"So, what do you want to do today?" Jon asked with a gleam in his eye. I had it all figured out, I just had to find the best possible way to break it to him easy. "I'd like to lay out by the ocean for a few hours, and listen to music, while I read gossip magazines and then walk over to that hut on the beach, buy a (virgin :) pina colada, and sip it while we go for a nice drive around the island."
He didn't even have a chance to respond, until the entire schedule was presented on a silver platter; as if I had been thinking about it all night, (which I had). Being the nice, accommodating kind of husband Mr. Jon is, he said, "Sure, we can do that." and it was so easy, I was proud of my cute little self for being so persuasive and planned.
We loaded up the bag for the beach, that was only outside of our door and 20 feet from the water. Water bottles - check, magazines - check, music - check, sun block - check, towels - check, beach chairs that we bought a k-mart yesterday - check. We were ready. We walked outside, and I couldn't help but notice the nice breeze wafting off the water, as my sundress did a dance above my head, just as ecstatic to be laying out as I was. I grabbed at my black sun hat that was threatening to fly away with my dress, as I was taking this picture.
I am a multi-tasking queen. It comes with the territory of having a half dozen or so littles, so naturally, taking a picture while I hold the beach bag, my hat and my dress from flying away, make perfect sense. As we walked onto the sand, I looked across the waterfront and picked out our destination. It seems, here in Hawaii, Jon is trying really hard to let me make all of the decisions so that it is my definition of a perfect vacation. So, we plopped down. Myself, on the towel, and Jon on his striped rainbow chair.
"Do you want to put on some sunblock honey?" I asked, trying really hard to be the prepared and thinking ahead kind of wifey. "Nah.", he said. "I'm fine, I rarely burn."
"Well, OK then." and I was celebratory, seeing as I was too lazy to put on the sunblock myself. After all, my hormone doctor told us that it would be better if we didn't use quite as much, so we could soak up some natural vitamin D.
I laid on my new, black and pick towel that displayed "Maui" across the front, and got down to the serious kind of business, reading about how "Angelina and Brad are fighting AGAIN" and thinking that my life was so boring compared to theirs, and that was just fine with me.
Eventually, we made it out to the water when it became too hot for our own good, lying there on the beach. Really, the temperature was quite deceiving because the breeze kept us feeling really comfortable. The scenery was picturesque, and the sounds were beautiful as well. There was an old couple laying not too far from us, that was pummeled by a largish kind of wave. They stood up quickly grabbing their towels and laughing together, as I hope I will be doing with Jon when we are that age. On the other side, was a couple younger than us, that was playing with a dog. The dog was so happy, and overjoyed to be free from whatever his normal day looked like. Kids were frolicking in the sand in front of us, squealing as the waves overtook their sandcastles...and the birds sang their composed songs over our heads, and choreographed dances.
Yes, we were in heaven. I was quite sure. After it became too hot, Jon and I both slid our chairs down low enough so that our feet were being soothed by the water as it rushed up, and down. Up and down.
"OK!" I jumped up. "It's time." Jon looked at me, knowing that I was ready for our next adventure,
so we began collecting all of our odds and ends. "Where are we going next? Are you ready for your
pina colada?" I was so impressed that he remembered what was next on my wish list. "Yep!"
We journeyed up the steps to wash off our sandy feet. Mr. Jon thought he would be really funny, and splashed water in my face. But this is OK, because I know it means he is in a good mood, when he tortures me so. We put everything in our black rental car, and readied for our next adventure.
I made sure to bring Wheat thins, just in case I got car sick on our ride. For some reason, my tummy doesn't like long car rides with out snacks - so we listen. "Alright little woman! Let's see why they call this a NITRO!" And Jon sped off with the skill of a professional race car driver. "Gutless." He was obviously offended by the Nitro's lack of enthusiasm. Just as we got our lil' car a movin', we remembered that we needed to stop for our drink, and a few pictures, and finally, we were off!
"Where would you like to go first?" he asked like a chauffeur. "Just follow the road." I said, and I performed a little happy dance because, well, life is beautiful and I had a pina colada in my hand, driving down the ocean side road, listening to music, and taking pictures with my man. Life just doesn't get better than that! "First stop, Flemmings beach!" I said. "I heard that was voted one of the best in Maui." And off we went. We stopped at many look out points, and took pictures by the Ritz Carlton. We held hands, and even peed on a rocky cliff. (not at the same time, of course), but
Jonny Boy did get a picture.
Jon doesn't like having his picture taken, very much at all.
Every thing was going as planned. It was all perfect, and beautiful. We got out of the car to take one last set of pictures, before we got to the point of undeniable destruction. There we were, driving through paradise, as I took pictures out of my window. And, just like life, speeding toward one of the scariest cliffs, without knowing it was just around the corner.
It was green, and the mountains looked like something from "Jurassic Park", because it was actually filmed here. I was "ooooing" and "ahhhhing". And I am not quite sure when it happened, but I do vividly remember Jon saying "Holy S*#*, let's get the flock off of this road." and he did say flock, because as he told me later, he was trying to keep me laughing, and not crying. But it was too late. There was absolutely no way of turning around. We had passed a sign that said, "State Road Ends Here" and continued on to Highway 340, a road that traversed the edge of a cliff for 15 miles on a single lane road, with NO guardrail or cell service. None. I was laughing, (at first) because well, what else do you do? "Maybe we should back up?" I proposed. "There is no way, there is a car behind us, and backing up hundreds of feet on this winding, one lane road, without a guardrail isn't smart." So, I was scared, but I was also really excited and giggling because, Adventure!
I turned up the music to calm our nerves, and "Jesus take the wheel" came on, a song about a lady in a car crash that is praying for help. I flipped to the next song, and James Blunt came on with "Good Bye my Lover", a song about a spouse loosing their loved one - a song I have told Jon I want played at my funeral if I die before him. "THAT'S IT, get that crap off the radio." Poor Jon was white knuckle, hands around the wheel, concentrating on not slipping off the edge. "I'm not so concerned with my driving, because at least we are on the inside side of the mountain, but it's people like THAT that creep me out." Next thing I know, there is a local man in a white van that is zooming around the corners, with a 200 foot cliff on one side. "If he came around from the other way, he would hit us head on because there is no where to go, and we would both go off the edge."
"Aren't you scared?!" was all Jon could say. "I am nervous, and I never get nervous" He said. Then again, he never burns either, and we both came home fried today. What is it about a man behind the wheel that is so infectious unto me? I looked at him, and was in love all over again, because I knew he was stressed out trying to bring us both home safe to our children. What would they say at our funeral anyway? "Jon and Janae died in an extreme kind of way, just as they lived in life." "OK, I thought,
I have to stop writing my own eulogy, or I will really freak out Jon, more than he already was. His blue-green eyes were zeroed in on the tiny exhausting road in front of us. I found myself holding back commentary on the passing cliffs, and rocks the barely missed skimming my side of the car. We weaved an S curve, in and out for seemed like an eternity.
At some point in time, we started seeing signs that said, "The best banana bread in the world" and I was thinking, "Really? People LIVE up here? They cook banana bread too?" I pictured myself going to the grocery store, with little kids screaming in the back, and a cliff a few inches from my tire. And, heaven forbid, someone deciding to come the other way. And the kids who forgot their lunch at home, no U-turns here little Jimmy. You will have to wait until later to eat. And what about Walmart, or going to the post office, or a movie? My imagination was running rampant. The little villages and ranches looked like the camp from "the others" on my favorite t.v. show "LOST".
(above is the "pull off" if a car is coming...notice rocks on both
sides and no view when a car is coming)
Jon, on the other hand was thinking logically, and saying things like, "This is a rental car. I have no idea when the brakes were checked last." or "If someone hits us from the front, I won't be able to do much." Luckily, the times that cars came from the other way, there were teeny tiny parts carved out into the rock wall on my side. We only had to back up a little bit.
Poor Jon looked like he had swallowed a frog for several hours after we got off the mountain. I didn't blame him. I had so much trust in his driving skills and his judgement, that I wasn't nearly as stressed out as he was.
We stopped and grabbed some very yummy dinner on the way home. I had...wait for it.... a grilled chicken sandwich. I know shocking. We both felt a little better after dinner, but we were so excited to get home and lay our sunburned bodies in bed. When we finally arrived, I laid down and looked to see if there were any reviews on the Internet of others making the same, accident of being spontaneous like me, and choosing to drive the outer rim of Maui. As soon as I found out what the road was called, I found countless comments of people that did exactly what we did. They were saying things like, "Check your car rental agreement, most of them won't cover your warranty if you choose to drive this road." or "I am still crying. We drove this road at night time on accident, and it took us many hours with our lights on and getting out of the car to see if we could back up when people came." "Don't do it." "Go kite boarding or deep sea diving. It is much safer than driving this road." and on and on
I have attached a video taken by someone on this road that was posted to You-tube. I wish I would have recorded it, but I was too side tracked to think of such a thing.
So there you have it. Our Maui adventure for Monday. Jon woke up saying, "Let's go try this road..." as he pointed to a map, and I couldn't help but remind of our fun yesterday. If anyone is still interested in visiting this part of the world...HERE are some other comments that echo our experience. Some love it, and it IS very beautiful, but I think the thing that took us by surprise was that we didn't even know what we were getting into. It's another thing entirely to understand the risk you are about to take.
While we were on our journey, I received this picture below from my parents.
So, it seems that I am not the only lady looking for adventure.
It runs in my blood.