It just does not seem right to be writing a blog from my patio in Maui.  I realize how spoiled I am, and I do not want to unleash any rage.  But I cannot just drop off the earth for a week without inviting you to come along with us.  The years that Steve traveled to Maui to broadcast made this island his heaven.  It convinced him to buy a time share-oops, interval ownership. The years that he broadcast from Chicago have allowed us this luxury.  Thank you.  

As I referenced in the prior blog, this trip was planned a year ago.  That has given Steve 365 days to obsess about all the things that could (will) go wrong.  The flights were reserved on the first available day, and they have been re-arranged by the United spirits many times.  Our seat assignments, departure time and equipment have mysteriously shifted.  I will leave the big reveal to Steve – but suffice it to say that the best Uncle/Dad/Son/brother had reserved 29 seats in First Class for a family trip.  Needless to say- he was a priority for UAL.  

 Welcome to Maui! Home of stunning sunsets, beautiful wildlife and an uncontrollable landfill site! We had upgraded with 300,000 miles or so, so we were not a priority. 

 The Family Trippers were delightful passengers- 15 kids and their parents took over the cabin.  They apologized in advance for any transgressions the kids might commit.  They were angels.  I loved watching them, and remembering trips when the boys were young.  It was a treat to eavesdrop on kids flying over the ocean, and seeing Hawaii for the first time.  They were well armed with video games and toys, and the cabin attendants relaxed a few rules to let them hunker down together at the bulkhead once were were in flight.  You will be glad to know that Steve was very content to be in such happy company.  He was also glad to realize the reason behind his challenges in booking the flight. He made a half hearted effort to trade for the bulkhead, his seat of choice, but did not seem deflated when the family wisely kept it for the clot of Nintendo DS players.  They went on to The Four Seasons in Kona;  we will reunite on the return flight.  I expect they will be a little more subdued, as the return is flown through the dark.  I know the who of the trip and the why, but I think I should respect their privacy.  I can tell you it is a Chicago business success story. 

So far we have eased into Island life with a little sun and a lot of idle time.  All luggage arrived.  The rooms are perfect. Steve snorkeled his morning away, and is now watching the Bears at the poolside bar.  He has been a model of contentment and happiness.  The boys are making their way through the tropical cocktail menu, and they are a bit more animated.  I hope there are no fights at the bar this afternoon.  
Tomorrow will find the intrepid Dahl clan on a boat, heading to scuba dive.  Justine, (Matt’s girlfriend) and I will stay on top of the surface.  An early brush with drowning has left me queasy about open water.  My Mom did not realize when she let me go to Red Run Pool with Kathy McGinnis, that I would tumble into the deep end.  I could not yet swim at age 6, a fact I was too ashamed to relate to my friend.  Subsequently, I did around 8 sessions of swim lessons, but even as I developed a capable stroke, I hated diving deep.  Every time I was promoted to deep divers, I snuck back to advanced swimmers.  One day the diving instructor whacked my quivering calves, perched on the high dive,  with the bamboo rod they use to rescue swimmers in distress.  I walked back top the ladder, climbed down with humiliation scalding my face, and that was the end of my aquatic education.  I still do not like to submit to open water.  Maybe I will snorkel.  Or not.  It depends on my level of adventure, which is generally low.
On top of my general timidity, I am reading Shadow Divers for book club.  It is quite an adventure story- about wreck divers who discovered a Nazi submarine 60 miles off the coast of New Jersey.  Four deep-divers have died so far. That is an unfortunate accelerant to my fear of the ocean.  Even the boat ride challenges my decorum.  Steve married the wrong girl!
Tonight we will have family dinner on the beach, where the Dahls will no doubt drown their Bears oriented sorrows.  Nothing could get between me and the gratitude that we have these moments.  I am celebrating Thanksgiving Week, and “thank you” list is very long.  Being able to blather on to you is right there, at the top.  Come back for pictures, if I survive the boating expedition.  

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