I have to say, if you are trying to generally avoid Christmas but still be celebratory and be certain not to be down, Maui is an excellent place to spend the holidays. I’m sure one could come here and really actually enjoy Christmas too (lord knows there are plenty of families here doing so. Oh, and note to said families, if you are going to have a family portrait on the beach at sunset, and you all do, for the love of god wear something other than khaki shorts and white shirts so we can tell you apart!).
Our Christmas day was spent whale watching (note photo; no, we are not whales. We did see some but oh my god are they hard to photograph) and having brunch, which included mai tais, with the Pacific Whale Foundation on board Discovery II. Unfortunately, we encountered a whale that had been seriously injured by a boat and since this was the Whale Foundation, our captain’s job was to babysit the whale (and ward off other boats) until the rescue boat got there. Although the captain said there was probably nothing that could be done for the whale–except keeping other boats away (and how long can that go on for?). We spent most of the tour floating near the injured whale. Afterward, on our way back in, they cued the performing whale (who Chris named “Timmy”; I don’t know why) and Timmy began performing spectacularly, repeatedly breaching and waving his dorsal fin–which is why it seemed he was a “ringer” whale to make up for the injured whale experience. Before Timmy, I almost, but didn’t quite, launch into a sad state (the poor injured whale!). I kept telling myself it was nature (but it was a boat!!) and nature can be cruel (don’t we know that?!). Timmy and his exuberance saved the day. Okay, so did the mai tais.
The rest of the day was spent at the condo, relaxing on the lanai, reading and napping. Dinner was hot dogs and potato chips and wine. A lovely non-Christmasy meal. Neither one of us felt like moving, dining out, or really cooking much, so it was perfect.
Here’s my best whale shot (it’s Timmy; wave back to him).
We leave Maui late tonight on a red eye flight. It’s been a wonderful trip. We’ve completely explored both the big Island and Maui, went for long walks on the beach, spent two days on the beach and one poolside, been on a lava boat tour (and seeing molten lava pour into the sea is a must-see experience), had several fantastic meals, toured a tropical, botanical garden, a lavender farm and a goat farm (fantastic goat cheese! and newborn babies right as we arrived), gone wine tasting on each island, seen whales, and waterfalls, and gorgeous stretches of beaches and tropical LOST-like jungles; I read two books, wrote about 10 pages, took nearly 500 photographs, and finally, relaxed. Most importantly, I rarely thought about cancer and we never mentioned it. I’ve lost my compulsion to “explain” my hair to people (actually, it was great to have short hair on vacation) and when I wore my “survivor” t-shirt on Christmas day, even though it says “out-chemo, out-radiate, out-live” and there’s the pink ribbon and all, the only comments I got were from people who assumed I meant the TV reality show. Huh. Maybe this BC odyssey really is over.
Onward to 2010!