Sunday: The List
There are a lot of little details that go into a trip like this. I woke up trying to remember what they all are. Bad idea. Better to make or consult a list. Here it is:
Distribute remotes for gates
Set up goggle and cap basket
Distribute shampoo and conditioner bottles throughout rooms
Pack pickup cooler for Heather’s arrival (wet face towel, coffee, water, snacks)
Pick up Heather at airport
Coordinate day with Ryan, including lei pickup
Coordinate day with Clare
Pack pickup cooler for guests (leis, water, Perrier, face towels, snacks)
Pick up mountain bike rental
Fill van with gas
Pick up guests
I’ll stop there, at about 2:00pm. Even working from a list and feeling like I had my act together, I botched the directions to the Sheraton Hotel and we wound up driving around for 20 minutes looking for the right access road. Oops. Thankfully our guests were immersed in conversation with cans of Perrier and Choco Mac nuts so no one suffered too much...
Our guests this week are: SwimVacation Alums Cynthia, Charlie, and Luise, and new guests Pam, Susan, Andy, Margaret, and Ian. As we pull into our accommodations in Puako, I’m always excited to see our guests first impressions of the place. As I mentioned yesterday, Treadwell House is a mashup of Polynesian and Scandinavian architectural styles, a raised platform with cubes neatly arranged on top. Everything is made from local hard and softwoods. The largest cube opens up to the ocean, a filtered view of bright blue sea through the big Kiawe trees that line the shore. Songbirds and crashing waves are soundtrack. The place is absolutely magical, and our guests seemed to feel this right away.
After settling in, we gave them a welcome talk that faded into a safety talk that faded into an actual swim. Ryan, aboard the SUP, and Heather swimming out front led the way for a 30 minute out-and-back swim. On a first swim, we always take the opportunity to check out our guests abilities, and already we could tell this is a strong group of swimmers. The water is a little warmer this year, as the sun has been shining more brightly with the volcano spewing a lot less stuff into the air. In fact, the islanders have been saying that the air is the clearest it’s been since 1983. A big difference from our trip a year ago, when the volcano was actively erupting.
Clare and Dan were already at work in the kitchen when we returned form the beach, and before we knew it Mai Thais and sashimi appeared. Local beers were uncapped, and we all got to know each other a bit. Dinner was mahi mahi with a red pepper and almond reduction, pesto mashed potatoes, and mini bok choy. Lilikoi cheesecake finished things up nicely. Today was a pretty decent start, and Heather, Ryan and I are ready to rock this thing all week.