We were looking out to the sea when they started jumping. And spinning. Spinner dolphins. Will and Carter Thomas have joined us at our guide shack, and as we sipped iced Kona coffee, the dolphins put on an amazing show. Will is a frequent guide for us (5 years running) and an all-around adventurer. Carter has been our guest, web developer, media content producer, and adjunct stroke technician for a few years now. They've joined us this week to capture media content, guide swims, and help tweak our guests' strokes. Heather and I got a kick out of them Face Timing with their mom and 94 year old grandmother. Such nice boys, they'd say. The dolphins jumped and spun all morning. We hope to swim with them this week.
Preparations for this trip started about a year ago, when we began advertising for the trip, and ended today at 2:55 pm with me stringing up two hammocks between three palm trees just minutes before our guests arrived today. Hale Kohola Kai looks fantastic. This property is new to us, so while it looks great, we are eager to see how it performs.
Even our West Coast guests have 5+ hour flights, so we greet them at the airport with Oshibori cool moist towelettes), refreshments, and fragrant leis. When they arrive at the Hale, we show them around and let them get settled in their rooms. We've placed a "swag bag" for each of them, this year's contains a sarong and a few little island trinkets including some antique postcards that we love. More refreshments are put out, including chips and guacamole made from the biggest avocado I've ever seen. If you're in your 40's, you may remember the TV show Land of The Lost. There was always giant fruit in that show. Hawaii is like that.
We wasted no time getting them in the water for a swim at Kahaluu, our favorite local beach. There's a large, shallow area protected by a reef here, and millions of tropical fish in an array of shapes and colors. Turtles abound. This was just a splash-around, we'll be back tomorrow morning to swim outside the reef for a point to point swim, conditions permitting.
Back at the Hale: Mai Tais were offered to our guests as many of them lounged in the spa. Pupus (appetizers) of spicy ahi tuna and shrimp chips were devoured. We gave our welcome talk. Lisa, our wine expert (Wahine of Wine) for the week, poured a lovely bubbly Spanish wine. I'll talk more about what Lisa is up to more as the week progresses. We moved to the big round table for dinner: a lovely local salad, seared mahi with sauce provencal, and Kona coffee opera cake for dessert. Lights out.