Surrounded by the beauty of the islands we call Hawai’i, one would think that it would be – well – paradise. Which in fact it is when you are a visitor. But apparently when you live there, there are things that happen to you all the time that you learn to “just deal with” and go on. However, if you are a midwesterner longing for this paradise and one of these blips along the way come to pass, you wonder how in the world they survive this on a regular basis. A very regular basis we were told.
Let me set the tone so you can get a little feel for where we were physically before I go any further. This part, in and of itself may lead to another post for another day. For this post, I’ll just bring you to the mood du jour! We were staying on the Big Island at a very large resort. We had earned enough points to go again and were set to have a ball! On this resort there are three large towers with a total of 1,240 rooms and this is spread over 62 acres, really. This is one big mama jama! To get back to the lobby from any of the towers or to go to any of the many amenities (pools, lagoons, dolphin encounter, restaurants, etc.) you either ride the tram, ride the boat or walk 20+ minutes (without bags, pool toys – just plain ol’ huffin’ it). The room we were in had a beautiful view of the ocean off our lanai as well as the dolphin encounter and part of the lagoon. Our entrance door was above the waterway the boat traveled. In the center of this waterway were a bunch of trees and flowers that were really pretty. We weren’t the only ones who thought so. Argh. So did 5 million birds! Ok, maybe a little exaggeration – just 4 million AND A HALF! Good gracious these birds LOVED to talk. They tweeted and chirped until 1 am every stinking night. Then whatever kind of breeding they had the little buggers only needed 4 hours of sleep because they were up again at 5 every stinking morning. Ahhhhhhhhhh – enough to make you pull your hair out. Aloha and Mahalo you little …well I can’t say that here.
So – now you get the mood we already were in. Exhausted AND aggravated, but the best is yet to come on this beautiful, wonderful day in Frickin’ paradise! I venture off to the shower as we are going into Kailua Kona for some shopping and looking at real estate. Hmmm, the light for the bathroom won’t come on. Further investigation – nothing in the room is on or will come on. Thankfully, the phone is working and we call the front desk. “Oh yes, the power is off Ma’am and will probably be off most of the morning.” “Really,” I ask? ” Oh yes, this is normal. If you leave your room, there will be guides around the resort to help you find your way.” Great! No shower – no way I’m going shopping. So, we decide with no shower let’s just go to one of the beaches down the coast and boogie board and have some beach time. No problem. (Insert coughing here.)
So, lathered up with sunscreen, suits on, towels packed, boogie boards ready (yes, we lugged them from Ohio-don’t get me started) – out the door we go. Hey – the sun comes up early here so this isn’t too bad out here. Nobody knows us here, so they won’t notice our lovely hairdos, we’ll just say – “Going BACK to the ocean!” Down the long hall, round the corner and to the elevator. Uh oh – no power. Um yeah, forgot about that when we loaded up all three of our bodies with “stuff” for the day. However, there was a sweet little asian lady there handing out little flashlights with dim bulbs in case we may need one to get around the resort. This is so normal for them that they pull people from the tram, boats and housekeeping to become guides. No electricity – no work. She asks us where we are trying to get to as best she can in her broken english – the lagoon she wonders? We say we are heading out to the parking lot to get in the car and head to the beach. She says, “Oh follow me I take you to parking lot short way.” Then gestures with her hand to follow her with a funny little grin. I mumble under my breath, “Oh no, she looked like she was out of a thriller movie leading us to our deaths…..follow me this way…hehehehehe.” YIKES!
So, not wanting to be rude. We follow this little Grandmotherly type lady. Grandmothers are ok, right? She takes us down the steps and if we were to go right, within 15 minutes we would be back at the lobby and then we could walk out to the large lot where our car is. We start to turn and she shakes her head, wiggles her finger and waves that hand – “this way” again and turns left. We all three look at each other and I gulped and said…”Where’s she taking us – are we gonna die?” She opens an exit door and proceeds down the steps. Did I mention there is no power? Did I mention the point of little flashlights with dim bulbs? Oh – and did I tell you that WE ARE ALL LOADED TO THE GILLS WITH STUFF?
On our last visit to the resort, we were up front on the tram and were going from one end of the resort to the other so we had a long time to talk to the driver as the tram makes lots of stops to let people on and off. He said he lived there at the resort. He said that underneath the resort is a virtual city with the laundry facilities for the entire resort, maintenance offices and equipment, furniture storages and apartments for some of the workers who choose to live there. He and his wife and young daughter lived there. He said it was as big as the resort itself.
Back to following our little guide. We keep going down the steps and end up in this huge dark maze of hallways with no lights down there and lots of noise. I whisper to my daughter that nobody could hear us if we yelled. She said, “We’re going to die down here!” Then starts laughing. Great – scare me more than I’m already scared, not to mention we are all getting a little cranky. Did I mention we are carrying a ton of crap??? We come upon a Y in the halls and she walks up to a group of asian men standing there talking with their flashlights on as well. They talk together in their own language and keep looking back at us and talk some more. My witty daughter says it again…”We’re going to die!” YEAH FROM THE ASIAN MOB DOWN HERE IN THE BOWELS OF THE RESORT! Great, nobody even knows we are here. Oh my gosh.
Finally, they seem to be done with their family reunion and she once again grins and gives us the little wave to “follow me”. We have now been traveling about 40 minutes or so and are still underground. Yes, go ahead, scroll up and see how long it would have taken us to get to the lobby which by the way, the entire hallway would have been outside if we would have turned right at the bottom of the steps. We go another couple of minutes and she takes us to an exit door. I think, “Please, God, forgive me for everything I’ve ever done. Please, please, let this be the door OUT of this dark dungeon.” Sure enough, we go up a few flights of stairs and go outside to sunlight! Whew. No. Wait. I know where we are! CRAP!!! We are on the other side of one of the pools and it ain’t near the parking lot. She points for us to go “that way” and go out the gate that says “No entrance, employees only”. For real? Now that it’s been close to an hour, we are still schlepping this beach crap, you are going to have us walk through a restricted area? Why didn’t you bring us to this gate in the first place? We could have gone through some other restricted areas at the bottom of those original steps instead of going through the bowels of the resort with no lights, come up on this side of the pool to have to still walk another 5 minutes to get out of the resort and into the parking area. Did I mention we hadn’t showered? Did I mention that it is 88 freaking degrees and I know I mentioned we had a ton of crap that we are lugging. Whose freaking idea was it to go to the ocean anyway? Who cares how beautiful the water is. We are worn out. Had we known we were going to hike almost an hour, we would have made wiser shoe choices and maybe not taken so many beach things with us. We HAD to look like the Beverly Hillbillies going to the beach. You don’t suppose that’s why she took us down to her Mafia people to show them do you? They did all keep talking and looking at us, with a few chuckles. Hmmm….
The sweet (cough, cough) little asian lady smiles and says….”Aloha”.
….and that’s all I have to say about that!