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By Amanda Witt

Editor’s note:  The following hilarious account of a vacation gone awry was written by a friend. Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the author and her husband, a candidate for public office. Amanda is currently recovering from this misadventures in paradise.

September 21, 2012 (San Diego) – We prepaid for a trip to Maui for our 34th wedding anniversary in March and could not take it due to my third shoulder surgery. Then we learned that we had to use it or lose it, so the first week in September we boarded a plane bound for paradise. This seemed like a good idea, as it would give Rob a break from campaigning.

Day one: Took Ativan. Flew out.... I think.  Then woke up after three hours...I think. Rob said, “Shhhh, it’s not time to wake up,” so I went back to sleep. Next thing I knew we landed in Maui. We rented a car, a small Nissan even though the guy was SO persistent on upgrading to a larger car playing on Rob's sympathy (HAHA) saying your wife would be more comfortable with that knee brace and shoulder brace in a larger car.  His reply was "She is used to it as she wears it all the time so comfort is not important to her." ( I SO love this man....... )

After arriving we stopped by the airport and purchased all our groceries and then to K-mart to get a $6 umbrella, chairs and ice chest. (However a guy talks us into a "way better" $32, half dome tent instead of an umbrella as he says it will be way more comfortable for me in a tent then under an umbrella.  Wow, Hawaii guys are all about the comfort of a woman!)

Then we headed out for the 40 minute drive.  We attempted to check in for a package we purchased at the Westin Ka'anapali Resort Villas. No reservation. This is despite talking to them on the phone two weeks earlier to confirm things and have them make reservations for Mama's fish house and Warren and Annabel’ magic show.  They spent an hour trying locate our reservation.  They called Starwood and spoke to someone and they got nowhere.  They let us speak to the woman.  We got nowhere. Rob and I both spoke to her.  The only thing she would tell us is that she checked all hotels and we had no reservation but could get one for 16,000 points a night plus $150 cash each night.  I explained how ridiculous that is when we can stay for free for 20,000 points a night!   She never offered to make a reservation.  The hotel could not do it for us via their computer and we could not access the Internet without being a checked in guest. Of course because we had no reservation, we could not check in.  They gave us the name of a coffee shop in town where we could access Internet so off we drove.

Upon arrival and hooking up, we see the Starwood gal was misstating the facts and it was 8,000 points a night plus $150 cash a night.  We made the reservation via OUR computer and drove back to the hotel.  Needless to say, the cold groceries and meat after several hours were ruined, but dog gone it we had our reservation and a heavenly bed!  

By the time we get to our room it is 5:00 somewhere so we proceed to open the Vodka we bought at Costco and SURPRISE it is already cracked open. I noticed there are at least 2 BIG swigs gone from the bottle.  I say ROB...... DID YOU GET INTO THE VODKA THAT WAS IN THE TRUNK? He laughs at what he thinks is me making a joke.  I called Costco immediately and spoke to a manager who says oh no problem it happens all the time!!!!  I say it NEVER at a San Diego Costco…He said bring it back and we will give you a refund. YUCK! So instead of the $19.99 large handle of SKY we spend $20 on two vodkas here!

The second day we spend 30 minutes in the wind trying to put up the " your wife can be comfortable half dome tent" with Rob yelling "It can't be done, Amanda" numerous times and me saying "Yes it can, Rob, because the guys said it was the best so keep trying."  Then a nice teenage girl comes over and says "It looks like you need help" and proceeds to put it up in less than three minutes.  She laughs as she tells us it will never work in the wind and we should have gotten a beach umbrella.  Up it went... for about five minutes before it blew away.... Rob chased his $32 purchase down the beach for about 20 yards... Gosh where was my video I-Phone?????  Needless to say we returned it as well.  Then as usual, Rob snorkeled and I watched for shark fins.... politics is not big here so no sharks.

Wednesday we went to Mama's fish house...... Absolutely wonderful lunch and then a drive up to Makawao and then the Tedeschi Vineyards. Later, we made it half way up Haleakala volcano that our friends Janet and Johnny are going to bike down this week sometime when they arrive.  (Gotta give them credit as those bikes are going fast). We stopped and turned around where the clouds began so we never made it to the crater.  

The concierge said not to do the road to Hana with my knee and shoulder so she sent us on another "pretty" drive around the island the other way that finishes at the airport. Thank God we got the small Nissan.  She failed to mention that it is a one lane road... That is not one lane each way but one lane total.  It consisted of like a hundred switch backs and if there were two cars you had to back up to where another car could pass. Half way around the island a sign says, "Warning, being on this road may invalidate your rental car agreement"!  HOW ABOUT PUTTING THE SIGN WHERE YOU START AND CAN TURN AROUND!  

Did I mention that I do not do mountain roads unless I am driving, so that means one handed.  Can't tell you who was sweating more, Rob or I.  Seriously the cliff drop is like 1,000 feet into the ocean. I calmly explained that his "loud" voice was making me nervous several times during that drive.  I wish we had done the road to Hana, but after that drive I am done exploring. That song, "On the road, off the road, having some fun" did not apply here!

Three-fourths of the way through the crazy road, a semi crazy but nice toothless Hawaiian man is jumping up and down in the middle of the road.  Of course I think the worst..... like he is going to rob us and take the car....leaving us to walk on this crazy road.  It was not like you could go around him. So I stop.  He walks over to Rob's window and then lifts up a bag of fresh pineapple and says you have to buy my pineapple.  We say great,  we would love to... how much? Hhe says $5 which we promptly hand over (Silly guy, I would have paid $25 for the tiny bag knowing I was not going to have to walk the rest of the way!)

We finally made it back and went to the bar for appetizers as we had finished the pineapple.  I guess we missed the speeches from the conventions and so some people ask me about what I thought about Michelle Obama's speech and I simply replied with "I think she is a great Mom and totally devoted to her family and I am sure it was just as good as Ann Romney's'.  That is where the ugliness began and Rob, a loyal Republican, realized that we were amongst about 15 President Obama supporters and no Romney supporters.  They were also a tad snookered because the college football game was on.  Rob whispers, STOP talking politics or you are gonna get us hurt!"   Not really knowing college football ...and rather proud, I shocked myself by pulling out a one liner to change the subject of "How about Pittsburgh?" (I had just asked Rob who was playing)

Oops, they were Cincinnati fans. Rob says “I think my wife has heatstroke so I'm going to take her back to the room.”

Late last night we went for a Jacuzzi down by the beach.  There was a live band at a wedding so it was awesome sitting there listening to them. Then as our luck would have it.... A BIG downpour-- and a long wet walk back to the room. 

The next day we went and bought a child's floaty thing so I could snorkel. Since I don't walk well in sand with my bad knee, Rob has a great idea to sit me in the sand at the water’s edge, then run back to the beach and get the floaty thing, fins and mask for each of us. Hmm... Not such a good idea as when water comes in it takes light weighing things like me out to sea....

He is holding two sets of fins, two masks and floaty thing yelling "I forget which is your bad arm..... I need to grab your good one." Of course I can't answer because I am drowning and my eyes are full of sand.  In my effort to stay alive I grab the first man’s suit I see to pull me up ....To my surprise it was not Rob.  However luckily it was a doctor; so what if he does colonoscopies? That's ok because he saved me and did not mind having his private parts exposed.

Once in Rob's capable hands he gets the fins on me and a mask and the floaty thing. Lesson learned... Floaty thing first next time. Had an awesome time, hand in hand as he led me to certain areas to see fish. We saw the resident turtle and he swam with us for awhile. to get back in to the beach? We head that way and guess what, getting fins off in the water with one hand as waves are coming and going is even harder.  I think Rob planned it as two very attractive women came over to help me get out. He was happy to watch.... then to help.

It was fun but tiring and the 20 minutes seemed like three hours. Back to the room to shower and get ready for a great evening out on Maui! Our friends ecommended Warren and Annabel's dinner and magic show.  I can honestly say it was the best night ever. I have never laughed so hard in such a long time.(I was sad though when the magician looked at me and said I have a crazy laugh, kind of like his old 1964 Toyota as he turns it over and over! What the heck does that mean?) Everyone from the General Manager to the staff and the comedians/magicians were exceptional.  I can tell you without a doubt that we will always go here when we come back.

Next morning, I watched Rob on his computer. It was awesome! I have never seen anything like it! I wish I would have You-Tubed it. 

Later, down to snorkel--again. Rob put my fins and floaty on in the sand before we went down and then walked me to the water backwards  Awesome. We snorkeled and actually saw a big turtle again and so many fish.  I tried to point to the cute little guy just laying in a rock. Not moving but like he was waiting for a picture when all of a sudden Rob grabs my good arm that I'm using to point and pulls me away.  Under water.... Mouth tube filling with yucky salty water   .. He motioned me to the surface and tells me sorry but what I got so close to was a poison fish and it would have been bad.

Coughing and choking, I thank him. I few minutes later he is tapping me on my good arm and motioning. I begin a one arm doggie paddle to get away as again I think he is pointing to get away.. He chases me and grabs my good leg and I think ahhh shark...(I did hear the JAWS theme several times under water)  But it's his just his rough hands,,,,, gosh you would think he was a farmer and not a lawyer/politician.... Gotta get the guy a manicure!!! We raise our heads out of the water and he says he was pointing to an octopus and wants to take me back over to it.... remembering 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, I decline and decide I am lucky to be alive! No more snorkeling.  I have seen enough.  We leave in the morning to go back to ha ha ha ha a normal life in San Diego!

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