Monday, November 07, 2005

Day 1 - Sitting the Bony Keister Down (All Pictures no blather available here) After 15.5 hours in the recline position, we and our bags made it from point A to point B in tact. We hit the hay at about 10pm, and slept peacefully until Caitie's internal clock jolted her awake at 5am -- a convenient 2 hours before sunrise. Nothing opens and no one stirs around here before 7am (not that that is unreasonable...), so Caitie did her best to let me sleep. She moved as quietly as possible as she turned on all the lights, the TV, the radio, the ceiling fan, the AC, and opened our lanai door to let in the sounds of water -- falls and fowls. After she made the bed with me in it, we decided, together, that waking up at 5am each day would be "really great" and we could make coffee in our room and watch the sunrise. Nothing like a 5 hour time change to instantly make you into a morning person. Stop 1, Day 1 was the gym. Pretty nice digs: 3 lane lap pool (didn't go, won't go, avoiding swimming. See entry on Lowell Triathlon for details why), treaders, steppers, bikes, weights, and little towels soaked in ice and eucalyptus. Pretty solid, but as the sun was coming up, I took a run instead. The coastline by the hotel is covered in jungly-looking vegetation that ends abruptly in cliffs, so there isn't a very long path along the water (a mile maybe). So I ran along the road instead, which was pretty popular with other joggers (pronouned yoggers) and a few mountain bikers. The island is so lush that even the main road made for a scenic run. The hotel has the requisite buffet breakfast necessary for Fawcett travel approval and ratings. The buffet is actually located immediately under our room, further guaranteeing that we will be overserved from the very first of each day. When they blaze up the waffle irons and omlet pans, I think there is a sympathetic drop in my blood-sugar, and I lose all capacity for verbal communication. All I have to say is giant apple-turnover with coconut syrup. Following breakfast, Caitie and I conducted a thorough, almost scientfic photographic cataloging of the hotel grounds. The place is five acres, and filled with salt-water swimming "lagoons". They are the preverbial cement-ponds of Beverly Hill-Billies fame. The lagoons have faux lavarock, faux sand, and real kayaks. There is also a beautiful, albeit scary as heck, beach that features some impressive surf (local radio claims the surf is flat to a foot this week, but trust me the waves are ginormous and also fearsome). I took a dip and was only mildly concussed. (3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16) After a hearty day of lounging, Caitie and I headed off to that healthiest of communal dining experiences: the lu'au. Not only is a lu'au all you can eat, it is also all you can drink. You find yourself grateful for the steady flow of Mai Tais, because they set you up at long tables with complete strangers, and then force you to get to know each other via line/hula dancing instructions. The food was delicious and plentiful. The roasted and shredded pig was fantastic (how could you go wrong), and the desserts were outstanding too. The most familiar looking but unusual tasting award went to the "Hawaiin Jello", which is a molded gelatenous rendering of pineapple. It giggled on the plate, but was... al dente on the pallate. As if a roasted pig weren't impressive enough, the lu'au also includes a live show. There's hula dancing (cooler than expected) and fire dancing (way cooler than expected). We tried to take pictures and a few movies, but they don't really do justice. Suffice to say the primary fire dancer exposed several, mostly sensative, parts of his body to the giant torches he was dancing with. Our personal favorite was the fire kissing, in which he appeared to ignite his tongue with the torch. No wonder Kamehameha had to unite the islands by war. (17,18,19,20,m1,m2) Tomorrow, the plan is to sit by the "adult" pool and have some frozen drinks when it is 5pm at home.

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