By Brendan Scott and Eugene C. Scott
Expectations. Most times what we expect to happen trips us up and gets in the way of seeing and experiencing the more oblique, twisted, fun, real side of life. For example on a trip to Maui one would expect a sunburn, sand between the toes, jungle waterfalls, and serious beach time. These would be good things. But when we take off our expectation colored sun glasses, it’s amazing some of the crazy, fun, real things you can experience. On a recent vacation with my family my son Brendan and I decided to record some of the unexpected things we saw and experienced in a blog. Brendan also writes a blog at guatspot.wordpress.com.
Signs from God?
Some things go without saying . . .
. . . yet some people still feel the need to say them.
We’re staying in the same area in which actress Helen Hunt, the “Mad about You” star, lives. Yes, she is still alive and no, she didn’t disappear after “As Good As It Gets.” Consequently we have experienced dozens of Helen Hunt sightings. The only one we can confirm, however, was a week previous when Dave, our generous host, saw her being interviewed by Jay Leno on TV.
We’ve seen as many trucks with surfboard racks as tool racks. And even then many of the tool racks double for surfboards. The question seems to be surf or survive?
And don’t even get us started on convertible Ford Mustangs. Apparently car rental companies have figured out how to get them to reproduce like rabbits.
A woman behind us on the beach:“How’d all this sand get in this?”
Dee Dee on seeing a dead mouse on the porch: “I wish I could be brave. I just can’t.”
A young mother with her daughter climbing down–as we climbed up–to a rocky crag over-looking the vast, wild blue pacific ocean as it pounded onto volcanic rock cliffs formed eons ago. “There’s nothing up there.”
Ashley on the best places to snorkel. “Swimming with dolphins is fun but after a while it’s irritating. You just want to say, ‘Dolphins, stop being so happy!’”
Emmy on snorkeling anywhere. “I don’t need flippers to snorkel. My feet are better than flippers.”
Danger in Paradise:
Our gracious hostess, Linda, loves Maui. She knows its history ancient and modern, (did you know Hawaiian Hula dancers did not–I repeat–did not wear grass skirts), the correct pronunciation of words like humuhumunukunuku’āpua’a
, the best restaurants (Star-Noodle and The Gazeebo), beaches, and activities (Maui Ulalena). Linda is not only a Hawaii historian but a nurse. Thus she knows how and where every shark attack, drowning, broken neck from surfing, freak hiking accident and deadly food-borne illness took place.
Late each night Linda enthralled us with tales of death, danger and destruction. One such tale was of a doctor and his wife being lost at sea in their kayak and how a shark attacked and the wife lost her leg. The doctor washed up on one of the islands and the wife was never seen again. Locals suspect the doctor was the shark.
Linda told another gripping story about nine Japanese tourists standing too close to the edge of the cliff we had climbed the day before. As they stood admiring God’s handy work, a rogue wave smashed against the cliff and washed them all out to sea. Cameras and all. Tragic but there was a partially happy ending. Some Hawaiians dove in and swam over and saved several of the tourists. “Nothing to see up there” indeed.
Danger is sometimes deceptively beautiful.
Paradise in Paradise.
Expectations. We were up at 3am. on day two of our holiday in Maui driving to the 10,000 foot peak of Haleakala Volcano to watch the sunrise. Our rental Ford SUV climbed slowly up the dark, twisty road–the most elevation gain in the shortest distance anywhere on the planet. We arrived at the dormant craters‘ edge at 5am. God had scheduled the sunrise this day for 5:38am. It would be an hour-long show–like watching flowers filmed in slow motion as they bust out of the ground and blossom.
One: The road less travelled by is sometimes crowded. But still worth it. Several hundred others braved the early hour, the dark, and the cold to witness God reinventing the day.
Two: It amazed us how something so mundane and predictable as the sun rising one more time in a succession of daybreaks that has not stopped since the beginning of time could also be so extraordinary.