(Note: I’ll complete my British Columbia trip series next time, on Saturday, Jan. 9)
Today on Boxing Day, I’ll be snowshoeing far above the madness of post-Christmas “door-buster” sales. And I was lucky enough to escape a chunk of the pre-holiday hype as well, which started here in Bellingham, WA, before Thanksgiving. Thor had come home from the grocery store with a glazed look in his eyes after the third rendition of Muzak “Jingle Bell Rock.” Heading straight to the computer, he booked us a pre-Christmas getaway to the sunny isle of Maui, where the holidays, like the inhabitants, are mostly mellow.
The land of Aloha welcomed these shivering escapees from the Pacific Northwest rainy gloom with sunny skies, clear blue-green sea, and softly swaying palm trees, all needing no adornment beyond the colorful hibiscus and bougainvillea blooms. We immediately headed to Makena Beach for the Sunday afternoon/evening drumming and fire-dancers. Our best escape from the madding crowd, however, is always the sea itself, and we spent every day snorkeling and swimming with the sweet “Honu” turtles and colorful fish, or playing in the waves with a boogie board.
On the one really windy day too choppy to snorkel, we visited the fabulous Maui Ocean Center and aquarium. There we encountered “Scuba Santa” who was feeding the giant sting rays in a tank filled with sharks and fish. (top photo)
Another tasteful nod to the winter season are the lovely lighted trees of a Wailea resort hotel:
And for a real getaway from mainland life, the moonlike crater of Haleakala volcano:
A more recent eruption (a couple of hundred years ago) left its lava fields near La Perouse Bay:
And the native Hawaiians left these mysterious petroglyphs on the rocky cliffs above the Northwest Maui coast, not suspecting they were feeding my obsession with ancient stone images found worldwide:
Our condo on the beach did feature a Christmas tree on the lawn, where white egrets followed the lawn mower to snap up tasty bug snacks. But by then, we were mellow enough to welcome a reminder of the season.
We even donned out Santa hats for our Winter Solstice sunset, joining the local celebration of the return of the light.
But all good things must end (at least for this year), and we were missing out sweet kitties and Bear dog. Back to the winter routine of running Bear around our muddy neighborhood park trails behind our bikes, in a downpour….
Thor has already booked a Maui condo for next year.
Happy New year to everyone!
Sara’s newest from Book View Cafe was recently released in print and ebook: The Ariadne Connection. It’s a near-future thriller set in the Greek islands. “Technology triggers a deadly new plague. Can a healer find the cure?” The novel has received the Cygnus Award for Speculative Fiction.