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Before | After

She wants to lead the Glamorous Life

Yesterday I flew back to Oahu to catch the island hopper over to Lanai. Man, was that a trip -- prop plane, teeny seats with your knees up to your chest, walk out onto the tarmac from a place that's off to the side of the airport out of the way of everything else, and there isn't even anyone to tell you what to do if you're unfamiliar with it, everyone sort of stumbles around till we can latch onto someone who knows the drill. There are really only three places to stay on the island, and two of them are Four Seasons hotel resorts. So they pick you up in a shuttle van that's segregated by hotel (Manele Bay or Koele Lodge), and they take you on this amazing, loooong, twisty drive through this completely unique landscape till you get to the hotel complex at the bottom of the hill.

Then they bring everyone cool, wet towels (much needed after the boiling hot plane), give you a kukui nut lei, and usher you into a room that becomes a lounge/eatery later in the evening, where you can sit on the verandah above the pool area, looking at the ocean, while they bring you your guest info, check in with you step by step, and your own personal ... person takes you to your room. Your baggage follows later by the bell service folks, who also bring you a full ice bucket. In your bar fridge (it's not a mini bar), there are two bottles of water chillin' and some cream containers for hot beverages which you can make in your coffee maker on the top of the little bar area.

They ask you what schedule you might like to set for your housekeeper -- you can choose any time that works for you. They come twice a day, the evening one does the whole turndown service thing and brings you a bottle of water, tidies up, and gives you more ice. You can call room service for anything, including bringing you complete supplies to stock your bar with, and they even carry both Coke AND Pepsi, which does my Pepsi-lovin' heart good because I am always stuck not being able to have that when I travel.

When you go to the pool, there's a guy who will pull up or down the umbrella, bring your towels, adjust anything you need, get you ice water and arrange anything you want with whomever -- the waiter for the poolside bar, the concierge for dinner resies, what have you. If you wind your way down to the beach where there's a bay with a marine preserve, they will grab umbrellas for you, the chairs, etc., and you can get your snorkel great from them. They also serve snacks and drinks.

Farther along the property, there are "cottages," which are more like houses, where I guess the truly rich stay, not that any of this life is cheap. The bills you sign to your room are rather staggering. But I was prepared for this, and I know I might regret it when I get my Visa bill, but in the meantime I don't, I think it was a good decision to come here. Though I felt really weird about it, especially yesterday, like I don't belong -- well, I mean, I know I don't belong. I grew up lower middle class, we never had money and my parents were dead set against spending anything we did have because they grew up in the Depression. I don't know what they'd make of me here! THis is a place where celebs and rich people stay; and in fact, I've heard that there's a celeb here right now. There isn't much else to do but lounge and relax. I never used to understand that whole fashion designer resort thing, but I guess now I see what it means. You wear your fancy clothes for the restaurants, your bikini and thousand dollar coverup at the poolside, etc.

Which is partly why I feel so frumpy and misplaced. Everywhere I look it's couples, couples, and more couples, and they're all heterosexual couples too, who seem very intent on appearing as coupley as possible. Today I saw one pair who were swimming in the pool in a hug, and it didn't look sweet or adorable, it looked like one of those "look, I have a man" things. There are only a few people here without a better half, and they seem to be here for business (I can't imagine working at a place that would pay for a place like this). Yesterday, in fact, when we checked in, the reception woman assumed that since there was a single man near me, we were together, and I had to do the embarrassing thing of loudly trying to get her attention to explain I wasn't with him. So after eating alone in the lounge, I ended up feeling really down, despite all this. And yes, I know how pathetic that sounds, to feel sorry for yourself doing something most people can never dream of. But I just felt so acutely alone, to be here where my sister would have LOVED to go and we could have had a great girl's week together, that I couldn't call my dad, that I could send postcards to my mom, who loved to get postcards wherever her girls traveled.

Anyways, I was trying to shake myself out of it when I got back to the room (there's a motherfuckin' WATERFALL right outside my door), and on top of the bar was a tray of chocolate covered strawberries with these little dragees that tasted like they were made from rice, and note from the owner of the travel agency hoping I had a good time. So that quickly knocked me off my pity-potty, and I just spent the evening having a soaking bath, reading, and watching TV, and just relaxing. I got up late, and had quite possibly the most amazing massage ever from a guy who instructs in lomilomi massage technique, and he was so careful of my sunburn and just fucking amazing. I'm going back to him tomorrow for a ti-leaf wrap and skin treatment to help with my sunburns. I think I'll wait till Tuesday to snorkel, because hopefully the burns will be better by then so being in the sun in the water won't be quite so bad. The beach guy told me that 8:30 was the best time for snorkeling so, woe, I must get up early.

That's hard to do here -- even though there's no nightlife and things shut down early, I have never seen a sky like this, ever. I'm right on the ocean, so I stood here most of the night staring out at the stars, thousands of them that looked like I could reach out and grab them, they are so bright and close. With the ocean crashing into the rocks below, it's spectacular. I haven't seen stars like this even on hiking trips in the mountains, because here you've got the ocean horizon in front of you, so it's as if the stars are at your feet as well.

I could have lived without the asshole smoking a fucking cigar beneath my window when I started this post, but at least he's gone now. So far that's the only real negative. They have all these different gardens through the property, and I still haven't gone to see the Japanese garden or the Hawaiian one. For nothing to do, there's lots to do! I might or might not try to set up a tour of the island tomorrow. It's not cheap, but I would love to see more of it, and see the Garden of the Gods, which has petroglyphs and some prehistoric stone formations. There's also afternoon tea up at the lodge, and you can hop a shuttle there for that... so I'll have to see. And then there's the cliff walk and hike... so much to try to cram in! Plus, um, more pool time.

Comments

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darthhellokitty
May. 14th, 2012 06:24 am (UTC)
I'm dead jealous.

And even though I'm married, I feel like that sometimes...
destina
May. 14th, 2012 06:29 am (UTC)
Still sounds like heaven! You are making me determined to go there next year when I'm adjusted to my new position and when grad school is over.

Also, whenever I see couples, I take a moment to thank all the powers that be everywhere that I'm not in one. So my reaction is always, YAY NOT ME, my life is awesome. I suspect I am a huge anomaly. *g*
amnisias
May. 14th, 2012 09:51 am (UTC)
Man, you had me worried for a moment there, that you'd died and gone to heaven. Therefore I'm glad it's not totally perfect, cigars and annoying couples mean you're still alive....;)
kassto
May. 15th, 2012 03:07 am (UTC)
Sometimes I find couples all around very depressing too, but I also think that a lot of people in relationships aren't particularly happy. And I look at the men I know around me and think: yick, wouldn't want one of them cluttering up my house. :-)
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