(Steph: In case you missed it, as I mentioned, Todd will be taking over my blog and sharing our trip with you. Enjoy!)
The SU trip to Maui has been out there since 2018 when it was announced on the Alaska trip. Originally scheduled for 2020, it was pushed back due to a worldwide pandemic. Also with health issues with my Dad since getting back from the Greece trip, and later Stephanie's Mom, a trip that sometimes looked like we would not be on it. Yet with all the struggles both worldwide and personal there we were boarding a morning flight heading to the Hawaii island of paradise. When we were finally able to commit to the trip, we made the decision because of the long flight times to upgrade to first class seating. First flight from Grand Rapids to Denver was on a smaller plane. My first thought is this doesn't seem that amazing. True I do get a little more leg room sitting in the front row, but to get maximum leg room for my tall frame I still have to stick my legs out into the aisle and possibly be in the flight crew's way. Then we are offered a snack box from the stewardess. Choice of box A or box B. Both of us choose A. Mind you we are the first people she has asked. She comes back and says "Sorry we only have 1 box A. Are you ok with B"? Well since box B had things I didn't like, I took a pass and we shared box A.
The second leg of the trip from Denver to Maui things got a whole lot better. First class on a bigger plane is a whole new world, especially for someone who has never flown first class before. Stephanie and I called them "pods" as each person gets their own space with a comfy seat, tons of leg room, a pillow and blanket, and your own personal video system to watch movies or TV as you choose. The only funny and unexpected part was flying as a couple we became like strangers in the night. We were next to each other, yet socially distanced. (Steph: I didn't do well reading the seating map when I chose our seats! 😀 )
United Airlines clearly was not on their game that day, as Stephanie got short changed with meal selection. By the time they got to her, they only had 1 of 2 meal choices left. Fortunately it was an acceptable option and we settled in for the 7 plus hour flight.
We arrived in Maui at the normal time and getting thru the airport was relatively easy. The Maui airport is very open and the tropical winds flow through. My first thought was "What do they do when it's cold"? but then remembered it's probably never cold there. SU always seems to do a great job on these incentive trips of collecting demonstrators and whisking them off to their final destination. In short order all bags were collected and loaded on the bus for the half hour ride to the resort.
The Grand Wailea Resort is amazing. I will include some pictures and mostly let them speak for themselves. There will be other pictures that appear in other day's posts.
The view from our balcony.
The chapel. We did see a wedding party go through the lobby during the middle of the week.
And the sun is setting outside our balcony. We had better get to bed because we've got to be up early tomorrow morning for our first excursion. Stay tuned until then!
Note: Less than 1% of all demonstrators earn the incentive trip each year.