Yesterday we flew to Lana’i.  In keeping with our spirit of splurge, we had booked first class seats on Alaska (which we don’t usually do – we may stay at the Four Seasons, but we fly Southwest).  I had never flown first class before, and Lis had only done it once on a short flight from the Bay area.  I must say, I could get used to it – it was so nice not being crammed in to a tiny airplane seat.

We had booked the first class air primarily because the flight was long, and so we wanted it to be pleasant, too.  And this worked until we got to Honolulu and our transfer to Island Air for the 25 minute flight to Lana’i.  Island Air said that Alaska would transfer our bags, but they are BIG FAT LIARS.  We had to get our bags from Alaska and take them to Island Air and check them again, the Alaska lady in Portland said.  “Oh, but you’ve got an hour – you’ll be fine.”

Little did we know that Island Air is about a mile away (literally) from Alaska in the poorly marked Honolulu airport.  So there we were, run/walking our luggage through the afternoon heat and humidity, desperately trying to make our connection – totally undid all the benefits of our lovely first class flight (and my shower – DRENCHED in sweat).  Luckily, our Island Air flight was delayed and so we were able to make it.

We showed up at our swanky resort rumpled and sweaty (and possibly smelly, though I don’t know this for sure) and were greeted as if we were the most important people in the world.  This is what I like about the Four Seasons – they don’t treat us like the riff-raff we are (or at least usually look like).  It is our litmus test of any luxury hotel – do they treat us like riff-raff – some do (I’m lookin’ at YOU, Empress Hotel in Victoria…)

We were assigned to a personal… something (“Here is your person, Karen”), and she showed us to our room.  They weren’t able to give us a free upgrade (an amenity we get by booking through our travel agent, Plaza Travel), but did have a couple $$ upgrade options for us.  Karen showed us the garden room we were getting, and the two ocean front possible upgrade rooms.  The ocean fronts were nice, but cost too much, so we stuck with our garden view room – which turned out to be great; secluded, waterfall outside our lanai, away from the loud pool area.  We are very happy here.

We had both lunch and dinner at the poolside grill.  The food was good in a Red Robin sort of way, and spectacularly overpriced.  We knew this and had prepared and budgeted for it, but still, it’s a little disappointing.

Other than lunch and dinner, we were unable to muster the energy for any other activity, not even exploring the grounds of the resort (which are gorgeous) – the triple whammy of getting up early, running through the airport, and the time change had wiped us out, and we were in bed by 8pm. 

This morning we were up early (9am Portland time = 6am here) and both felt much better.  I went to the lobby for the free coffee, and to look around a bit.  The birds were singing (tons and tons of birds here, including a bunch of wild turkeys – normal turkeys, too, that can fly; not those top-heavy monstrosities we breed for Thanksgiving) and it was really lovely.

Back at the room, we hung out a bit and then went down for our complimentary breakfast (another perk via Plaza Travel – we love our Four Seasons specialist travel agent!!).  Breakfast was better than the Red Robin pool grill, but still not as good as other Four Seasons we’ve been at – I think the point of this Four Seasons is the setting and not the food.

We were both still feeling tired, and decided not to worry about making sure we snorkeled today – “we’ll just walk around a bit.”  Then we saw the spinner dolphins in the bay, and raced back to our room, got in our snorkel gear, and headed to the water.

We watched them for a while from the beach – they are SO AWESOME!!  They jump out of the water and spin (hence the name) and do somersaults, and there were so many.  Apparently this bay is one of their resting sites.  You aren’t supposed to bother them, and once you’re actually in the water you can’t really see them anymore unless you do bother them – they’re often behind a swell.

We snorkeled for awhile.  High-ish surf, low-ish visibility today, but we didn’t care; we got to float in warm water and see some fish, which is all that really matters – plus we were in the water with a school of dolphins, which we COULD see every now and then.

We were heading back to our room when we passed these covered lounge-chair things, overlooking the dolphins and not too far from the pool grill.  We stopped to consider them, and an attendant came up to us with glasses of ice water.  We asked if they served lunch in these things; he said yes.  That decided it – we spent the next several hours in our covered double-lounger, watching the dolphins, having lunch, taking pictures, napping.  Attendants came by periodically to: refill our water; bring us lunch; give us chilled cucumber slices for our eyes; give us chilled wet towels, spritz our faces with an Evian mister – it was unbelievably, amazingly the coolest thing ever (you can see some photos here – be sure to check out the Lis cucumber series…).

We are back in the room now, resting up from our exertions, and thinking about trying out The Lodge for dinner.