MAHALO … MARK

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I want to Talk about a major Mahalo in Maui. David and I had been gifted a stay via a generous friend’s time-share at the Diamond Resorts, a good practitioner of Aloha. I’ll try to share this practice with you. Let me introduce you to the Aloha of Mark, who helped me meet my goal for this Maui holiday.

ABOVE AND BEYOND

Whale Watchers.

During our split stay, our first week gave us Mark. “Mahalo” is “Thank you” in Hawaiian. “Mark” means “friend” in any language. Mark Mrantz is General Manager of the Aston Ka’anapali Shores, where we enjoyed a belated anniversary/birthday for David. We met our new friend Mark, along with his Rooms Manager Kevin Reiss, at their resort’s Beach Club Restaurant. Their warmth matched the weather and the conversation became like that of old best friends. Mark’s tales of his father were intriguing and if I wasn’t married I might have asked for an introduction. And Kevin’s comments on his wife’s cooking made me wish for a sample. Luckily, their restaurant’s food was delicious, really home style with great variety plus quality. It’s really perfect to have a simple and comfortable place to eat right where you are living, no need for a car. And leftovers can go right to the room for a future lunch. All that and more Aloha.… The next day, gifts from Mark flowed into our room like the waves just beyond our balcony. A bottle of good Merlot, boxes of ever tempting chocolate covered Macadamia nuts, and best of all, a hand-written card explaining the Hawaiian custom of gifting new friends after a first meeting.

Whale. (Doesn’t it resemble Audrey 2 from “Little Shop of Horrors”?)

I had asked Mark about what he’d like people to know about the Ka’anapali Shores. Without a pause he said, “The people.” His dedication and caring for his staff is touching and was validated during our stay. No request seems impossible. Or, a request was barely needed. During our dinner, I told a silly — but true — story about me accidentally pulling the faucet out of the wall while trying to get out of the bathtub. The next morning, a maintenance man appeared at our door and installed a bar to assist my future exits. The coffee maker, which needed help, was replaced in about five minutes with a brand new one. We received considerate advice to work the DVD player. And when a front tooth fell out, Mark produced a local dentist who saw me immediately to put the tooth back where it belonged.

But sweetest of all, because I mentioned the goal of this delayed celebration, an invitation to a Whale Watching adventure came our way. My dream was to see a whale and Mark made it happen. It was the kindest of surprises and a pure example of the Practice of Aloha.

Do your self a favor and check the Aston Ka’anapali Shores on the Internet. It is swimming with special deals. For families, seniors, singles, doubles. Our view of Maui inland and ocean was beautiful. And the full kitchen helped us dine in at will, complete with large fridge, garbage disposal, stove, oven, dishwasher … fully equipped. This was a condo that we rented. Sweet deal, sweet people.

The next week, we moved next door to Diamond’s Ka’anapali Beach Club, a huge pink paradise with a big pool where I did my White Tiger Wellness workouts. Monumental Mahalo’s to my lovely teacher Cassie Roblee and to Vincent Nolasco. Empowerment both physically and mentally. Chi, Chi, Chi….

PACIFIC WHALE FOUNDATION

We experienced Maui’s unique ocean environment with Pacific Whale Foundation’s expert team. We were on an Eco raft with a special motor that does not disturb the whales. Following the rules of not getting closer than 100 feet, our team found several pods of whales going about their business. The calves were gaining weight, preparing for the trip north’s cold waters. The mothers lived on their own blubber; so to speak, their purpose was to nourish the young. On top of everything, it was mating season and the adult males were serious about proving their dominance over the other guys. (Funny, with all this reality in front of my thrilled face, I thought of the old cartoon, “Willie the Whale.” He was voiced by Nelson Eddy, my then hero.) The real whales’ voices are like an underwater chorus. No one knows what they are saying, but they do know how to let us listen to their music. Chillingly majestic. “oooo, ooo,ooooooooooooo”

 … We’ll Talk.

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