Thursday, December 22, 2011

No worries

photo by H. Hoffman
Here is my latest travelogue.  For more of these, I invite you to buy my book, WHERE THE HELL AM I? TRIPS I HAVE SURVIVED.  E-book is only $2.99.  Orders a dozen right here.  

I can’t think of a better way to start a vacation than to read that American Airlines has just filed for bankruptcy and then five minutes later having to hop on an American Airline flight. Fortunately, they didn’t run out of gas over Catalina and were able to land safely in paradise. Again this year, beautiful Maui – where the Botox meets the beach.

photo by H. Hoffman
Last couple of years we stayed at a condo in the Ecoli Village. This year we moved across the road to a unit in the Ebola Colony. Other than the day we had to vacate seven hours for exterminators it was perfectly lovely. And we felt a much greater sense of security. There’s a guard gate at the entrance and except that it’s unmanned 95% of the time and there are no fences around the complex, the Ebola Colony is virtually impenetrable!

The rest of the family came in shifts -- our son, Matt and his new wife, Kim (now married longer than Kim Kardashian and hoping to surpass Khloe Kardashian), daughter Annie (Tina Fey but Jewish and without her own show yet), and friend, Howard (who claimed to be one of my illegitimate kids from Bakersfield).

Our downstairs neighbor was an interesting gentleman. Dennis Hopper in APOCOLYPSE NOW. But when I needed to borrow Peyote, it was sure convenient.

Maui Memorial Hospital is aptly named. Locals advise heart attack victims to insist paramedics drive them to Oahu. Medical care is a big problem on the island. Fortunately, no retirees ever come to Maui.

And yet the current Hawaiian catchphrase is “no worries”. King Kamehameha has been replaced by Alfred E. Newman.

THE DESCENDENTS, a wonderful movie set in Hawaii, opened everywhere in late November… except Hawaii.

Hawaii’s musicians are no longer eligible for a Hawaii Grammy Award. I don’t know why. However, they can compete in the new, umbrella Regional Roots category. Although I expect Adele to win that one too.

A Ramada hotel on Oahu paid a guy to recycle two hundred Panasonic television sets. He said “no worries”. And then dumped them all along the side of a road, strewn for miles. No worries but four priors.

And a man was arrested in Waianae for shooting a woman with a spear gun. During whale watching season this is considered a “domestic dispute”.

photo by me, if you can believe it
Other than the parking lot at Costco, everywhere you look in Hawaii is a photo opportunity. Even the road littered with old TV’s is eye-popping at sunset.

Being in Hawaii on December 7th is always emotional. More so this year because it was the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the new $56 million Arizona Memorial visitor center has opened, and the last few survivors of the attack reunited for what is scheduled to be the final time. Remember Pearl Harbor, even if you’re too young to know why.

Matt & Kim went ziplining (also known as aerial runway, aerial ropeslide, and the death slide) through the rainforest. You travel via cable from the top of a mountain to the bottom, surrounded by spectacular scenery and emergency airlift personnel. According to Matt, other than them, everyone was there working through a midlife crisis -- men still virile enough to spit in the face of danger (while strapped tightly in five harnesses).

The poster boy for “no worries” is Hawaii resident, Alvin Wong, a 69-year-old Chinese-American converted Jew who according to a recent Gallop poll is the “happiest man in America.” Put him in a room for three minutes with Keith Olbermann, he’s jumping off Diamond Head.

Went upcountry several times to one of my favorite restaurants -- the Hali’imaile General Store. Their website says it’s located among beautiful pineapple fields. Yeah… and also Quonset huts and flatbed trucks. But it’s worth the trek for their phenomenal sashimi napoleon -- the tantric sex of appetizers.

The other must-gorge place on the island is Sansei sushi. Located in a shopping center just three doors down from the Rainbow Attic souvenir shop and four doors down from the Kihei police station. Sansei offers the most innovative seafood and sushi you’ll find this side of New Jersey. (Michael, the manager, hails from the Garden State, but hey, New Jersey is pretty much just considered Japan-West, isn’t it?). The panko crusted Ahi sashimi roll has won every award including the Stanley Cup.

There are almost as many Hawaiians living in Las Vegas as in Hawaii.

photo by me again
Spent an afternoon browsing the art galleries and T-shirt emporiums of quaint harbor town, Lahaina. One gallery proudly featured the paintings of Red Skelton, Anthony Quinn, Burt Young, and Picasso. There’s also a Martin Lawrence gallery. I assume it’s not the fine actor, Martin Lawrence. None of the salespeople had guns and there was no Def Post-Impressionism Jam exhibit.

A typical day in Maui: Sunny in Wailea, partly cloudy in Lahaina, flash-floods at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. They always get the worst weather. The Kapalua is the Candlestick Park of luxury resorts.

Ziplining is apparently safer than the Grand Wailea Hotel kiddie rapid water slides. They were closed for "emergency non-scheduled repairs." But no worries. Once reopened there seemed to be a lot more 40 year-old men with dyed hair and new tattoos in line.

Walking-disaster, Lindsay Lohan vacationed on the islands so of course a police incident resulted. She claims someone stole her $5,000 purse (who brings a $5,000 purse to the beach?), which contained $10,000 in cash (you never know when you might want to buy a shave ice). I hope she was on drugs or drunk. I’d hate to think she was just that stupid. Next time, Lindsay (assuming you’re not in prison), stay at the Ebola Colony. NORAD is harder to break into.

A woman posing as a guest at the Grand Wailea was busted after stealing a lot of iPhones and tablets around the pool area. (If only she knew where Lindsay was staying.) As she was walking away down the beach path she noticed two burly officers closing in so she just started casually tossing iPhones and iPads and kindles out of her bag -- y'know, like feeding pigeons. Meanwhile, at the Ebola Colony our downstairs neighbor was able to stash kilos of Maui Wowie and still keep his door unlocked.

My wife was stung by a bee. We asked locals where to go for first aid and they said Kwajalein on the Marshall Islands.

The cineplex in Kihei is fine if you don't mind that heads are cut off at the top of the screen. We saw the Muppet movie starring Kermit and Miss Piggy and a tall guy who sounded like maybe Jason Segal? It was like watching movies at camp. I asked if they were going to get THE DESCENDENTS and no one had even heard of it. It takes place in freakin' Hawaii!!! They were getting ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIP-WRECKED though, so “no worries”.

Now that everyone has Kindles it's hard to tell what the most popular book on the beach is.  But judging by the number of people who muttered, "what an asshole" I'm guessing it's the Steve Jobs biography.  

The one thing you don’t want to see on the road to Hana: A car with the sign “student driver.”

Saw the first Hollywood agent of the season so knew it was time to return home. As always, had a fabulous time and was thrilled by the spectacular beauty and healing qualities of these remarkable islands (and at non-peak season prices!).

Next year join us.

And finally, I leave you with this:

Ua pili anei keia 'ohune i ke komo hawele li a me ka holo wawae ma kahakai?” -- Can wearing a thong and running on the beach cause a rash like this?


Anonymous said...

Your comments about the Pearl Harbor memorial made me recall this great snippet of dialogue from Woody Allen's RADIO DAYS.

"The Japanese just bombed Pearl Harbor!"
"Who's Pearl Harbor?"

RCP said...

"Next year join us."

I graciously accept, and promise to pay you back.

Thomas said...

Having worked on a zipwire before, and assuming their setup was anything like ours, "Emergency non-scheduled repairs" is code for, "One of these buffoons dropped the running block". You see, the running block is the part that races down the wire, and if you drop it while setting up, it needs replacing - or the insurance doesn't cover it. Expensive piece of kit - when you saw that sign, someone was probably getting a good scolding from a senior!

One of my favourite memories working there, was when an upper class 8 year old girl reached the top, looked down, eyes widened, and said in a conversational tone; "FUCK."

Prof. Pedantic said...

Alfred E. "Newman"? Any relation to Paul Neuman?

Dan Tedson said...

As she was walking away down the beach path she noticed two burly officers closing in so she just started casually tossing iPhones and iPads and kindles out of her bag -- y'know, like feeding pigeons.

Might as well just ask them to evolve. Playing with fire there.

A Ramada hotel on Oahu paid a guy to recycle two hundred Panasonic television sets. He said “no worries”. And then dumped them all along the side of a road, strewn for miles.


Chris said...

Here's a question for friday: if an actor ad-libs something and they keep it in the episode, does he need to get a credit for it (like producer)?

Frank said...

To bad you couldn't have donned a hat and made it out to visit Roseanne's nutty farm.

An said...

I must have amazing luck or March is an exceptional time of year to visit, because this is the first I've heard about typically bad weather up north after many years of Napili/Kapalua visits. Though if it keeps the high rise mega-resorts away, I suppose it's a good thing.

Paul Duca said...

Does that mean Sting eats sashimi napoleon for six hours straight?

Friday question... do YOU know why the shape of the Arizona Memorial--higher on both ends than the middle--symbolizes the ultimate victory?
Mike Brady has been telling me that for 40 years.

Jake Mabe said...

Lahaina is such a beautiful place. We stayed just west of there in September. I love that huge ass banyan tree.

Cap'n Bob said...

As good a time as any to warn everyone to stay away from the so-called Polynesian Cultural Center.

HogsAteMySister said...

Does your preferred nails and spa franchise have a location in Hawaii?

Mel Ryane said...

Okay, just wondering if you didn't think the unnecessary and, frankly, lazy opening voice-over in THE DESCENDANTS was lousy writing? If not for George's voice (and he was great as were all the actors)would we have bought that in any other film? Show don't tell, right? Or not right.

Johnny Walker said...

Haha, so many funny bits in this post. Thanks for sharing.