Countdown to Maui…

I suddenly have an opportunity to go to Maui for the first time.  I didn’t plan on it; it just happened.  While exchanging emails with my friend, Julie, I asked about her upcoming, annual trip to Maui.  She gave me the dates and then uttered those famously wonderful words:  “You should come with us!“

One thing led to another and 24 hours later, I had an airline ticket and saw a clear path out of the depths of early February in Idaho…after a particularly hideous December and January.  Between the days of fog, inversion, and hoar frost, I’m about two steps away from selling my soul to live on a Caribbean cruise ship for the rest of my life.

Only 22 days to go!

Terrible inversion from our house resized
The view from our house a few weeks ago (and many days since)

But before I can leave town, there are just a few things I need to take care of:

Meet Debbie.  She is Julie’s dear friend and Maui buddy; she apparently trusts Julie enough to invite me along without batting an eye.  We met for drinks and dinner at a local brew pub.  Debbie endeared herself to me immediately by revealing two wonderful personal traits:

“I only have one beer a day.”  Translation:  Designated driver – woo hoo!  It’s not like I get drunk every day or anything, but if this 60+ kick-boxer wants to help keep Julie and me safe after a couple of glasses of wine, I am going to let her.  Besides, I think she can take me.  I don’t run that fast.

“So, Deb, what is the first thing you do in the morning?”  She answered, “Well, I usually get up early and walk down the block to get a latte.  I love lattes.”

She is my new best friend!

Find Snorkeling Gear.  Man, I forgot what this stuff even looked like.  I bought the dive gear in 1983; Gary wouldn’t marry me unless I was a certified diver.  That’s unconditional love for you.

30Jan2014 iphone 106 resized

I have no memory of liking bright pink, but I guess I did.  The shorty wetsuit came along in 2001, when we went to Mike and Gina’s barefoot-wedding-on-the-beach in Aitutaki (Cook Islands).

I also forgot what it’s like to put on a shorty wetsuit; look how happy I am to have poured my body into this instrument of torture and embarrassment:

 30Jan2014 iphone 108 resized

I haven’t had this much fun since I tried to give myself a root canal with an ice pick.

Find A Bathing Suit.  This is where it gets ugly.  My bathing suit is a 12-year-old Speedo from Costco that fits someone, but not me.  Some of the elastic has, well, committed suicide.  Putting on a bathing suit in January should not be done unless it’s in the dark, but I did it anyway.  The only thing worse is the thought of trying on bathing suits in a department store under fluorescent lights.

I struggle to come up with a decent Plan B for obtaining a cheap bathing suit.  Amazon Prime to the rescue!  I ordered a $23.99, retro-style, one-piece suit.  This is how it looked when it arrived in my mailbox:

30Jan2014 iphone 135

Needless to say, I was a little nervous; I’ve never seen foam cups with that much, er, “body” to them.  I shook out the suit, put it on, and sighed.  Well, at least it’s not a string bikini.  Gary looked at me and asked if I was taking a cover-up.  I guess I know where he stands.

Find Summer Clothes.  Last Summer was great, as defined as being able to wear all my warm-weather clothes.  Then leftover Halloween candy entered my pantry and nothing has been quite the same since.  Last Summer’s clothes have apparently shrunk while being stored in my closet.

I wonder how many pounds I can lose in the three weeks that I have before leaving for Maui.  I start bargaining with the Diet Gods who just laughed and waggled their skinny little fingers at me.  If I am on the treadmill 24×7 between now and then, can I lose these ten new pounds?  Maybe I can wear my bathing suit cover-up over everything.

Get A Fake Tan.  My friend, Wendy, a Scandinavian goddess who has never had more than 12% body fat in her life, suggested that I get one of those spray tans.  “It’s even kind of good for your skin!,” she says.  Well, I think, maybe I should.  Wendy describes the process and then says the one word that puts the fear of God into me:


There are things that I hate to spend money on.  Skin care products, sheets, and lingerie are three of those things.  So, it’s probably not a surprise to you to learn that I am also one of the few women left in the civilized world who does the following:

  •  I wash my face with bar soap (usually Irish Spring; I guess Gary buys the soap).
  • I use over-the counter “dermatologist-approved” lotion over my entire body.
  • I do not own face cream or foot cream, unless one of my good friends takes pity on me at Christmas. (And I only recently learned that you should never, ever use foot cream on your face. Who knew?)
  • I have never had a mani, pedi, or mani-pedi.
  • I have never exfoliated. Can I use the green side of a kitchen sponge for that?

No wonder I look the way I do. My friend, Sylvia, comes to the rescue. She not only exfoliates but makes her own concoction for it, out of sugar and olive oil (see below).

exfoliation blend resized

Do you know if five minutes of enthusiastic exfoliating can make up for 59 years of under-exfoliating?  Or do I need five hours?  Five days?  I settle for five minutes, jump in the shower, and hope for the best.

The adorable 16-year-old working at the spray tan place tells me everything I need to know except the following:

  • Whatever you do, don’t look at yourself in the mirror before getting into the tanning chamber. They have the same fluorescent lights as they do in those department store fitting rooms. Nothing good can come from this.
  • If you have any brown blotches, put some of that “blending lotion” on them too so it will keep them from getting darker.
  • Somehow the bottoms of my feet will become unnaturally brown even though I was standing on them the entire time.

It’s now 20 hours later and I look like a tan giraffe. Live and learn.

Go to Costco. This may be the most important thing, actually. The purpose of the trip is not to buy sunblock or another ugly Speedo bathing suit. Rather, the purpose is to buy all of the things that I think Gary might need from Costco while I’m gone.

Gary with shopping cart at costco resized

Gary’s trips to Costco are the stuff of legend.  After he came home with the Texas-sized Traeger Grill a few years ago, I told him he was never allowed to go there alone again.

But I know he might go there and get the tires on my car rotated…and that will give him an hour, alone and unsupervised, in Costco.   There’s no telling what I might come home to.  There just might be portable solar power and a Human Touch massage chair in my future!

Well, that’s about it.   21 days have now passed.  At 3:45 am tomorrow, we’ll pick up Julie and Debbie and head to the airport.  Between now and then, if you need to get ahold of me, I’ll be dabbing lemon juice on some of those über-brown spots and trying to close my suitcase.

I think I have just enough room left for a turtleneck…

Thanks for reading.  I know how busy you are.


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