Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Maui: From Shore to Summit

Hey, friends! I hope your week is off to a fabulous start. I wanted to check in and let you know that I've  been thinking about you all. Over the past week, I've received a handful of emails and notes from sweet readers telling me they're thinking about Flyboy and me as we near our pack out. It's meant so much to me, and I'm hoping to touch base with each and every one of you whenever the movers arrive on Thursday to do their thing. I imagine it will be the best way for me to keep busy and stay out of their hair as they pack up Lil' Puna.

I really don't want to bore you with the details of moving, so I thought I'd share some photos from our trip to Maui this past weekend. You guys, it was an amazing four days! We had such a blast together. I'm forever grateful for this opportunity to just relax and unwind before it's time to say good-bye to Hawaii. A big part of me could come up with a gazillion excuses as to why we shouldn't have gone to Maui the weekend before our pack out because I'm a giant planning dork, but I'm so glad we went for it! 

After visiting the Valley Isle back in July, Flyboy decided he wanted to cycle up to the top of Mt. Haleakala. Riding up a big mountain by bike has always been on his bucket list, and he'd heard great things about this particular ride. From shore to summit (36 miles), the elevation reaches 10,023 feet with 32 switchbacks. Now, I've seen FB run a marathon and tackle a triathlon, but neither were quite as fun to watch as this. I drove our rental car and assumed the role of sag-wagon chauffeur. I carried the extra equipment and snacks, and I like to think that I excelled at it. There were lots of Baggus, water, granola, and PB&J sandwiches. I was prepared! When Flyboy started the ride, the weather was awful. It was a downpour, and I remember driving by him and praying the weather would pass. I just wasn't sure how he would survive and he'd been looking forward to this ride for a few months. After miles of driving, I pulled over to snag some pictures. I remember thinking about all the times we'd watched the Tour de France together and how I always wanted to wear a silly cape and clap excitedly like some of the super fans. The wheels started turning and I remembered there was a beach towel in the back seat. I could see Flyboy pedaling from a distance, so I hopped out of the car and started cheering with my makeshift cape. I only wish I would have done some preparation ahead of time and brought along a set of devil horns. Anywho, just as Flyboy would pass by, I'd start up the car and drive some more. The drive was gorgeous, but as I started to climb hills, I couldn't help but worry about FB. This ride would definitely be a struggle. As I waited (reading Glamour magazine and chatting with my dad), I'd see him cycle by the car smiling. I could tell he was in pain and there were moments when I knew he wanted to give up, but he didn't. At about 5,000 ft., I knew the idea of making it to the visitor center at 7,000 ft. had crossed his mind. But would it be enough? I didn't want to press too hard, but I knew he was too stubborn and would be upset with himself if he didn't make it to the top of the summit. I made him another sandwich at the Park Visitor Center, and he proclaimed he wanted to finish the ride. I was never so proud in my life. I knew he could do it, and I'd wait all day to see him finish. I'm so glad he decided to go for it because the ginormous smile that was painted on his face when he'd completed the ride was priceless.

After Haleakala, we spent some time enjoying our hotel in Wailea. We saw quite a bit of the island, and Flyboy deserved some time to recover. I didn't mind it at all, because I'd been dreaming about the idea of sitting poolside with a Tom Collins — not a care in the world. It was dreamy to not have any plans and sleep in air conditioning. While we missed the pups, we managed to not discuss any move-related details. It was a nice escape! With a Brownie Gelato Sandwich in hand, Paradise Ashley was in full swing, and I loved it. I'd be lying if I said coming home was easy. It was nice to have this trip to look forward to, and returning home made the pack out a little more real. After sifting through clothes and cleaning out closets on Tuesday, I think we're really ready for Thursday.     
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