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Friday, January 27, 2017

SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY: FROM ALMOST HEAVEN...BACK TO PURGATORY

I've had many memorable experiences at the Four Seasons Hualalai.  During my ash dropping ceremony period eight years ago, I compared this hotel with the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and the Park Hyatt Tokyo.  Four Seasons came in #3. But then, I later had extraordinary moments here with Chaine des Rotisseurs, golfing and just doing nothing, that, over time, have elevated this hotel to surpass even the Ritz Carlton Tokyo.  Here could well be the closest thing to Heaven.

So on my final morning of this heavenly tour, I noticed that the hotel thought there were two people in the room, as the indication on my check-in document showed that I could order up to $86 for two breakfasts.  I thought, heck, I'm paying a lot just to stay here, so I'd get a Japanese breakfast, plus a salmon, bagel, cream cheese, arugula, onion, capers and tomato special, with the second combo to be saved in the refrigerator for lunch.  I had brought with me two beers, so ordered a Prosecco to bring the price closer to $86.  Turns out they add tax and tip, so the following breakfast cost just about $100, with $14 charged to my account.


The fruits were rambutan, star fruit, grapes and longan.  There were birds everywhere:


Above, two yellow-billed cardinals, similar to the Red Crested version found on Oahu, but without the crest.

Then, for lunch:


One night at the Four Seasons Hualalai is double the cost of two nights at the Sheraton Kona Resort.  However, kamaainas (locals) pay around $300/night less.   Also interesting that half the distance from the airport relative to the Sheraton Kona Resort.  SpeedieShuttle to the later was half the cost of the taxi from the former to the airport.

The flight back to Honolulu, although perhaps a tad hazy, could well have been the most memorable of my inter island trips.  First, take-off, with the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority to my right:


That's snow on top of Mauna Kea.   I've served as Secretary of the lab board, initiated a couple of companies here and look forward to further advancing the Blue Revolution at this site, so how much more sentimental can these photos be as just the beginning of a return to Purgatory.

Next, Haleakala, where, if you look closely, you can see a bank of wind energy conversion devices.  Then, Kahoolawe, with Haleakala in the background:


On landing, Waikiki and Diamond Head:


Perhaps the highlight of the entire trip was a beautiful rainbow over Honolulu:


Appropriately enough, a rainbow over Hawaiian Airlines:


This largely unplanned and surprising sentimental journey reminded me of two favorite songs in my top 100:
  • Sentimental Journey:  released at my age of 5, coincident with the end of World War II in Europe, was co-written by Les Brown, who also conducted, with Doris Day singing her very first hit. 
  • I'm Getting Sentimental Over You:  something about this song, released in 1935 by Tommy Dorsey, with he playing the trombone, makes me very sentimental, but I don't know why.

So I'm now back in Purgatory, also known as 15 Craigside.  I did some quick research, and could not find one person who ever went from Heaven to Purgatory.  So I guess the Four Seasons Hualalai is not quite Heaven.  While at that hotel,  I thought, what a wonderful collection of workers, but of course that was because only the best ended up up there.  But then, that would not be quite fair to them.  So who does the serving in Heaven, if there is such a place?  Maybe there will be robots.

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