Tuesday, January 21, 2014
We arrived just in time for the big Sony Open Golf Tournament played at adjacent the golf course. Like it’s not hard enough getting a tee time without a PGA tourney going on. Since the course is on the hotel grounds, I’m sure a lot of guests normally just sneak on and play a few holes. I can imagine a scene where Fuzzy Zoeller is on the 11th fairway and there are two old Jews trying to hit out of a sand trap.
Most of the golfers were staying at our hotel. Many very famous names and faces that I didn’t recognize. It’s a good thing Jeff Katzenberg wasn’t staying at the hotel because they might never get starting times.
Jimmy Walker won the $1,000,800 first prize money, which then allowed him and his wife to have dinner at Hoku, the Kahala’s high-end restaurant.
We lucked out and got upgraded to a spectacular room. (Maybe Bubba Watson didn’t make the cut and left early, I dunno.) Ocean view only one floor above where Jeff Wald used to hold court every year. Little chance bumping into him this trip since rumor has it he has been banned from the facility. I don’t know why, but I do know the locals celebrate this day more than statehood.
Unlike the show HAWAII FIVE-O, there are not murders on every street corner, vicious mobs do not gun each other down during hotel luaus, and everybody doesn’t drive a Camero5 Chevy (their sponsor). If you watch that show you’d think Hawaii is the land of extreme violence, shameless product placement, and terrible acting. In fact, it is my favorite place on earth. And if HAWAII FIVE-O wanted to really rid the island of evil-doers they’d go after Commercial Developers, not War Lords.
Actual crime: There was a purse snatching in Pearl City. Whatever.
Debby went to Long’s Drugs to buy a $1.19 bottle of nail polish remover and they asked for her ID. Apparently, the nail polish remover contained acetone – an ingredient in Meth. Unfortunately, lab equipment is the only thing you can’t rent at the Kahala.
You know who really could have used the Toto toilet -- Captain Hook.
Great local commercial for King Dental. A guy comes in with a surfboard and says to the receptionist, “I lost my teeth surfing. Can you help me?” She cheerfully says, “Yes, we can do implants!” Actually bringing the surfboard into the office was a nice touch. The acting was still better than HAWAII FIVE-O. As was the writing.
Read in the Honlulu Star-Advertiser that Brittany Wei Lin Lee was crowned the 2014 Narcissus Queen. At first I thought it said “Narcissist Queen,” in which case Mariah Carey would have won. She once requested a chauffeur for her dog, an assistant to hold her drinks, and can only sip fine champagne through a bendy straw.
Our waiter, Yuki, also waited on the first family a couple of weeks ago. I see a sequel to THE BUTLER with Oprah Winfrey playing Yuki’s Hawaiian wife.
On the other hand, went to Hoku and learned there was a dress requirement. Gentlemen had to wear long pants. At Alan Wong’s (which is a thousand times better) shorts are fine. Hoku did say they would provide pants if the gentleman didn’t have any. Pants are not bowling shoes. You don’t wear other people’s pants. Plus, you figure the sizes all had to be 46-50. I was a guest at the hotel so changing was no problem. But all night, as every guy passed our table I wondered, “Are those his pants?”
Surf was up on the North Shore. 35’ waves. Lifeguards had to issue over 900 warnings to swimmers one day. 900 idiots didn't think waves the size of skyscrapers might signal dangerous conditions for wading out and taking selfies.
A lot of Hollywood types vacation at the Kahala. The Toto toilets have to be adjusted to blow smoke.
One morning at breakfast -- my wife is reading the New York Times, I’m reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
HER: Let’s rent a kayak.
ME: (reading headline) “Man, 39, dies after his kayak capsizes.”
We rented a pool noodle.
All week I looked around, hoping to spot someone on the beach or at the pool reading my book, MUST KILL TV. I didn’t see even one. Not to state the obvious, but there cold be only one logical explanation: everyone was reading it on their Kindles.
Vog enveloped the island. That’s volcanic smog. It got so bad that on Tuesday we couldn’t see Tahiti from our veranda.
This was the week they decided to fix the potholes on Highway 1 – the main artery -- causing such massive traffic jams people thought they were in Fort Lee. Captain Cook and his entire expedition were killed and slaughtered for less.
Shark attacks are up in Hawaii. Whatever. So are kayak rentals.
Japanese tourism is very big. At the ABC store there’s a picture of the Emperor (although it could be Jerry Stiller, hard to tell) and a sign that says “We accept yen.” Buy a tube of sunscreen, pay in yen and ask for your change back in dollars. Store clerks just love that.
More fun fotos tomorrow. If you enjoy these travelogues, I have a whole book of them. Don't go to Barcelona or Milwaukee without it.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM