time I remembered to do it, there were no seats available together. The best I could get was two seats with a stranger sitting between us. This dismayed Jason, but I promised him it would work out, that we would find a way to sit together.

Jason had made just two round-trip flights in his life, so he was still excited about flying. I enjoy flying, but am no longer as jazzed by it as I was on my first flight, when I stood and waited to get off until the flight attendant stood by, so I could tell her how excited I'd been. (She looked at the seat next to me, where I'd earlier spilled some ice cubes during turbulence, and said icily, "I see you were excited.")

When Jason and I boarded the plane, as I predicted, the woman who was supposed to sit between us happily swapped with me so she could get an aisle seat. Jason couldn't get enough of the view out the window, especially as the sun began to rise behind us. This was a short flight, to Los Angeles, where we were to transfer to the actual flight to Kahului Airport on Maui. We grabbed a little breakfast while waiting for the connection. Again, I traded places with someone whose ticket placed her between us. This was a huge aircraft, a 767 with 11 seats in each row. We didn't get window seats but could still get glimpses of the ocean through the windows that were not closed. We even got to see some of the West Maui Mountains as we circled the airport to land.

So, less than six hours after leaving Los Angeles, Jason and I were in the open-air Kahului Airport, waiting for the shuttle to take us to Aloha Campers.

Arrival In Maui

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 5/14/2011
Topics: #Maui #Hawaii #Kahului #HanaCoast #Kipahulu #Travel Page Views: 3815
Jason and I arrive in Maui.

We didn't have to wait long for the shuttle, and the trip to the camper rental place only took about 15 minutes. However, when we got to the rental place, no one was there. Fortunately, there was a "in case of emergency" number listed on a sign on the gate. I called it, and Ariel, the owner, answered. "I thought you were arriving tomorrow," he explained, but promised to hurry over. Maui is not that big an island, but it still took him at least a half hour to arrive. Still, he did arrive, and once our paperwork had been processed (and an extra day paid for), he gave us a run-through on how to work the camper and off we went.

Read more…

Kipahulu to the Summit of Haleakala

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 5/15/2011
Topics: #Kipahulu #Haleakala #Maui #Hawaii Page Views: 3363
Jason and I travel around Mount Haleakala from shore to summit, enjoy a spectaular sunset and break the key to our camper.

Kipahulu is a point at the shore where the volcano Haleakala meets the sea. It, and the summit of Mount Haleakala, are both contained within Haleakala National Park. However, in order to get from one to the other, one must either leave the park and re-enter it from another point, or hike.

Read more…

Haleakala to Haycroft Beach Park

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 5/16/2011
Topics: #Maui #Hawaii #Haleakala #HaycraftBeachPark Page Views: 1310
Jason and I finally get off the summit of Mount Haleakala.

It was a cold night. Even in the camper, even with Jason and me snuggling together, it was a cold night at the top of Mount Haleakala, Maui's highest mountain. Once, I had to get up to go to the restroom and was startled to find the clouds that, by day, constantly hide the summit of Haleakala from the ground, had cleared, revealing a patchwork of lights on the isthmus far below. But it was even colder outside than in, and I hurried back as quickly as I could to the relative warmth of our bed and Jason's arms.

Read more…

Snorkeling and Luaus

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 5/17/2011
Topics: #Maui #Snorkeling #Luau #Molokini #Hawaii Page Views: 3566
Jason and I go on a snorkeling adventure and to a luau in Maui.

We had saved today for the most blatantly touristy stuff one can do on Maui, besides shopping for T-shirts: A snorkeling trip, and a luau.

Read more…

Signs and Wonders in West Maui

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 5/18/2011
Topics: #WestMaui #IaoValley #Maui Page Views: 1307
Jason and I spend our final full vacation day exploring West Maui.

The island of Maui is shaped like a dumbbell. The larger, eastern half is formed from the volcano Haleakala. The smaller, western half is an eroded, ancient volcano. I had never been to the western half of Maui (except for Papalaua Park, where we spent last night). Now, on this, Jason's and my final full day on Maui, we determined to visit Iao Valley State Park.

Read more…

Last Day In Maui

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 5/19/2011
Topics: #Maui #Hawaii Page Views: 3281
Jason's and my last day in Maui and our return home.

We awoke in our camper at Papalaua Park, where we'd spent three nights in a row…at no cost. I woke up first, visited the porta-john, and returned to find Jason still sleeping.

Read more…