I first caught wind of the devastating August 2023 wildfires that swept through Lahaina on the evening news. The scenes of destruction left me in shock, akin to witnessing a horror movie on repeat, with images of rubble and ruin etching themselves into my mind. Lahaina, a place that my husband and I have cherished for over three decades, was now grappling with unimaginable loss.

Our connection to the enchanting shores of Maui runs deep—for several years we have owned a timeshare villa on Kaanapali Beach, just a few miles northwest of Lahaina. The news hit close to home, not only emotionally but also practically, as our planned November vacation loomed on the calendar. We were set to bring our entire family, including our one-year-old granddaughter. Would we be able to visit? Should we visit?