06 January 2011

Dole Plantation Maze- FUN! Tree through the truck window - not so much...

Jan 3rd was the last day of Winter Break for the kids.  (I go back to school on the 10th).  Dar took the day off and we drove five miles to the Dole Pineapple Plantation to try out the largest outdoor maze in the world.  This is the description provided by their website:

In 2008, Dole Plantation’s giant Pineapple Garden Maze was declared the world’s largest maze. The maze stretches over three acres and includes nearly two and one-half miles of paths crafted from 14,000 colorful Hawaiian plants. Walk through the flora of the islands as you seek out eight secret stations that each lead you closer to the mystery at the heart of this larger-than-life labyrinth, one of only a handful of permanent botanical mazes in America. The fastest finishers win a prize and enter into the history of Dole Plantation, with their names recorded on a sign at the maze’s entrance.

We paid for our entry and took off in different directions, each with our own strategy on how to find all eight stations the fastest.  I ran the maze with Isaiah...and a map of the maze.  Darwin stuck with Caleb and London, and Brooklin went out on her own.  None of the others used a map.

I had to run a lot to keep up with Isaiah.  He kept going through small holes in the foliage and I had to keep calling him back; there was no way I was going to fit through those tiny holes!  At some point, Darwin's group met up with Brooklin (who hadn't found any yet) and she decided she wanted someone to go with her.  (It wasn't very fun by herself, and she kept texting me asking me where everyone was...haha!)  London decided to go with her.

It took Darwin and Caleb 56 minutes to get through the maze.  Isaiah and I took 59 minutes.  Brooklin and London came out around 75 minutes!  We walked through the gift shop and bought chocolate made from cocoa beans grown on the North Shore and had lunch...including pineapple delight ice cream!  It is so good!!

We left the gift shop full and happy...

As we were walking to where we parked our truck, the happy turned to concern.  When we got closer, our concerns were confirmed.  The entire back of our truck had been smashed in by a tree branch that fell from a tree in the parking lot.  The parking security kid came over and told us it had happened an hour before...and that it happened often... =/  Darwin got an iPhone for Christmas and had downloaded the USAA app just a few days earlier.  It was the coolest thing ever!!  We touched "File A Claim" and it walked us through the entire process.  It even had a place that we could take pictures with the phone and submit them with the claim!  That took all of maybe 10 minutes...and we didn't know what else to do, so we called USAA to see if the claim really worked and what to do next.  The guy who answered was able to pull up the claim and view the pictures as soon as I gave him our customer number!  He was even surprised at how well the app worked!  He set us up with a repair shop and a rental car right there in the parking lot!  I would seriously do a commercial for them!  It was so easy and convenient!  Anyway, we drove to the repair place and then Enterprise came and "picked us up" in the rental car.

Overall we had a pretty good day,considering.  Thank you USAA and iPhone!!

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