September 2008 - USA
Where did I leave off last time? Ah, I was on the flight to Phoenix eagerly anticipating our arrival, mostly due to the lack of entertainment on a very long flight. We finally arrived at 11.59pm and there was no one left in the airport and there was no one left at the huge Hertz office to pick up our car (even though they knew we were arriving late). I couldn't believe that in this huge car rental building there was next to no one. Fortunately after venturing down to the garage we finally found someone to help and soon enough we were in our car driving the 30 odd miles to Scottsdale. So, the middle of the night, driving in an unfamiliar city, things weren't tense but they certainly weren't relaxed either, especially when we hit road works on the major highway we were following. Low and behold about 40 mins later we arrived at the Resort without taking any detours.
Even in the dead of the night the feel of this place was amazing. Cactus towering above you all over the resort and even without sunlight you could tell that when you woke up in the morning you were going to be somewhere special. Such a contrast between the beach of Hualalai and the middle of the desert. I don't think I could have planned this itinerary better (and I think Trent is pretty stunned by the experience so far).
The sun rose and we were both still fast asleep, finally waking up at 5.30am Hawaii time (8.30am local). Stumbled to our first buffet breakfast of our trip (yay, 50% off F&B) and then we went our separate ways for the day. Trent wanting to explore Scottsdale headed out of the Hotel and me wanting to lap it up at the resort, stayed in.
I spent my morning by the pool doing what I usually do in this kind of situations: being a "fly on the wall". So at the moment I am listening to the Barmen talking to two guests about his illustrations (he draws, cartoons by the sound of it), he also had these pictures to show them which is a little bizarre. It's almost like he is talking about his whole business plan to these guests. Talking to guests is fine, but to me, this guy seems a bit over the top, a little on the inappropriate side in my opinion. Oh wow, email addresses are being exchanged. AMWAY!?! omg, I've got to stop listening.
The other interesting conversation I heard today was just randomness from a mother and her teenage daughter, my guess would be around 18, but it's pretty hard to tell the age of American Teenagers (especially girls). At first they were just reading their magazine and nothing much was happening. The mother was making comments like, "your acne looks good today, have you put makeup on." or "don't you want to tie your hair up, I wish you had have bought your elastic down." But the kicker was when they were searching through the magazine and found a full page ad spread for Kath and Kim and they started talking about aussie humour. That our humour was more conservative than American humour and how she throught the show was cool but just didn't think it was very funny... oh yes people I swear this happened right in front of me. I had to suppress the urge to a) let them know an aussie was behind them b) provide a counterargument, something along the lines of subtle humour is gold and c) the urge to rofl. Yes, I am surrounded by Americans, in fact I haven't seen or heard ANYONE of another nationality the whole of today.
So after I had had my people watching fix for the day and a couple of swims I headed to the Spa for a Hot Stone Massage. My one indulgence for the trip.... maybe. It was soooo good and sooo relaxing that I was thinking 'please don't let this be the last two stones.' Needless to say she got a nice tip from me. And that's the other thing... tipping, Trent always asks me what I'd tip, and as a general rule, I don't, but being in a tipping society I have had to become more generous. I still think I'm being a bit tight on certain things. I just don't believe that everyone that does the smallest thing for us during the trip deserves a tip (and neither does Trent). But if I left the tipping decision to Trent we would probably be put in a few awkward situations. Making friends? Only if you tip.
Instead of watering people with Evian spray bottles why not rig your garden sprinkler system to the skirting of the pool bar? I wonder if I grow just by standing under the water, oh wait sprinklers and laptops mix about as well as oil and water.
Anyoo, the Pina Colada is almost done, I have returned to poolside awaiting Trent's return. Mostly today I have felt a little neglected poolside, except for this one really nice girl who got me water and kept making sure I was ok. I had to get my own towels, and set them up... twice. Coming from Hualalai, it's very noticeable the difference in service.