Flights, flowers & near fatalities: how I barely survived my first day of vacation

Day one of my (pseudo-forced) vacation started off rough — woke from a dead sleep at 3am remembering that something had not been done in preparation for Offbeat Bride that morning. Had to drag my ass out of bed and edit and schedule a post with my eye balls barely able to focus. But whatever, got it done! But then was unable to go back to sleep until 5am.

Woke up at 6:30 and started my usual pre-flight anxiety attack from leaving the house through arriving at my gate. Thankfully the security gods were with me yesterday and it was a breeze — no long and winding line, no bag re-check and no backscatter machine. Phew.

I also got a middle seat for my 5 and a half hour flight. Harrumph. But no worries — in true “flight to Maui style” I ended up making friends with the local guy I sat next to AND comforting the neighbor to my left, assuring him that the next 5+ hour flight, after his long trek from Norway to Los Angeles, would completely be worth the wait. He seemed to look relieved. In fact, by the middle of the flight, I was using the head phone jack in Norway’s seat, while Local Guy and I shared my headphones to watch the movie. :)

Obviously, things started to get better. My flight was a little late, so my parents were waiting for me at the bottom of the escalator with a fresh lei in hand. As I exited the airport and felt my first blast of fragrant island breeze I broke down in tears. I was happy, I was relieved, I was overwhelmed, I was in shock, I was home.

Sunshine in Pa'ia, me rockin' a lei.

Sunshine in Pa’ia, me rockin’ a lei.

My parents know how to welcome me back to Maui, they wasted no time in getting me to Flatbread Pizza Co. We chowed down on organic, all local-grown salads and pizza. And I downed two local beers, finally feeling “on vacation.”

We then took a drive down the coast. The wind was up and the waves were intense — kite boarders, and surfers were out in force, most of them just struggling to keep up with the force and the speed of the waves. But on land, we were flirting with danger just as much as the surfers.

My mother pulled off the road into a turn out, with the intention of watching the waves. She tried to pull down a dirt driveway when all of a sudden one wheels of our massive white truck went up a slight incline while the other one fell into a hidden ditch. The truck lurched to the left and we started to tip over. For a moment we felt that we were going to keep tipping and go over the cliffside on our left. But miraculously, the truck stopped mid-tip and just hung there — the front left tire in a ditch, the back right tire completely off the ground. We all slowwwwwly started to get out of the truck. I feared the moment I left the cab, that it would immediately tumble down the hill. As if the sheer weight of my body was the ONLY thing keeping that truck in place (delusions of grandeur, much?). So I jumped down from the 40 degree inclined truck, holding my breath and feeling my heart was going to explode. (NOT good for the ‘ol anxiety.)

There were talks of calling the auto club, talks of how did this happen, lots of cursing and, to make matters worse, a guy holding a large professional video camera, filming the entire frightening ordeal. Finally my father, having wrapped his head around the situation at hand, jumped in the driver’s seat and, while a local guy yelled “you’re gonna tip over the cliff if you do that!” he engaged the 4WD, threw it in reverse and somehow PERFECTLY backed that sucker up, unharmed and unscathed.

When I complimented him later on being such a bad ass he said, “Hey I just washed that truck. It was NOT going down.”

Our near death experience behind us, we cut our sight-seeing drive short and headed for home. Where the ONLY thing that would erase the taste of nearly dying, in front of a group of people, on my first day of vacation happened…

Here's the photo I sent to Aaron so he could see how happy they made me. The woven basket of daisies is sitting next to our wedding photo.

Aaron sent me flowers! “The note read: SMILE you’re on vacation! -Bear, Jack, Peezu, el Woogs.” (Yes, he had the flower people write “el Woogs” — I love that man.)

The rest of the evening I relaxed and, guess what, didn’t even open my laptop ONCE! But I will say this, as much as not working is not easy for me, it was nice to be able to process everything that happened yesterday without the added pressure of HAVING to work. But don’t think that I don’t feel weird about that.

Anyway, I’m gonna step away from my beloved laptop, once again so that I can go on a nice morning walk with my mom. Wish me luck that I more than just barely survive today. ;)

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15 comments

  1. Diana Alley-Johnson · February 7, 2012

    WOW talk about exciting. Shark bites and cliff hanging. I think that’s enough excitement in your lifetime in Maui or anywhere else. Good job. Love your writings

  2. Ariel Meadow Stallings · February 7, 2012

    HA! Nice tease: But on land, we were flirting with danger just as much as the surfers.

  3. grandma · February 7, 2012

    Was your mother driving?

    • meganfinley · February 7, 2012

      HA! Great question: YES, she was driving.

  4. Diana Alley-Johnson · February 7, 2012

    Great picture of you by the way. And beautiful flowers from your amazing hubby

    • meganfinley · February 7, 2012

      Aw! Thanks Di! both of your comments are so sweet. I’m spoiled. ;)

  5. Morgan · February 7, 2012

    Glad my family didn’t die! I need you guys and most importantly Keeley needs her grandparents =)

  6. Sherry · February 7, 2012

    If we EVER needed proof that the CUPIDS and their loved ones lead CHARMED lives, we got it today! But speaking of lives…between you and Aaron, you’re using up your allotted 9 each on Maui WAY too fast. Stay away from volcanoes, tsunamis, and flat Champagne for the rest of the trip, OK?

  7. Ratchops · February 7, 2012

    I am SO glad you guys are alive!! Phew, good save dad!

  8. Cheryl · February 7, 2012

    That is so scary! Please take care of yourself! And hug that sweet husband and lovely wonderful pets of yours!

  9. Robin · February 7, 2012

    Awe, love Aaron! But damn, that’s scary shit! Glad you’re ok

  10. Holly · February 7, 2012

    Megan – what a miraculous story complete with highs and lows and thrills… Thank the lucky stars that truck did not tip and oh what a good man Aaron is to anticipate your anxiety and do the daisy thing. You are a truly talented writer – I so enjoyed reading this!

  11. Laura · February 7, 2012

    Hey, in my defense, that was one major big-ass hidden puka! (And I did make you a yummy homemade dinner which I pulled out of my arse later that night:-)
    Sorry for the anxious moments…..

  12. Alex Pelling · February 7, 2012

    Megan’s father clearly rocks! Big pair of brass ones jumping in that car. That guy filming will be making a quick $200 and sending it to ‘you’ve been framed’ (not sure what the US version is called). Good work Aaron, like your style.

  13. Kimmy · February 7, 2012

    Whoa. Crazy story! And that is so sweet of Aaron. <3

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