Just days shy of 10 years ago, my bride and I flew to Maui (Hawaii) for ProClub (a sales rewards trip) with Progress Software. To be honest, I had never been to Hawaii and I was not really that interested, but decided to go nonetheless (this is an all-expense paid first class trip for two, by the way). I know. Don’t start.
Now, even though this trip is a reward for exceeding sales results, this is still a company event, and I am a team player. Really – who doesn’t love some good team building activities? I mean, besides me. And there is the joy that comes from seeing your boss dressed in a dress, when said boss is a male. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Who doesn’t love a pretty sun dress. Well, I did my good soldiering and participated. Today, I leave the team playing to the young.
One of the activities that I participated in was a bike ride from the top of Haleakala, which tops out at almost 10,000 feet elevation. You get driven to the top (in the dark) and then ride down on a bike; it is not exactly a cardio workout, but really, really fun! In a few short hours, after seeing the sun rise, you go from 10,000 feet elevation to about 2 feet elevation. And you haven’t broken a sweat. Cool.
But the best part of the trip was renting a Jeep and taking off from the hotel to explore the island, including the Road to Hana, a stunning drive through tropical rainforest with curves, bridges, waterfalls, cliffs… you get the picture. Oh, and whale sightings.
There is much of the countryside that makes you feel like you may have been dropped in on another planet, the scenery is that different from what you or I may see in the day to day.
We followed the road to Hana, and to be honest, I don’t even remember Hana. But the trip circumnavigating the island was drop dead gorgeous.
Along the way we met this farmer who, if memory serves me correctly, was in his mid-90’s and was out to feed the cattle, driving in his Ford pickup truck. The guy was a hoot, although I think he had eyes for Karen. I am pretty sure I saw her slip him her number.
Besides driving a Jeep on this trip, I also surfed. You can see pictures of me catching some good curls. But, you say, that person is tall, dark and handsome – how could that be you? Well, it’s me. Before I lost my tan. And good looks. And height. This was back when I had won the Hawaii Surfing Championship four years running, while I was an astronaut with NASA, after graduating from MIT. Perhaps there may be a few alternative facts here.
Next time someone offers me a free trip to Maui or Hawaii, I’m going. No questions.
I now return you to your regularly scheduled program.