Potential iPhone Problem Leads to Best Christmas Eve Ever!

It’s amazing how sometimes we can turn lemons into lemonade, almost unwittingly. What happened today is a case in point. A potential iPhone malfunction led to my best Christmas Eve ever. The climax was a long way up and down Makena Beach on southwest Maui shore, topped off by some bodysurfing on small – 3 to 5 ft – waves.

Potential iPhone Failure Spurs Me On Into Action

The day started with dark clouds and intermittent rain. Typical for the north shore of Maui where my home is.  So I decided to deal with some techie issues on my new Mac. After about an hour of talking to three Apple advisors, I was happy to have had all issues resolved. But when I looked at my iPhone, I was stunned. After just an hour of talking, the battery had dropped down 44% from 100% at the start of my phone call.

Well, I have been around the computer industry for more decades than I like to recall. So I knew this this was an omen of some hardware failure to come. Soon.  Because this phone (4S) is at least 4-5 years ago. Which makes it a dinosaur in this internet era. 🙂

And since this is now my only phone line and a long holiday weekend is coming up, I decided to do something about it rather than wait for the phone to fail. So I jumped in my car and drove all the way to the other side of the island – Kihei on the west shore of Maui. That’s where a Verizon dealer is located whose staff are much more customer oriented than the regular Verizon store staff. And indeed, they earned their striped again.


Within half an hour, I made a deal for a new iPhone SE. The new iPhone SE is almost the same (small) size as my old phone (I hate big phones!), but it’s the latest Apple technology.

You won’t believe the price I paid: One (1) cent! I kid you not. One cent! They had some kind of a free phone promotion going. But the computer needed to record an actual payment. Thus the one-cent price.

Alas, I did not have one cent on me. 🙂 So one of the Verizon advisors, a young man called Taylor, pitched in with his own penny. 🙂

All the while the two Verizon advisors and I were cracking jokes and teasing each other. Other customers who were waiting to be served also had a good time. Everybody was smiling and laughing.


When Taylor was done with processing the order, I offered to buy him and his pal Keilani some Starbucks treats. Both delighted to accept. So I walked over to the Starbucks store in the same plaza and brought them their drinks back.

“This is not a freebie,” I teased Taylor. “You paid one cent for these drinks.” 🙂

Then Taylor started transferring the data from my old phone to the new one. “That will take about an hour,” he told me.

“In that case, I know exactly what I will do for that hour,” I replied.


On a spur-of-the-moment, I jumped back into my car and drove on to Makena Beach. That’s about 12 miles south of Kihei. It’s a magnificent beach which, unfortunately, is on the opposite side of the island from my home. So it’s quite a trek to get there. So I don’t get to do it more than maybe once or twice a year, if that.

Once on the beach, I lost my shoes and walked barefoot through the waves the full length of the – twice. I am guessing that would be probably about a mile and a half. At the north end of the beach, I also jumped into the ocean and did some body surfing on the 3-5 ft waves.


The whole experience reminded me of the years I spent at my Western Australian home – the Bolt Hole. Right now, this is the height of the summer vacations Down Under. So being on a beach at Christmas seemed perfectly natural for me. And a bit wistful and nostalgic. I could practically see my Aussie friends barbecuing their Christmas meal on the beach. But not on Makena Beach.


Since I did not plan any of this, I did not have my swim suit on. So I just stripped down to my underwear. As you can see from the pictures, even though this is the height of the high season for tourism in Hawaii, there were very few people on the beach. Which speaks both about its relative remoteness and attractiveness for people like me who do not like crowds.

As I took off my shorts and dove into the ocean, I was chuckling under my breath about how fickle we humans can be.

Less than 20 yards away – there was this wall of lava which separates Makena Beach from the nude “Little” Makena Beach (see the photo).

Lava Wall Makena Beacg 12-24-16.jpg

little-beach-makena-1024-cq8On the other side of the wall, beachgoers would frown if they saw me donning a swim suit. But on this side, the north end of the “regular” Makena Beach, I a little felt self-conscious jumping into the ocean in my underwear.

“Silly!” I reproached myself. “Dual morality. Double standards.”

A few years ago, Elizabeth and I actually climbed that wall and walked from stigma into freedom. We also undressed and went swimming naked. Like everyone else on the Little Makena Beach. I was quite proud of Elizabeth, a prim and proper lady on any other day [as befits a former Queen Victoria 🙂 ].

Makena Beach from north 12-24-16.jpg

Here’s also a 1-minute aerial video shot of the two Makena beaches, accompanied by Hawaiian music:


After about an hour, I drove back to the store. Everything worked like clockwork. My new phone was ready.

So on my drive back home, I decided to try out its camera. I had heard that the new iPhone camera is fabulous. And my goodness, is it ever. Take a look at these pictures of a rainbow over the Rainbow Shower (my home lies just behind those two humps). And of the sunset at Ho’okipa Point, a famous surfing spot. Crystal clear!


Bottom line?

You should embrace problems and face them head on when they crop up. Because you never know what kind of magical experiences may lurk on the other side.

Like this fabulous Christmas Eve of 2016.  Merry Christmas everybody!

 * * *


Merry Christmas! Ours was wet and rainy most of the day until the sun finally broke through the clouds in mid-afternoon.

A 20 sec video clip at the Rainbow Shower – Dec 25, 2016

Direct link to Youtube video:


* * *



When the sun finally broke through the clouds in mid-afternoon, I jumped in the car and drove to Ho’okipa Point to see a big surf that was expected today and tomorrow. Was it ever!

In most of the world, on a Sunday, and especially Christmas Day Sunday, many Christians go to church.

Over here on Maui, on this Christmas Day we had an all-day “church service” at Ho’okipa Point, a world-famous surfing spot near my home. For, watching big surf crash against the shore is a spiritual experience. That’s why I made a short video so you can see and feel it for yourself.

Take a look… You may be able to spot in the distance something that in the video looks like an insect. Actually it is a windsurfer braving these big waves. It was the first time that I have seen one in these weather conditions. He/she must be either very good or very crazy. 🙂

A 35-second video clip of big surf – 25 to 30 ft waves – at Ho’okipa Point, one of the world’s foremost surfing spots

Direct link to Youtube video:

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