A dose of Dan: Aloha, 2013!

By From page A5 | January 16, 2013

2013 has arrived, and the New Year is bursting out of the gate with a wealth of serious news topics for the opinionated among us to engage on. We have the Fiscal Cliff, gun control, threats to Proposition 13 — all juicy subjects with plenty of societal implications for us to sink our teeth into.

Each of these topics would make strong column fodder as well, and while I have an opinion on them, I’m not going to visit that right now. Instead, I’m going to take the easy way out and escape again to the blissful dreamland of Maui where our family was fortunate enough to spend a week after the New Year holiday.

Of course, my escape this time is virtual, on paper and doesn’t involve burning airline miles. Yet I can still feel the sun, the trade winds and the warm ocean water as I write. Why on Earth would I want to make myself and dear readers worked up over contentious issues that affect the fabric of our country and state when we can all peacefully salute the Magic Isle?

A trip to any of the Hawaiian Islands is a gift, but Maui is our personal favorite. There is a reason the readers of Conde Nast Traveler have voted Maui the “Best Island” in the world in the past 17 years. In a word, Maui is paradise.

From the streets of Lahaina to the beaches of Kaanapali and the slopes Haleakala National Park, Maui offers something for everyone on the planet to enjoy on a vacation.

This go-around we jumped at the chance to take in whale-watching. It figures that the winter months are an ideal time of year to check out humpback whales migrating through Maui’s surrounding waters. We had never witnessed a humpback in action before, and it’s an impressive sight to see the massive and elegant creatures glide through the water.

Next, we participated in our first zip line excursion. A particularly windy afternoon made the excursion that much more challenging and entertaining. If you’re having a hard time waking up or feeling energized during the day, give zip lining a shot. It’s the equivalent of slamming an espresso or two before hopping a rollercoaster.

The vacation also presented the opportunity to resume my love affair with POG, a tropical juice featuring a blend of passion fruit, orange and guava juices. I have always been a fruit juice fan, but POG is a glorious, unique combination of flavors. POG also makes a nice mixer for the afternoon pirate in you.

Yes, 2013 is upon us, but I can’t get my head out of Maui and back to reality. It occurred to me when whining to my wife about leaving that Maui is the only place we’ve traveled to where I don’t really want to go home when the schedule demands it. I’m always ready to pack up for home on other travels, work or pleasure. Friends even joke and call me “Day Early Dan,” because I’m often ready to pull out a day earlier than planned. Maui always leaves me begging for more.

And so I sit here back home, dragging you, the dear reader, through my struggle with reality as the chilly rain falls outside my window. Perhaps this mental journey will soothe the Maui fan in you, or encourage you to make the trip if you have not before. Regardless, the necessary debate on the litany of issues facing us can hold for now. I’m still stuck ringing in the New Year, Maui-style.

Dan Francisco is an El Dorado Hills-based public relations consultant to the high-tech industry.

Dan Francisco


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