Reminiscences of June, a Traveling Grandmother
2000 - June at Maui - Hawaii - 4th year Alzheimer's
- Published on Friday, 31 July 2009 01:01
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
With June's extensive travels, there was one destination that somehow seemed to elude her. Most of June's travels were in connection with forensic science conferences. Hawaii was one of the few desirable points of interest where for one reason or another, no forensic conferences were ever scheduled. So in spite of the popular TV series of Hawaii Five O, the forensic sciences have not yet found Hawaii.
Many of June's friends and relatives had visited Hawaii and loved it. June was anxious to find an opportunity to also visit this exotic tropical paradise location.
It was decided after June's diagnosis of Alzheimer's in early 1998, that if June was ever to see Hawaii, we needed to schedule the trip without further delay. The planning started in 1999 and culminated in a week long trip to Maui, Hawaii in January of 2000. This was the beginning of the 4th year after June's initial short term memory problems of 1997 that were later diagnosed as Alzhimer's in January of 1998. June was however, still very functional and only handicapped to the extent of her short term memory difficulties. It would be approximately four more years before Alzheimer's would start to take over June's life. June was able to thoroughly enjoy her visit to Hawaii.
It was also decided that June should enjoy the luxury of first class flight arrangements. Northwest Airlines was the selected airlines carrier. The departure was on a Monday morning January 17th, with a scheduled return on the following Tuesday January 25th..The entire trip was arranged though Northwest Airlines as an "Aloha V.I.P. Tours and described humorously as the "Big Kahuna Promotion."
June's first class seating was in the 747's humplike upper deck (2nd story). Climbing the narrow spiral staircase to the upper deck with carry on luggage required more than a little dexterity. June was soon seated and comfortable. The upper deck seating was such that the seats could be reclined to an almost prone position for sleeping when required or desired.
In order to put everyone in a festive Hawaiian mood, Northwest flight attendants served attractively decorated Hawaiian Mai Tai tropical drinks on departure and en-route during the flight. June's flight to Hawaii was comfortable, relaxing and pleasant.
June's arrival in Hawaii was the Honolulu airport. From Honolulu to Maui, the local air carrier Hawaiian Airlines provided the final flight link to the Kahului, Maui Airport.
June's transportation from the airport to the hotel was by way of "May's Taxi." May was a pleasant, talkative and a beautiful young trilingual (English, Korean, Japanese) Asian lady.
(Photo - on right - this is June standing in front of the "Outrigger Wailea" Resort Hotel. June's room is just over her left shoulder on ocean side ground floor. The Pacific ocean is directly in front of June.)
June's accommodations at Maui were provided by the "Outrigger Wailea Resort Hotel. (The name Wailea is said to mean "water belonging to Lea", a goddess of canoe-making.)
This Hotel was described as a "First class hotel located on the beach in Wailea. All rooms featured private Lanais. (Porches.)" "Unique location on the sunny south shore of Maui with the commanding views of our neighbor islands." Morning brunches were included with the rooms. June's room was described as "Hula Moon 7114".
June found the morning breakfast/brunches were elaborate and delightful. The serving was from 6:00 AM until 11 AM at Lea's Ocean Cuisine. The resort describes the breakfast location as "Enjoy breathtaking views of the beautiful Pacific Ocean, neighboring islands and whale watching from this popular ocean view restaurant. ..your morning favorites, including tropical fruits, crepes, blintzes, pastry assortments and more." The serving rooms for the breakfast/brunches were open air and June was amused by the little birds that would appear around the tables to pick up any food droppings. June enjoyed dining outside and all other meals were taken at the outside hotel restaurant tables or poolside.
It seemed like beautiful Hawaiian music was always to be heard in the background no matter where June would be at on the hotel premises. The music tended to put one in a peaceful and tranquil mood.
(Photo on right is June having dinner at an outside table at the "Outrigger Wailea" Resort Hotel. June is exhibiting her usual "Million Dollar" smile.)
June's day's were spent relaxing on beaches, walking the beaches or leisurely and interesting explorations of the Island of Maui.
Activities included a visit to Maui's Ocean Center, the Hawaiian Aquarium. This visit included walking an acrylic tunnel under the ocean. This tunnel permitted a 240 degree clear view. Sharks, eagle rays and schooling fished would surround one as you walked the tunnel. Also included was a "Whale Discovery Center", "Sting Ray Cove", "Turtle Lagoon" and other interesting exhibits relating to the oceans around Hawaii. There was also an exhibit that pertained to "Myth and Wisdom" and historical lore surrounding the relationships between Hawaiians and the sea. June seemed to find this all very interesting. Frankly I do not recall anything that June did not find interesting about her visit.
June found the "Chocolate Banana Smoothie" to be a refreshing afternoon drink as recommended by our son Dan and his wife Diane. It became one of our daily standard treats during out stay a Maui.
June of course looked forward to participation in a Luau. The Outrigger was said to have the finest Luau on the island. They were billed as "Wailea's Finest Luau." They had in fact been awarded the "Kahili Award" by the Hawaii Visitors Bureau for "perpetuating the essence of Hawaii". June found her Luau experience to be a delightful, relaxing and a fun time.
The Luau is described by the Outrigger as: "Imu and Torch lighting Ceremonies, authentic Hula Show, the Paradyse Trio and a colorful Polynesian Review. Magnificent Ocean front seating." The entertainment finale is by a three time world champion "Fire Knife Dancer", Ifi So'o. There is a complimentary "Shell Lei" greeting gift along with a complimentary personal photo of the event.
(Photo on the right is June with Stan at the "Outrigger Wailea Resort's" evening Luau.)
The lavish Luau buffet included a variety of Island Salads, Imu Baked Kalua Pig, sautéed Mahi Mahi, grilled Teriyaki Steak, Lau Lau, Chicken Long Rice, Hawaiian Sweet Potatoes, freshly baked Taro Rolls, Hawaiian fried rice, and stir-fry vegetables. The deserts included Macadamia Nut cake, banana cream pie, Haupia, tropical fruit cobbler, fresh Maui pineapple, Papaya slices and of course tropical cocktails.
The Luau started at 5 PM and ran until approx. 8:00 PM. By the end of the Lauu it was getting dark and the evening was cool. June needed a jacket for comfort before the evening ended. June had a very fun time during this event and talked and visited with several of the other participants and some of the entertainers.
One of the highlights of June's visit to Maui was a helicopter ride around the island. June later said it was the most fun and the highlight of her trip. The helicopter trip took June over mountains, remote valleys, tropical forests, close up waterfall views and an old dormant volcano.
Part of the volcanic area was said to have surfaces that were similar to the moon and had been used to train astronauts. This flight truly revealed the beauty of Maui. The flight was video taped and June was presented with a souvenir video of the flight.
This particular week of June's visit to Maui was also the week of the annual Hawaiian 'Hula Bowl". The Hula Bowl was/is an annual college football "All Star" game. The game was played at the Memorial Football Stadium in Kahului. It is described as: "The longest-running sporting event in Hawaii, it has been considered a premier venue to launch professional careers in the National Football League.
Today the Hula Bowl is a trademarked institution of the Downtown Athletic Club, of Heisman Trophy fame." The game was played on Saturday January 22nd. It turned out to be a tie game with 28 points for the North team and 28 points for the South team. The MVP designations went to Bashir Yamini of Iowa, Todd Husak of Stanford and Brian Young of UTEP.
The Outrigger Hotel was a host hotel for the Hula Bowl and as a result, June observed many U.S. Coaches and players around and about the hotel premises. June found all of the players and coaches to be friendly, courteous, pleasant and polite.
Maui Notes: In 1778, the explorer Captain James Cook was the first European to sight the island of Maui. Because he could not find a suitable place to land he did not touch foot on the Island . It was not until 1788 that French Admiral Jean-Francois de la Perouse actually landed on and visited the island.
(Photo on right is June returning from a helicopter ride around the island of Maui.)
Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, with 727.2 square miles. In 2000 Maui had a population of 117,644. Kahului is the largest town on the Island. Wailuku is the county seat of Maui county.
Native Hawaiian tradition gives the origin of the islands name to a legend concerning the Polynesian navigator who was credited with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. The legend indicates that he named the island after his son who in turn was named after the demigod Maui. The island of Mau is also called the "Valley Isle" for the large isthmus between it's Northwestern and Southeastern Volcanoes.
Maui is a volcanic doublet formed from two shield volcanoes that overlapped one another. The older western volcano has been eroded considerably forming the peaks of the West Mau mountain with the highest peak at 5,788 feet. The larger young volcano it the east and rises to more than 10,000 feet above sea lever but actually measures 5 miles from sea floor to the summit to make it one of the world's highest mountains. Maui's volcanoes last erupted around 1790.
Maui and WWII: Maui was centrally involved in the Pacific Theater of World War II as a staging center, training base, and for troop rest and relaxation. At the peak in 1943-44, more than 100,000 soldiers were located on Maui. The main base of the 4th Marine Division was in Haiku. The beaches were used to practice landings and train in marine demolition and sabotage. June was also shown the remains of some WWII fortifications that were built early in the war (shortly after Pearl Harbor bombings in 1941) because of the fear of possible Japanese invasion and landings.
June returned home relaxed and refreshed from her Hawaiian adventure.
(Photo on right is June getting some sun on the front lawn of the "Outrigger Wailea Resort" Hotel. The Pacific ocean is just to the front of June.)
Rohit Barman - Washington D.C. - (5 December 2012): "My heart melts reading your journals, I hope I find love like your's some day."
Lin Schmidt - Anoka, Minnesota - (5 December 2012): "What terrific pictures, Stan. The jacket that June had on at the Luau is exactly the same as one my own mother wore. We took my parents (and my husband's mom) to Maui several times, and they loved every minute of it. So did Steve and I!"
Dianne Cogar - Springfield, Ohio - (5 December 2012): "What a lovely, and loving, and happy looking couple I see in these beautiful photos! I'm certain all the warm and tender memories from this trip will ever be etched in your heart Stan. Thanks for sharing!"
Catherine Jones-Hatcher - Richmond, Virginia - (5 December 2012): "Went to Maui just this past Feb. with my brother. Had a wonderful time, and loved the surroundings"
Legacy Jones - (5 December 2012): "Stanton what wonderful pictures of you and your wonderful bride. Lived on Maui for 10 years, it was always a very calming place for me and my wonderful husband."
Vicki Cadogan - Limerick, Ireland - (5 December 2012): "Great to see ye made the most of every moment Stan."
Merideth Sindel - Sydney, Australia - (5 December 2012): "That's lovely, Stan."
Stan's Notes: Readers are encouraged to read/review the other chapter's (31 chapters) in this story of June K. Berg's life. (Reminiscences of a Traveling Grandmother) Each chapter is intended to be a capsule view of a small segment of June's life and travels'. It is also intended to be a small segment of history from a time period of World War II and the periods both pre and post World War II.
You will find the history is accurate and continues to be updated as new records and photographs become available. June, a very humble person would never consider her life worthy of a story. To me June has been a lady for "All Seasons". A very unique, bright and highly principled Christian lady. While June like everyone, has likes and dislikes, I have never found her to be uninterested or bored with any thing that life has presented her.
June was well traveled. She traveled to Europe eleven (11) times and made at least 100 trips in and around the United States. June would be included in Tom Brokaw's "The Greatest Generation."
It has taken the horror of Alzheimer's to awaken me to fully plumb the depths, and examine the scope of this remarkable lady. After battling Alzheimer's for almost 12 years, an exhausted June was finally called home by God on October 23rd, 2008...I will always love and miss June...
June's funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website under the "In Memoriam" label - Click on: