Thursday, December 15, 2005

Aloha Oy

It's become a tradition -- now in its second week -- Friday travelogues...reliving the travel adventures of the Levines which up until now have been reserved for my emailing list and my delusional hope of becoming a book. Since we're heading to Hawaii today I thought I'd share a past Hawaiian vacation from a couple of years ago.

Note one: Internet access providing I will continue to post. And note two: cast of characters -- Debby (wife), Matt (early 20's), and Annie (late teens). Mahalo for reading.

Aloha and howzit?

After a year's interruption (to rid ourselves of mold and my life savings) the Levines returned again to Hawaii. This year to the Grand Wailea on Maui. Picture Heart's Castle with water slides and a grotto bar. As usual it was glorious. NFL games start at 8 in the morning over there!!!

Paris and Nicky Hilton were staying at our hotel. I guess among the many amenities the Grand Wailea offers is a meth lab. (Sure an improvement over Fiona Apple at the Kahala. We got the better anoerexics.) The Four Seasons next door usually has the big Hollywood crowd. Maybe they didn't want Paris. After all, she did make that infamous sex tape...and worse, she has a show on Fox.

Our room was 6091 which was easy to remember because every time we went down for a couple of smoothies the bill was $60.91.

Their signature restaurant is Humahumanukunukuapua's (actual name). But people call is Humahumanhukunu's for short. Lobster was $59 a pound (again, this is true). They should change the name to Hubrishubrishubrishubrischutzpah.

I forgot to ask Paris how much Maui Wowie was these days.

Cabanas were $125 a day and there was a waiting list. But for that money they brought around free fruit and water so it was a bargain. We opted for cosabellas which are lounge chairs with a hood. $40 and a half hour wait in line to sign up. There's a rumor that at the Four Seasons the lines start forming at 4:30 a.m. All the nannies and assistants have to really get up early over there.

Nothing more relaxing than turning on the TV and seeing there's a heightened Terror Alert. Yeah, like who would ever want to attack Hawaii?

One of the many great things about this paradise -- you never hear Paul McCartney's inane "Having a Wonderful Christmas" on the radio. Instead they play Paul Anka's "Christmas in Japan".

Although McCartney was represented. At the art gallery in the next door high end fashion mall a big sign boasts an exhibition of paintings from Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett...and then in much smaller letters, Picasso.

Monday morning Santa Claus arrived on a long canoe bearing candy canes for the kids. He was clad only in a traditional cap and red skirt. The children were confused. Not like any Santa they had ever seen. What I didn't realize until that day was how many tattoos Santa had. Or how scary his heavily-tattooed Samoan elf was. You shouldn't be thinking about the Terror Alert when Santa arrives on shore.

We spent a lot of time with Jeff Nelson and his family. Jeff is a pitcher for the New York Yankees and we were together in Seattle in the early 90's. He's a rarity. A multi-million dollar ballplayer who actually spends time with his family. Four young daughters and no nannies, no baby-sitters -- just him and his wife Colette.

Contrast this with Eric Chavez. The Oakland A player who was also at our digs. Supposedly, his agent, Scott Boros, who was in the middle of trying to make the big Alex Rodriguez blockbuster trade to Boston had to take time out to call the Grand Wailea and request a cabana for Eric. To the hotel's credit they said no. (To the Red Sox credit they said no, too.)

My son goes to Tufts and has become a big Red Sox fan. Proudly wearing his Red Sox cap. However, when Jeff arrived Matt was reluctant to wear it -- Jeff's pending assault charges in Boston and all. So he ran out to the Gap and got a $4 hat that said "Est. 1969". I told him if anyone should ask what "Est. 1969" meant just say that was the year "Tiny Bubbles" was adopted as the official state song of Hawaii.

Truth is, Jeff could care less. Seriously, he's the sweetest guy in the world (I'm happy to be a character witness) and by Thursday Matt was back to wearing his beloved Red Sox cap. Even took pictures with Jeff while wearing it.

I wanted a picture with me and Paris Hilton where she was wearing nothing but that hat.

Her bodyguard was spotted at the pool Wednesday getting a pedicure. Even during this high Terror Alert.

Spotted on Christmas Eve day, a woman wearing a T-shirt that read in a Hebrew font: Kiss My Tuchas. Gee, why do they hate us??

It amazes me how many women put on make up to go to the beach. And Botox is very "in" this year. But it is keeping with the Hawaiian spirit since they all look like Jack Lord.

We brought our menorah and lit Chanukah candles. I guess we weren't alone because when I went down to the bar to get matches the waitress said, "Gee, you're like the ninth person to ask for these. Is there a bonfire somewhere?" I said no, it was a fireworks convention. In Hawaii they buy that answer.

The pace on the islands remains blissfully slow. There's a little church on the grounds of the hotel and every morning its chapel bells would ring at 8:10.

Yes, I went down a water slide. Matt took a picture. You will never see it.

This being the busiest season of the year there were lines everywhere...except at the health club. Had no problem getting a treadmaster, no problem finding empty weight machines. The guy selling ice cream dots was mobbed.

Why is it the fatter the person the louder the Hawaiian shirt? Or the bigger the implants the louder the hair dye?

Book of choice at the Grand Wailea was "the Da Vinci Code". At the Four Seasons it was the biography of Lew Wasserman.

They sell jewelry down at the pool. Women with their guts hanging over their bikini bottoms trying on pearls. I have no idea whether they like the stuff or not. Because of the Botox they can't make an expression.

Went twice to Roy's restaurant. Best food on the island and never disappoints. And the view? Spectacular. Roy's is in the parking lot of a shopping center. You know you're in Hawaii when you see the crimson sun set behind the Safeway and the Crazy Shirt Emporium.

Commercial seen during Hawaiian newscast: a new retirement village featuring golf, recreation, pools, and year round Florida.

A Levine Christmas day tradition is to go to a movie. So we ventured into Kihae. First was dinner at Tony Romas where we were the only table to not order a five-pound onion loaf. Then to the cineplex to see "Paycheck". It's McGyver meets Memento. The Hawaiians who sat behind Annie and Matt were completely baffled. Bad enough there was the concept of time travel, they were just thrown because everyone in the movie was wearing long pants.

How Hollywood is Maui these days? There are academy screenings at the Castle Theatre. (No joke) Just show your DGA, WGA, or academy cards at the door.

Matt just turned 21 and loves being carded since he's now legal. There's a swim-up Grotto Bar and he wondered if he'd be carded there (and if so just where do they think he'd keep ID). So as an experiment he and Annie swam up to it, he ordered a White Russian and was served no problem. Annie ordered an Oreo smoothie and the bartender asked "You want any booze in that?" Annie is 17.

Debby had a hot rock massage. That's where the masseuse puts hot relaxing rocks on your back then sits off to the side silently chuckling and reading magazines.

But all in all another spectacular trip. The weather was perfect. And we got out just in time. Beginning today they're predicting four days of torrential downpours. I guess it's God saying to that woman "Kiss MY tuchas!"

Happy holidays and I leave you with this:

A' ohe 'ai pani 'ia o ka 'amo.
(no particular food blocks the anus).


Anonymous said...

Wonderful story. Much prefer the Waimea Plantation on Kauai. Very low key. Only celeb there was Jon Favreau. Head of his entourage was his mother whose job was to rub sun tan lotion on him (he was already burned to a crisp). Would love to hear more baseball stories. Wanted to be announcer growing up and worked with Arn Tellem for a while (during Albert Belle's tantrum days). Enjoy your vacation.

By Ken Levine said...

Baseball stories are are radio stories....writing tips....and God knows what else. I'm lovin' Hawaii. Thanks.

Julie O'Hora said...

A menorah on the beach? Does that make you a mensch or a kiss-ass?


Have fun!