Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What to take FROM Vacation

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1. 

Lots of folks write about what to take on vacation. The right clothes, survival aids, etc. But I am thinking about what I have taken from my latest vacation in Maui:

Gratitude - my central nervous condition flared because of a drug reaction which put me on bed rest the week before our trip and threatened the whole thing. Our university medical specialists actually got back to me the day before I left with a solution that meant I could hike and sight see. It wasn't easy but was doable. I was grateful I was there and didn't worry about being 100%.  I was happy with 70%!

Hospitality - the coffee shop cook who spent a half hour on the phone trying to find out if I could eat the locally made ice cream, the B and B owner who made me rice flour banana macadamia nut pancakes so I could eat them like everyone else at breakfast, the guy who showed us the trail to the hard to reach red beach, the family who shared the shade under "their" tree on Homoa beach.  All these folks where generous to a fault and they are just a few examples. Can I be this kind now that I am back home? I sure do hope so!

Serendipity - When we walked into the local potters' studio, a woman was working on turtle bowls (I am a turtle freak) and talking on the phone with her mother in law in New Bern, NORTH CAROLINA thanks to Hurricane Earl bearing down on the coast. That conversation starter led to a tour of the studio and more. We ate at Cheeseburger in Paradise in Lahaina, talking about missed sunsets. We paid our bill and walked out to the sun beginning set right before us...and that happened in another restaurant later...without planning. The right place at the right time for so many things...I need to recognize those times here as well.   

Smelling the Roses or, in this case, Plumeria - We visited two little churches on the Road to Hana. One was called the Miracle Church because coral was deposited in a storm, enough to build it after the town had despaired they could gather enough materials.  As we looked back up at the Road to Hana, there was a giant waterfall which could not be seen from the road, only from our spot! If we had not taken our time on the road, we wouldn't have seen the church for sure. But we definitely wouldn't have seen that magnificent waterfall.  I am determined to slow down now that I am back, for the right reasons.

Budgeting makes the memories even better - Our condo, half the price of the resort in Hana, had a paradise view. The Fish Market in Paia had a fish lunch that rivaled any high price dinner.  SEARS had the little aloha shirt for our grandson we had seen in other shops for half off!  The sunsets didn't cost a thing. No, it wasn't all free but saving money is its own reward.

Appreciate where you are - the Maui softball tournament was playing in normally quiet, isolated Hana the entire time we were there. Instead of music at the resort restaurant, we had cheers and cracks of bats from 7:30AM to 8:30PM. (We didn't bring food for the condo so ate at the resort restaurant, with a perfect view of the ball field!).  We delighted in the by the clock rain in the morning and evening in Hana because we knew it would stop and rainbows would appear.  I could not believe how many people complained about not having WiFi in the most beautiful of places. Or those who complain about the locals who live all the time on the islands.  I need to appreciate my own little neck of the woods more and those who know more about where I am than I do.

What have you taken from your vacation or what do you hope to learn from even a weekend away?