Rounding the World – Day 38: Oahu, Hawaii (day 5 of 7)…

The ocean breeze blew thru the balcony screen as the sun gently woke us from our slumber. My friend off to yoga and me to catch up on writing, nothing more inspiring than an ocean view. The breakfast buffet was in full steam with more food than any one person should consume. As with yesterday, today we took the expansive selection as a personal challenge to see just how much we could devour. If we didn’t have a voucher for breakfast it would have cost $100 for us to eat, so we felt it only appropriate that we try to consume $100 worth of food. Of course

Fat and happy we rolled ourselves onto the beach for a long leisurely morning in the sun. The sun shined bright though under the umbrella it was quite temperate with the ocean breeze. Today we would attempt the water sports. Off to the activity shack to the side of the beach we selected our first go would be with the water hammock, a trampoline looking thing. The staff carried it over to where we were sitting and anchored it about 20 feet from shore. In we jumped. The prior day kiddos played in it one jumping out and poking from underneath in a game called shark. We chose to just chill, lay back and relax under the suns rays.

It wasn’t long before the ocean waves swirling us to and fro became too much and we offered it up to a young family with kids who looked like they would enjoy it much more than us. We decided to lounge around a bit relaxing from our swirling hammock and order some lunch. The couple next to us was a bit rowdy and made such a scene the Four Seasons relocated them and gave us complimentary drinks and appetizer to make up for it. How awesome.

We happily consumed the ahi poke appetizer which comes with lettuce to create mini wraps. It was so delicious, especially paired with the mai tai they brought me. Happiness! After a scrumptious meal, we decided to try the paddle boards. Neither of us had ever tried before and luckily the waves were pretty calm in the cove. My friend started knees on the board like they instructed, and I rebelliously just stood on the board and paddled off. Having watched many people fall off or wobbly precariously I was shocked how well we did. Neither of us fell and we both didn’t really struggle, it was like we’d done it a million times before.

Paddling back and forth around the crowded cove required a certain finesse in not hitting people – it required absolute observation for swimmers and snorkelers on all sides paired with swift turning skills. Although not intuitive, to turn you put your ore in much like if you were stopping a row boat. It was such a cool feeling and a bit like the same kind of thrill you get when taking your car on ice and slamming on the breaks – wee!!

To continue our lazy day of maximizing our resort experience, we moseyed over to the adult pool. It had been on a waiting list, the joys of busy season, though opened up just in time for us to getting some lounging in. The pool itself was mostly empty which allowed for lots of maneuvering and plenty of space to swim and frolic. The hot tub was completely empty so we had the whole thing to ourselves to bake like sardines. Glorious.

Since we hadn’t taken the car out since we got to the resort we figured it needed to justify itself so drove west toward Waimea where the waves were 8-10 feet. The mountain range was dry with yellow grass and red volcanic rocks striping from side to side as though it was a painting. The beaches were crowded with locals enjoying the large waves, a sea of black silhouettes on boards scattered in the distance taking turns to the ride the waves in, many crashing after the first or second break.

The red dirt parking lot was rough with huge dips as though it had been ruined by rain every season for years. Thank goodness we got an SUV! We bumped through following behind a pickup truck with at least 5-6 people in the back holding on tight and bouncing up at each bump. This was Hawaii. Behind the dry volcanic mountains, peaking thru was the further mountain range, the lush green one from the windward side creating the most picturesque view.

We made it back to Ko Olina just in time for the Paradise Cove Luau. My friend’s first time in Hawaii and it’s like a right of passage, though not something anyone needs to do twice in my opinion. I elected to pass as they aren’t cheap and instead laid down in one of the cabanas by the ocean watching the sun set against the rocky beach. Tonight was purple and pink and just magnificent, I could have stayed there all night.

With our goal of trying every restaurant in the hotel, I decided to do dinner at Hiki (another 1,000pt on OpenTable – woo hoo!). The only one we didn’t try was Noe, which was their top end Italian restaurant. Partly because eating Italian in Hawaii seemed wrong, and partly because I didn’t feel like spending a bundle on dinner, I figured that one we could skip. Perhaps another visit. The Hiki restaurant is their pan Asian fusion restaurant with sushi, noodles, rice, and wok main dishes.

My favorite part of the Four Seasons has to be their ‘yes’ answer to everything you ask. I noticed they only had sashimi on the menu and I’m a nigiri style gal, ‘can they do nigiri’, sure why not. They gave me 5 very generous sashimi slices over rice and I was a happy camper. Paired with their signature vegetable roll (I love vegetables!!), it was the perfect meal. My palate was so elated I had to try desert, their recommendation was the banana chocolate cannoli like dish. Along side a lovely port, it couldn’t have been a better meal.

Having successfully avoided watching the news or reading news articles, I hadn’t been up to speed on the latest post-election events. Seeing I was a solo diner, the Four Seasons (without being asked) brought me multiple options for reading material for my dinner. Now that’s service. Though I chose the NY Times, which admittedly is quite biased but oh boy was it depressing. Articles on China, Japan, Syria, Iraq, and so many other’s reactions to our election. It was terrifying to read and I look forward to taking in other publications when I’m back in the mainland to get a more balanced perspective.

On my way back to the room I curiously poked around the sitting lounge just above the Fish House and ran into Jason their banquet captain. We reminisced on the old JW Marriott, the changes made for the Four Seasons, and talked about how the property started as a high end hotel for JAL airlines. Wild. I inquired about the JW staff as I remember being there the month it closed and everyone was nervous and uncertain. It sounds like they’ve tried to create a balanced mix of new blood, prior JW staff, and Four Seasons staff imported from other properties. The only thing missing is the shark tank, otherwise, the hotel is as good or better in every way. A true paradise.

Back at the room I got the full update on the luau which was an all night event that started at 4:30pm with various outdoor booths for weaving, tribal tattoos, etc. followed by the performances, dinner, and photo shoots. My friend had a great time and was so glad to have gone. We relaxed on the balcony feeling blessed before calling it a night.



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