I had been counting down the days until my first-ever yoga retreat with some of my best girls in Maui. I’d been looking around for a good one, then Anna posted that she was helping lead a retreat in Maui with Mel Afflerbach and I was in. You know me and signs. I follow them. The timing was also perfect, right after ski season ended, and with Anna as part of the deal, I knew there would be cool women to meet (I was right).
I can’t go to Hawaii without seeing family, so I stopped a couple of days in Honolulu and stayed with the Admiral and Pally. We had a super fun family dinner (small, Pally says, only 18 people). My cousins and I spent a lot of time telling stories about how we consistently lured my brother and younger cousin into perilous situations that sometimes required adult rescue and got us all into trouble. I also learned that Faye, my second cousin that I followed around for years as a kid is a travel soulmate, having just returned from looking at tigers in India and diving in the Maldives. Now India has moved up a few places on the list of travel destinations.
Tiff, Fiona, Angie, and I hooked up at the Lumeria on Sunday. All the other women were from Las Vegas and Austin (of course, that’s where Mel and Anna are from). They are all adventurous and fun and funny and gorgeous, as I figured they would be. As happens when you are in a somewhat isolated situation with a bunch of people you’ve never met, you get to be pretty close quickly (if they’re cool, of course). I hope to stay in contact.
The week had some of the best yoga I’ve ever done: Great instruction, assists, corrections, new poses (for me). We had yoga twice a day most days, and it was the best part of the day. We are already strategizing how to take more classes from both Anna and Mel. We had non-yoga adventures, too. We hiked Twin Falls, which was easy except for having to walk on the shards of knifelike rocks on the river bed. At least we got to swim under a waterfall (in the rain). The payoff was worth the pain, but we were not that psyched to get back to Lumeria and discover the rock floor in the shower. We all still have Winter Feet.
The food at Lumeria was decent, but a bit redundant and even I have to have something besides fish every once in a while. So we went to the Halii-maile General Store (I’d been there probably 15 years ago and never forgot how much I loved it!), where I ordered….. fish.
I finally got to Mama’s Fish House, which is everything it’s built up to be. I tried getting a reservation when I was in Maui last September, but couldn’t get anything sooner than December. This time, we had a couple of folks with Big Names make the ask. Yea, Big Names!
We got out on a Trilogy sailboat and snorkeled around one day. Some people thumb their noses at super touristy activities, but I think they can be really fun. We had a great time with a great crew.
One of Angie’s goals was to ride her bike up Haleakala Crater, which is one of the iconic bike rides in the world. I went with her to pick up her bike. Back in the not-so-distant past, this would have been one of my goals, too. This time, I wasn’t even tempted to ride any of it. Not even a twinge of desire. My new sad reality is that I couldn’t have ridden much of it anyway, probably. Plus, it was raining and I’ve lost my badass bike mojo. Good thing there was a dog at the bike shop. I could at least connect with her. (PS Angie crushed it, in the rain. No surprise.)
All in all, it was a really good five days on Maui, exactly what I needed to get away from reality for a bit (although truth be told, this IS my reality). At the end, Mel asked what everyone’s take-away for the week was. Mine was reinforcement that when you stretch yourself outside your box, however big it is, you WILL gather cool new experiences, meet people who are also exploring what life has to offer, and rack up an adventure or five. Trust that you’ll get something good out of it. I’m going to hunt down another yoga retreat in another cool place so I can have it on my calendar.
I hung out in Honolulu for a couple more days on the back end of the trip (mostly to eat more local food).
Glad I got the extra sun, because after finding out my friend, Moises, was flying my plane home,
here’s how my drive home from the Salt Lake Airport looked:
And here’s how I’ll be spending today:
I actually have to stay in the NIH hospital for three days so they can do repeated tests on my blood, looking for drug saturation levels. I do have a single room with a view, but it’s 70 degrees outside and I’m stuck inside. This is the great Yin and Yang, the balance, the reason I cram adventure into every spare moment and corner of my life. When I asked my trials nurse, Linda, if we could move some procedures around, both for this Maui trip and for my upcoming Polar trip, she enthusiastically said Yes. Because that is what I am working to stay alive for. It’s not life for life’s sake, not for me. Life needs to be BIG and FULL and bursting with adventure and family and friends and love… And cats. Always cats. #Defy #Meow