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Report 1896: Two Travellers on Maui, January 25 - Feb 5, 2011

By Doug Phillips from Canada, Winter 2011

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Page 13 of 14: Getaway Day - Saturday February 5 to Sunday February 6

photo by Melissa Black

On Moloka'i

Our time on Maui has been an unalloyed delight. Our friends Melissa and Michael have been great; Maui Revealed is an excellent resource; spending time with my brother was an unexpected treat; the weather has been perfect; all our activities have worked out well.

In the late morning, Melissa drove us over to the airport at Kahului, with a brief stop in Lahaina at Espresso Italiano and the "best coffee" on Maui.

Our return from Maui was a series of misadventures. Mechanical problems with our original plane at Kahului created a three-hour delay until another plane arrived from Denver. While we were waiting, our original return flight to San Francisco and Toronto boarded and departed. Ah well, the announcements kept assuring us that our flight would continue on to Washington DC as planned after a brief stop in Los Angeles. Everything should work out OK.

We were in line to board the plane when we were informed that the flight would be ending in Los Angeles - no plane to Washington. At LAX after 1:00am, United representatives rerouted us to Chicago, with a 5:45am boarding time, and a 1:10pm connecting flight to Toronto. We spent a few uncomfortable hours in the airport before boarding the plane and taxiing out to the runway, where we waited and waited. Weather conditions in Chicago delayed our takeoff over an hour. When we arrived in Chicago we had missed our connecting flight and had an anxious time until we were able to get seats on the last United flight to Toronto at 4:00pm.

We arrived in Toronto shortly after 6:30pm to discover that only one of our two checked bags was waiting for us. We made our way out to the parking lot, dug our vehicle out from under a couple of feet of snow and started home, driving across the northern part of Toronto on the 401, Canada's busiest highway. We were in the Express lane halfway across the city when our car developed mechanical difficulties and we were forced to pull over, only partially managing to get on the narrow shoulder. Fortunately we had a cell phone. We contacted both the police, via a 911 call, and a tow truck. We had an anxious half hour until the tow truck arrived and delivered us to a garage in Ajax, east of Toronto, where we have relatives. We stayed with them overnight. Liz returned home on the train the next day while I waited for the car to be repaired. I left Maui on Saturday afternoon. I made it home on Tuesday, shortly before midnight. The second checked bag had arrived earlier in the day.

This was the first time we have experienced transportation problems on any of our trips. I like it much better when things go smoothly.

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