Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Four Season Resort Maui, Hawai'i 2010, Day 1

I have no intention to mislead you.  These pictures have sat on the hard drive for a month.  But they are what you might call very good pictures, and they deserve to see the light of day.  Or, more accurately, the light of Waste.  Without further ado, here is Hawai'i 2010.   

Los Angeles International Airport
I know what you're saying.  You're saying, "I know that I've seen Jeff's pictures of LAX shwifty-seven times before, but this time... there's a caption.  And then you gasped.  Gasped for the caption.  The truth is that one of the reasons for the delay in posting this island hopping adventure was that Google made some updates to Blogger regarding how I have to upload pictures.  It made things difficult at first, but I have resolved my personal issues with it and have embraced the new.  And one thing about the new is that now all pics will be centered with a caption, versus to the right all alone.  Think of this as progress.  Painful, delayed, difficult, beneficial progress.

No picture from the airplane.  I watched more of The State on the iPhone, as I recall.  I may have to borrow DVD's from friends who have TV shows on DVD.  This whole, "Load a whole season of a show on the iPhone and make flights go by without noticing," thing is pretty great.

You also do not get to the usual rental car pickup moment, nor the drive across the island to the hotel.  No, today we start here.

Caption not needed when the resort name is literally in the picture.
Here we are; the Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea.  Two things to note.  First, we have stayed next door at The Grand Wailea many, many times.  Since I met Barbie, I would guess that we have stayed there around seven times, which means that we have stayed there together more than any other hotel in the world.  This year we do the Four Seasons, mainly because our friends are staying here as well and it was time to finally give the Four Seasons a fair shot at our business.

Blue skies shall be the norm, my friends.
Sure, I skipped the Drive Across The Island shot, but I felt like this Welcome To The Resort shot, with the blue sky and palm trees, was a fairly accurate representation of what it feels like to be on island and entering luxury's lap.

Valet behind, lobby ahead.
As far as pictures and justice go, I confess to you right now that things are not what they should be in that pic.  The camera just does not pick up the lush, sunny wonderland that awaits at the end of this entry hall.

Four Seasons Maui, lobby view
When your wife is checking into the hotel and you turn around and see that, you take a picture.

Four Seasons Maui pool, with Lana'i in the distance
I might as well warn you right now.  I am going to be loyal to the whole Hawaiian phonology thing.  And that means typing, "Lana'i," instead of, "Lanai."  In Hawaiian, the apostrophe is not punctuation, it is a consonant.  A letter.  It represents a pause, but it is technically a consonant.  Hawaiian only has eight consonants; H, K, L, M, N, P, W, and '.  Do not try to take away the '.  And even though the locals are adopting the mainland pronunciations left and right, I am embracing the tradition.  Expect a rant later on why English could absolutely create an official letter for pause in its alphabet.

Okay.  Perfection.
Not much to say.  This is what people call, "A really nice back yard."

Wife added to perfect shot.
I know you Waste readers get spoiled, what with all time I spend reporting back from Europe about history and wars that changed the world and such.  Well, not this time around.  You will have to settle for incredible natural beauty.  And food.  I think you will be able to handle it.

We walked directly to the restaurant next to the pool, where Rick & Monique were waiting for us for lunch.

The view from Ferraro's, next to the pool, overlooking the Pacific.
I know what you're thinking.  And you are correct.  There are worse views from restaurants in this world.

The "Vegi" Burger.
I know this plate might be confusing to you.  Barbie and I are devoted to being healthy on this trip, perhaps even dropping a few pounds.  That is the "Vegi" Burger (their quotes, not mine) from Ferraro's.  We told them that we would be sharing it and they cut it in half.  You might be thinking that it looks like there is a bun to the right and a bun the left, but that crescent moon to the right is the Vegi Burger made of garbanzo, split peas, hearts of palm, mushroom, and brown rice.  It was delicious.  I would eat one every day for lunch if I had the option.

Indulgence.  Shared.
I forget the details, but one of those restaurant-y things happened where the waitress insisted on our getting free dessert to compensate for some minor food related injustice.  Even when your goal is to not overeat, how do you turn down free dessert?  Somehow we told her that we would share one free dessert, not get one each.  And besides, that's vanilla and coffe frozen yogurt.  Everyone knows how healthy that is.

We headed up to the room and then down to the pool.

The Feet.
Those palm trees show that it is just a tad windy.  Right after taking this picture I was in that pool sans camera.

El Sol de Hawai'i.
We have replaced chemically coated film with light sensitive microchips, yet you can still feel the warmth of the sun in a photograph.

Welcome to the Four Seasons Resort.
Conspiring against our efforts at health, the hotel brought us this welcoming gift, Chocolate Fondue with Cut Pineapple, and brown sugar, pistachios, pecans, and coconut to dip into.  Madness.  And, by the way, we ate some pineapple and mostly ignored the chocolate.  Honest.  This weight loss thing is no joke.

On the subject of weight loss... let us skip straight to dinner.

Spago in Maui
I should add that Rick & Monique are regulars at this Four Seasons, and basically regulars at Spago.  We met them at the bar, and then got a table.  I apologize for not having pictures of the inside of the restaurant.  It is, of course, indoorsy and open air at the same time, elegant and comfortable.  We could have eaten here every night of this trip and not minded one iota.

My favorite, butternut squash soup.
They played that brilliant game where, after we order, before we even have a chance to think about it, they brought us a little taste of delicious soup.  That cup is itty-bitty, like an espresso cup.  But I tell you, nothing is better than starting off your meal with a free taste.  Nothing.  More restaurants should do this, no?

My first course, Spicy Ahi Tuna Poke In Sesame-Miso Cones
The menu detail adds, "Chilli Aioli, Tosa Soy, Bonito, Green Onions, Tobiko and Pickled Ginger."  You know that quip about eating here every night?  Follow it up with ordering this every night.

Barbie's first course, Tartare of Big Eye Tuna.
The menu detail adds, "Yuzu-Citrus, Horse Radish Salad, Sticky Rice, Fresh Wasabi and Pumpkin Seed Oil."  That tuna was amazing.  An emphasis at this Spago is on local fish and produce, and it shows in the taste and freshness.
Main course, a shared risotto. 
You could call this the height of self-control.  Barbie and I ordered a third appetizer as our entreé.  And we had them split it.  It was the, "Hawaiian Style Seafood Risotto.  Uku, Mahi Mahi, Lobster-Butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano."  It was delicious and just enough food to make us happy.

The feet.  Ready for bed.
And thus ends our first day in Maui for 2010.  The most surreal thing about being on the island again is that after waking up early and flying across the ocean in time for lunch, by the time you are done with dinner it feels as if it has been a week since you have been on the mainland.  As I have always said, there are two types of people in the world, "Stupid people and people who live on Maui."

Until tomorrow.  (Or more accurately until I post day two of this trip.)

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