Maui Christmas!

     My wife and two sons are on vacation this week (Erica wasn’t able to get away). We are in Hawaii, and it is beautiful!
     It’s been quite an ordeal getting here. With two kids in college, we wouldn’t have been able to afford the trip except that my wife works for United Airlines and we took advantage of her flying benefits. But that means we fly stand-by. Flying stand-by as an employee means that you can get on a plane once everyone else does and only if there are seats open. If you have flown lately, you know the airlines have been forced to fill every plane up and it has made it difficult to get on some flights. Especially at Christmas time when you want to go to Hawaii!
     We thought we had a good shot Monday morning, direct from Chicago. But after getting to the airport, we found there were 60 people on stand-by with 6 or 7 seats available. We didn’t get on. So, that afternoon, we flew to San Francisco to try our chances there, since three flights a day go to Mauii and four each day go to Oahu. Even getting to San Francisco was a challenge. They put the four of us on the plane. Then they took Linda and Junior off. Then they let Junior back on. Finally, as the door was about to close, they brought Linda back on.
     The next day, we waited all day at the San Francisco airport with no good fortune. The last flight to Maui, they called our name and said they had room for two of us. We sent Junior and Brock who just as they began to walk down the jetway, the last two people showed up and Junior and Brock were taken back off. We were a little discouraged going back to the hotel. The next morning, however, we got on and were heading to Maui. Upon landing, it didn’t take us long to get to the beach and to start enjoying the sun.
     Was it worth the two days of trouble? Absolutely! If you have ever been here, you know what I mean. This truly is a paradise on earth.
     In fact, I think the trouble we had getting here made our arrival all the more sweet. Not very many things in my life that came easy, turned out to be all that valuable.  Those people and projects I have had the greatest challenges with and where I have expended the most effort, have become the most rewarding. There is something about struggling through impediments and over barriers that makes success all the more fulfilling. I think for us, there was an added benefit of seeing family after family, arguing and obviously unhappy, while waiting in line to get on a jet to fly to paradise. Seeing that is helping us appreciate our time together here. We’d be enjoying vacation if it was in Canada…..well, not quite as much, though ☺.

     Gotta go. We are heading out in our rented jeep up the volcano to swim in some waterfalls.

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