Time Warp/Maui – 2007

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.

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Looking out from our hotel room

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.

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Jim Dolan – looking’ good

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.

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Sun about to rise on Haleakala (National Park)

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Larry and Sally Diloreto, and me

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The ride down

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Made it to the bottom with a nice reward

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Moi

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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.

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