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Thursday, March 02, 2006

The story of the ring

OK, if you know me, you already know this story. So you're going to hear it again!

We went to Maui on our honeymoon. We decided to go all kinds of crazy with the tourist activities- we booked a trip or activity almost every day we were there.

One day we booked a trip with Maui Eco-Adventures. When the travel agent was asked how difficult it was, he said "Easy". HA! But nonetheless. We figured it would be like the last time we were in Hawaii. See photo, case in point- Shawn is wearing a swimsuit and I think flip-flops. I was wearing a swimsuit also, covered with a hawaiian wrap, and sandals.

Here's a happy Shawn before the start of the tour. Basically, we turned around at the top of the trail head where that photo was taken, and then hiked STRAIGHT DOWN that mountain. We were instructed to hold on to the vegetation for support so we wouldn't fall. HA! again.

By the time we get to the bottom, I am very wary of the fact we have to get back UP the mountain somehow. This is the hardest hike I have ever been on, and while only a mile, it was exhausting.

The reward was to swim in a waterfall. An ice cold, freeze your pants off waterfall. A rather rocky area, I decided it was not a wise idea for me to personally go in, but Shawn did.

As soon as he gets out of the waterfall, he looks at me and says, "Where's my wedding ring?' At first I thought he was joking, because he ALWAYS jokes about stuff like that. But he was immediately upset. He realized he left the ring on (we had been married 4 days at this point) and the water was so ice cold, the ring just slipped off his finger. The ring is at this point at the bottom of this cold, murky, gross water.

Yes, his brand new wedding ring is gone!

So we're both immediately in a not-so-great mood, at some point on the hike back up the mountain I sprain my ankle. I'm covered in bug spray and somehow I am getting bitten left and right. Shawn is now inconsolable, and I'm feeling pretty miserable myself. It is clear we had been drastically unprepared for the severity of the hike, my ankle injury and bug bites an indication I was dressed for the wrong occasion.

The fun was just beginning. We still had to drive on the one lane road (that was 2 directions of traffic!) on windy mountain roads all along the Northwest coast of Maui. It took probably another 2 hours of playing chicken with other cars, carsickness among the passengers, and tears on our part. Here is upset Shawn at the Northernmost tip:

So eventually we survived, and we made it back to our hotel. It was not really a relief, the pain was just beginning- Shawn and I were still both upset about the wedding ring being gone, my ankle was now swelling up like a grapefruit, and my mosquito bites really hurt.

We ended up cancelling (and losing the money we spent) our trip to bike down the volcano at sunrise. I was bummed about missing it, but there was no way I was feeling up to something so adventurous. We decided to spend a much needed day together at the beach the next day, where I took photographic evidence of my pain (and I was the only tourist on that hike that got bitten by mosquitos!):

Trust me, this was horribly itchy. I counted up to 50 bites and then lost count.

We hunted high and low all over Maui for a wedding ring for Shawn, but he wanted his ring. We came back to the mainland, and ordered an identical ring from our jeweler. Someday, we will have to go back to our waterfall and visit his ring.

But apparently, this sort of thing happens to tourists in Maui all the time. Make sure you take your jewelry off before you go in the water- I heard from people who lost jewelry surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and just plain swimming. And also make sure you are well-prepared for your tourist adventures- when it says "Adventure" in the name of the business, you may well be in for a surprise!

From our last night in Maui.


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