Celebrating 50 on Maui

I turned 50 years old on March 2, 2018.  My sweet husband planned our annual trip to Hawaii around my birthday so we could celebrate in (quite possibly) my favorite place ever.  We traveled with our good friends Tony and Karyn Alamo and spent 9 days (8 nights) at The Honua Kai in Kaanapali, Maui.

 The view from our suite.

The view from our suite.

The Cousins: Rob, Kathy, Linda, Curtis, me, Leroy, Trudy and Dale

We started off the trip with an impromptu Reese Family Reunion.  (My mom's side of the family.)  It just so happened that my brother Curtis (and his wife Linda,) my cousin Dale (and his wife Trudy,) and another cousin Kathy (and her husband Rob) were staying in Kihei.  We met at my (absolute) favorite restaurant on Maui, The Kihei Caffe.  (The lady behind the counter even gifted me with a free, macadamia topped cinnamon roll but I still had to order the Loco Moco.  (It's a tradition.)

We spent the whole day on Kama'ole Beach Park I snorkeling, stand-up-paddle boarding, swimming in the ocean and harassing each other on the beach.  It was a great (although brief) visit with some of my favorite people.

On the actual day of my birthday, Leroy planned a whale watching trip.  He had booked it weeks in advanced and the timing was perfect because it was a beautiful day on the water. 

We always go with the same whale watching company (Ultimate Whale Watching) out of the Lahaina Harbor.  We didn't know it when we boarded the boat, but we were in for a real treat.  For almost the entire two hour trip, we followed a group of approximately 15-20 whales (all males and one female.)  Since the males were all fighting under the water (to be the closest to the female,) they were surfacing quite often to catch their breath.  It was incredible to witness.

Whale watching with Karyn, Tony and Leroy

Each and every time we've gone on a whale-watching trip, we've witnessed different behaviors.  These guys were swimming fast and changing direction constantly.  This behavior is explained really well in the documentary Humpback Whales (available on Netflix.)

The rest of the trip (before and after playing with the whales) was spent relaxing on the beach, near the pool and lots of snorkeling (which actually is my favorite activity.)  One day in Kapalua Bay, we found a sea turtle sleeping in the coral.  While we were watching him, he surfaced, took approximately 10 breaths, swam back down and tucked himself back into his sleeping spot.

On our last day, we relaxed in a pool-side cabana (which was a really good idea,) reading books, swimming and napping.  It was a great end to an absolutely fabulous vacation.  If this is the way the next 50 years are going to be, I say bring it on!

Team Wesenberg

I don’t have an athletic bone in my body.  My only physical attribute is that I’m still pretty flexible for my age (and current physical shape) but athleticism is not my gift.  Not only am I not an athlete, I am not very competitive either so playing a sport (of any kind) has never been appealing to me.  However, I am fascinated with the mindset required by athletes, especially those who compete in sports.  (And to be quite honest, intimidated too.)  I am inspired by their ability and desire to publicly demonstrate their skills.  They are so courageous!  I guess I just give in to my introvert side and admire them from a distance.

A few years ago, I saw my friend Laurie at a high school football game.   I remember the incident not because it was a particularly great game, but for the conversation I had with Laurie that day.  We each had kids at Central Catholic at the same time, but Laurie’s youngest was still in high school.  We sat on the bench and caught up on life events.

It went the usual way with each of us reporting on what our kids were doing between graduations, college, new jobs, etc.  And then Laurie said that Kendall (her oldest) had decided to work towards becoming an Olympian.  (Wait… what?)  That’s not a statement you hear everyday.  Kendall was always a great athlete, but I didn’t remember her particularly involved in any one Olympic sport during her high school years.  Was this a new endeavor? 

Actually, yes!  Kendall had watched the Women’s Skeleton at a recent Olympics and decided that it looked like fun.  After a challenge from her family, Kendall pulled up the US Olympic Team website, clicked on a tab that said “Recruiting” and the rest is history.

Who does that?  Only extraordinary individuals that have an inner drive that I will never understand but profoundly admire.  And I’m happy to know her and call her a friend.

Kendall has focused on this goal ever since and just a few days ago was named to the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang South Korea!  Countless hours of year-around training (on and off the track) as well as thousands and thousands of miles traveled have brought Kendall closer to her goal, but I’d have to say it is that determination that made her goal actualize.  (For those who don’t know… We don’t have snow or a Skeleton track in Stanislaus County.)


So we’ll be glued to the Olympic coverage in February to catch a glimpse of our local heroine.  I’ve already dug out the cowbell in anticipation.  Just thinking about it makes my heart swell.  I’m so happy for Kendall (and her extraordinary family) and can’t wait to watch her represent the USA in South Korea! 


To read more about Kendall and the upcoming games, click HERE!