Magical Maui. Ocean..Beaches. Azure Sky. Sunsets. Activities. Yet Maui is more. My book which you can purchase here, Voices of Aloha on Magical Maui from an award-winning writer Norm Bezane tells the life stories of remarkable people of aloha past and present. Here you will read of the passion, the true meaning of aloha and the lives of some 60 truly fascinating people from the best of 200 of my columns in Lahaina News.
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LOOKING AT THE STRIKINGLY beautiful woman and her handsome husband and seeing them frequently holding hands at a music venue or even during an interview, you would think they were on their honeymoon. Yet they have been married 20 years. Clearly, they are in love with each other and with Ka‘anapali.
Most couples pick a honeymoon location without much thought. Doreen and Damon Stoner, now of Nash- ville, Tennessee, researched it, talking with travelers on airplanes and consulting guidebooks and magazines (no Inter- net at the time).
Doreen: “Hawaii seemed like a tropical paradise. It looked like a beautiful place.”
Damon: “We wanted someplace special, a peaceful place we were going to remember the rest of our lives.”
Today you can run into the Stoners to strike up a conversation most every Fourth of July though they have decided recently to come back during whale season too.
It turns out the Stoners have come to the Hyatt 15 straight years after a rst honeymoon trip in 1996. eir Ka‘anapali experiences say a lot about what Ka‘anapali Beach Resort is all about.
“We like the fact everything is nearby. We have made friends—people who appreciate and know us and welcome us back—the staand even Californians who hop over from LA. When you see so many friends here it just feels like home,” Doreen observed.
Damon admits during the year he works constantly. “But I always picture in my mind the waves coming in (on Ka‘anapali Beach). When I am here, I can just relax and decide on my own what we are going to do each day.
“I like to be able to walk up to places, to good restau- rants. e Ka‘anapali Beach walk is addictive, and we do it a couple times a day.
“We will eat breakfast, walk down to Black Rock, watch the surf, and people watch.” Adds Doreen: “And it is exercise.”
The routine, though, is pretty much the same every year. “We have done the touristy things so we mostly relax near the pool. At night, it’s Pacific’O, Lahaina Grill,Cheeseburger in Paradise. Cool Cat Café, and, three to four times a trip, Hula Grill down the beach path.”
Chicago-reared Damon joined a major pharmaceu- tical company as a sales rep 23 years ago after securing de grees in chemistry and biology from Indiana University and the University of Illinois. Assignments followed in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Champaign, Illinois.
In Memphis, he met Doreen one night and he found her at another place the next night, promptly inviting her to a James Taylor concert. The romance has been going ever since. It was love at rst sight, the two agree.
Doreen worked in sales, recognizing with her husband being transferred so much it would be easy for her to get a job anywhere because salespeople are always in demand. Lat- er she got a master’s degree in counseling.
The Stoners are always touting Maui. They tell friends you can spend 10 hours on an airplane to get to a beach or 10 hours in a car to get to someplace not as nice.
Both are clearly good at what they do. Damon volunteers that he has had diabetes for years and heads a support orga- nization when he doesn’t have a hectic schedule.
Like many people who love Ka‘anapali, they think about living here permanently someday. For now, it is just going to be 10 days around the Fourth of July
Guess the Stoners will just have to content themselves to going to the pool, strolling the beach path, dining at Hula Grill, and listening to music at Leilani’s on the Beach.
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