Travel Tales

Young Chang

He had a crush on her.

She hung out with him to play spy because her best friend had a crush

on him.

The stint lasted a couple weeks during their junior year at Corona del

Mar High School. Howard Trevor and Marete Kunze then graduated in 1974.

They didn't talk for the next 28 years -- both got married, moved away,

she moved back, he didn't, he had kids, she didn't.

Through the decades, each also got divorced.

More than a year ago, an announcement about a high school reunion led

Trevor to a Web site with Kunze's e-mail address. They started to send

e-mail to one another , eventually talked on the phone (it was one of

those two hour marathons where two people talk as if they'd talked for 28

years) and even took a trip to the Bahamas last month.

Today, they're a couple. Kunze, 45, calls the romance a gift --

something she never expected to happen and a relationship completely

ideal, save for the fact that he's in New Hampshire and she's in Costa

Mesa.

But for two weeks this past holiday season, the two shared time on the

same stretch of sand.

"It was like a paradise vacation," Trevor said. "It was warm and

sunny, it was windy some days, it was beautiful."

When asked what they did, Kunze listed that they sailed, went flying

and visited a friend of Trevor's.

"And we laughed," said Kunze, a doctor of Oriental medicine.

A hurricane had hit the tropical island just days before the couple

arrived on Dec. 17, so part of the vacation was spent in without

electricity or even running water.

Trevor's friend, who lives in the Bahamas, needed help building a

generator one day. So the couple hung out and helped out.

To conclude their vacation, Kunze returned to New Hampshire with

Trevor and got to know his East Coast world. Whether with Trevor's family

or friends or simply alone, Trevor and Kunze hung out with an ease that

would've fooled anyone into thinking they'd been hanging out forever.

"I guess that's called having history together," Kunze said. "I like

that I can be silly with him and laugh. I like that he's really smart and

knows how to do everything, and I like that he's really ethical."

Trevor, a ski instructor and also a trained engineer, said he's

grateful he got to renew his favorite friendship.

Kunze also added that being able to spend 15 days with someone and not

tire of them is something special.

"I can't tell you how fun it is to be with someone you really like,"

Kunze said.

* Have you, or someone you know, gone on an interesting vacation

recently? Tell us your adventures. Drop us a line to Travel Tales, 330 W.

Bay St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627; e-mail young.chang@latimes.com; or fax to

(949) 646-4170.

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