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We're Back!! Sadly...

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toronto
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We're Back!! Sadly...

Aloha, we just got back on Monday night. Here goes my TR.

Our flight from Toronto to San Fran was good...despite us having a big snow storm the day before we left! San Fran to HNL was on time as well. Got the commuter from HNL to Lanai...all good.

When we arrived to the FS they showed us to our room...in the Ginger wing, hadn't been in that wing before. We were not happy with that room, felt like we were way, way, out in nowhere land. My husband asked if they could please move us closer to the main area, pool etc. They did without any problem. They moved us to 2305 Plumeria wing....soooo much better...upgraded us to partial ocean view which is great. We were nice and close to the pool as well. Ordered room service and went right to bed, long travel day from Toronto! Sat. woke up to a bright sunny day. Spoke to Mike Carroll in the lobby...we got talking and he said "where are you from"...I said "Toronto"...he then said "are you LUV MAUI?? And of course we chatted for quite some time. Very nice man. The dolphins came into the bay on Sat. and that was last time we saw them...unusual. Still tired so we hung out at the pool and beach.

Sunday- We hiked to Sweetheart Rock...what a view! Ron took lots of pictures here. Another gorgeous day! We met another couple from Toronto, we have never met anyone there from Toronto before. Had dinner at Lanai City....excellent, all three of us had the ribs. Very nice server there "Cory"..expecting her first baby.

Monday-Ron and Jamie went to the golf course at Manele. Jamie drove the cart and hit some balls off a few of the tees...Ron said she was wacking them...she is only 12! It was a little cloudy and windy. I hung out at the pool mostly, did some walking on the beach. Had dinner in the lounge at Manele...which I love. Great to hear the music.

Tues- was an awful day...weather wise. I have never seen Lanai like this. It was extremely windy, cloudy and quite cool. We went into town and visited DIS and DAT...what a neat store. I could have spent a few hours in there. We then walked from town up to the Lodge...Ron wanted to book a tee time there. The Lodge is nice, but I just don't get staying there...especially when you come from Toronto! Had dinner in the Lounge again.

Wed- Wind is gone, a little cloudy in the am then the sun came out and all was good! Ron and Jamie went to the driving range at Manele to hit balls...mom...read and did the pool thing. We got an invite to the Managers reception and we went to that and met with all the managers. Went into town and had dinner at Pele's for the first time....we loved it! Mark is so nice. We noticed he didn't have any Ontario license plates hanging up so Ron vowed to send him one. He was happy and said we would have to come back to see where he puts it! (I think I could do that)! Thrs.- Ron and Jamie went to Koele..had a 7:10am tee time. Again, she drove the cart (which she loved) and hit off some of the tees. We loved Pele's so much we went back again. Food is great! I met Ron and Jamie there and I was laughing about my shuttle ride into town....I actually saw police set up for DUI..they didn't look too busy as there isn't much traffic! It just looked so funny. Fri- gorgeous day, hot and sunny. We mostly hung out at the pool...the pool attendants are so nice....Gerald is so friendly. Christian one of the servers also so pleasant. We met a lovely older couple from California. He actually played pro baseball in late 1960's...sweet people.

Sat.- Jamie and I went back into town in the morning, back to Dis and Dat...Then back to Manele. We saw lots of whales breaching on Sat. We had heard from a lady that was on the ferry the day or two before....the ferry hit a whale...she said there was so much blood and it had a baby with it..not sure if it survived. Apparently this doesn't happen very often but has had in the past. So sad. Oh, forgot...saw a monk seal on the beach one day. Of course they say you can't go to close...funny thing though....she got in the water and went directly to the people swimming. Put her head right on a guys surf board, tried to hug them with her flippers! It was amazing, she went from one person to the next. Apparently they have moved her a couple of times, took her from Kaui to Molokai and she swam to Manele. They don't like her getting too friendly with the people as she tries to play with them and tends to pull you down with her flippers! Although is smart enough not to do it to the kids!

I also forgot to mention...I ran into Scott form Philly too! We saw each other at the pool. He is probably still there. He arrived a couple of days after us. Okay, Sat. still..our last night. We ended up back at Pele's again....3 times we ate there!

Sunday, woke up to a gorgeous day, did not want to go home! We had pretty much the whole day there so that was nice. The flights home were a disaster. Our flight from HNL was delayed about 2 1/2 hours so that made us miss our connection to Toronto. We were suppose to get into Toronto on Monday around 2:22 pm and didn't get home until 6:30pm. Very tired people...

Sorry for the long winded TR...we had a fantastic time...Ron was feeling very good...weather great except one day!! Miss Lanai already!!

Elk Rapids, Michigan
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1. Re: We're Back!! Sadly...

Welcome back. Sounds like you had the expected wonderful time.

That seal is a bit of a problem, it actually got onboard a snorkel dive boat. If it doesn't stop trying to be a person it will find itsself on one of the very remote NW islands.

We were lucky, we saw a different seal (a very much wild one, not even tagged) on shipwreck beach last visit.

toronto
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2. Re: We're Back!! Sadly...

Yes, this Seal had been tagged once but apparently she got it off...you can see the mark where it was on her back. I figure she is lonely and just wants some company. I did hear she hangs out at the ferry dock a fair bit too. We did not see a wild monk seal. I was surprised that we didn't see the dolphins much. Last visit....saw them almost everyday.

I forgot to mention in my TR....we purchased a picture from Mike Carroll this year. It is the one...he did of a local girl with a Red Hibiscus tucked behind her ear.....love it! I have a spot picked out in my family room where we can see it all the time...just haven't had time to hang it yet! So Mike if you are on here soon....we have a great spot for the lovely picture...I am so happy it survived the trip home! Also, a pleasure to meet your wife Mike!

Elk Rapids, Michigan
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3. Re: We're Back!! Sadly...

Mike and his wife are terrific, We bought the picture of the Hotel Lanai and it too hangs in the livingroom so we can relive that every day. Did you see the cat that hangs out in the Mango bowl by the front window? Nothing like having an $1800 bed huh.

You can see a picture of the seal we saw in my review of the Hotel Lanai. They usually tag their rear flippers. NOAA identified the one we saw as Lono by a circular scar she has.

Hawaii
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4. Re: We're Back!! Sadly...

Good trip report, LuvMaui! Maybe next trip you will rent a jeep and check out some of the remote spots. I think your daughter would enjoy that if she likes to explore the outdoors. Now that she's getting older, she can hang with Mom & Dad more for the adventurous trips.

Very sad about the whale. It makes my heart hurt to hear stories like that. Do you know if it was the commuter ferry or a tour boat? Does not matter, but I'm just curious.

I too, love the Carrolls and their gallery. Mike has a true gift. I have prints of Polihua, Pu'u Pehe, Tidal Pools & Hotel Lanai as well. Kathy has a giant heart and is doing so much for the stray animals on the island. Genuinely good people.

Very happy you enjoyed your trip! Start planning your return. <wink>

toronto
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5. Re: We're Back!! Sadly...

Thanks Naturecat,

Yes the ferry was the one that takes people from Lanai over to Maui. It is sad, I bet the captain of the ferry felt awful. Apparently people on the ferry were crying, the lady told me you could even hear the other whales making a noise.

That would be fun to rent a jeep next time. I hope we do get back there. We have tossed around the idea of going to the FS Big Island for a few days and maybe do a few on Lanai. Another guest at Manele told us the FS in Nevis is wonderful too...a lot closer for us to fly as well.

Edina, Minnesota
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6. Re: We're Back!! Sadly...

Great report luvmaui!

Your story on the whale is so sad. I don't know what else can be done to avoid future accidents, but I hope there is something.

If you had to have flight problems, it is better that it happened on the way home and didn't disturb you time on Lana'i. You did the right thing by asking for a room change. We had to do that once ourselves, and they were very accomadating.

We also noted the lack of dolphins and commented on that in my TR. My theory is that too many people grab snorkel gear and swim out to them as soon as they appear (despite that being illegal). I think the dolphins who are coming into the bay to rest are finding quieter places to go. A co-worker of mine just got back from Maui and took the Trilogy tour to Lana'i for one day. He said they also did not see any dolphins, but did see the monk seal lying on the shore at the Manele Bay harbor. My understanding of why they discourage people from interacting with the seals is that if the seals become too friendly they drop their guard and are more vulnerable to sharks.

You had the best waitress on the island with Cory at the Lana'i City Grill (IMHO). We have known her and her husbanc Tim (bartender at Manele) for years. They came from Alaska several years ago with no long term plans, and now with the expected baby they apparantly are planning to stay on Lana'i for a long time. She used to work at Ihilani, but didn't get enough work hours and has been at the Lana'i City Grill for at least a couple years.

We also enjoy Pele's quite a bit. Mark is so nice once you get to know him. Some people find him a little cold, but I have never noted that. What was your favorite dish there? We will look for the Ontario plate next winter!

I'm glad you have some Mike Carroll artwork for your home. I remember seeing the piece you got. It is great! Mike and Kathy are very wonderful people. We now have a few of his works, with two being his original oils. We also like Jordanne's artwork. Did you get to meet her?

Well get some rest and start planning your next trip. So many places to go and not enough time and money. BTW I am glad Ron is felling well.

Aloha, DrV

toronto
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7. Re: We're Back!! Sadly...

Hi DRV,

Yes, Cory was the best! She did tell us her story, I always am curious as to how people end up living on Lanai. My daughter asked her if she knew what the sex of the baby is.....she said it's a girl..so nice. I don't think we met her husband at Manele though. Mark - you're right, once you get to know him....very nice guy. The day I met Ron and Jamie in town for dinner, he was literally coming out of the grocery store next to him with a carton of milk...he knew Jamie would want chocolate milk! Because we ate there 3 times...we got to chat with him a fair bit. It was busy every night. We loved his garlic bread....melted cheese on top and the sauce that comes with it....sooo good! We had pizza, loved it, I had a ceasar salad with chicken breast...also loved. Jamie had a pasta one night and a piece of the 6 layer chocolate cake...I didn't have that but it looked very good. What is your favourite dish there?

We did see Jordanne in the lobby at Manele with her work....didn't have a chance to talk to her but I did get a quick peek at her work. She too is very talented....Gerald from the pool area...told me about her and he loves her artwork too. Gerald is so pleasant...I had mentioned we were going to go to Lanai City Grill on the Friday night as I had heard they had local live entertainment. He offered to make the reservation and was going to tell his neice "Shennette" that we were coming. I told him I could call....but he insisted. I can never understand people on TA that complain about the pool service...everyone is so nice there!

I am not 100% sure we will be going there next year...we might like to try the FS on the Big Island...or do 5 and 5 at manele. You like the FS on the Big Island too right? Another person at Manele told us about the FS in Nevis...a lot closer for us to fly to. However, reading the TR's I don't know now. Apparently a lot of people complained about mosquitos, like lots of them! NOt sure I want that. Anyway, we shall see. I know where ever I go now......my heart will always be in Lanai!!

Edina, Minnesota
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8. Re: We're Back!! Sadly...

We usually have one of the pasta dishes at Pele's. MrsV usually gets the one with shrimp, and I liked the one with pesto. Their desserts are great!

Yes, the FS Hualalai on the Big Island is the best resort I have ever stayed at, and they are just completing renovations that are making it even better. If one could place the Big Island FS on Lana'i, that would be the best of all possible worlds. You sound like you a pool person, and the pools there are outstanding (5 total). There is so much interesting things to do on the BI that it is well worth the trip. My only gripe regarding the BI is that it is too BIG, and therefore there is too much driving to get to all the great sites.

Austin, TX
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9. Re: We're Back!! Sadly...

luvmaui. . . sorry we didn't run into you while we were there. We were probably on the same bus that witnessed the odd DUI checkpoint.

I'll post a trip report soon. . . but wanted all to know the dolphins did return to the bay this past Monday while I was snorkeling. I was surrounded by them before I knew it - truly an amazing experience and I got some great pics and videos.

We loved Lanai City Grille, too, and Cory was great. We differ on Pele's, though, as both times we went the service was terrible and the food bland. They have a captive audience. We don't mind "island slow", but do mind when our food finally arrives, but we have no beverages and no silverware to use even after several polite requests. Blue Ginger was very good on all levels and their pastries. . . wow. Talking to the locals at any of the town restaurants is always a treat.

Sorry you went to the Lodge on a terrible weather day, as we loved it once the skies cleared. Quiet, serene, beautiful.

ALE was terrific for our jeep rental, many thanks to those who recommended them. We did the entire Munro Trail - wonderful, though I admit my nerves twitched a bit on some of the muddy, narrow ridges. We were proud of our achievement until we met a young couple that walked the entire trail and continued down to Manele. Impressive.

FS Hualalai. . . one of our favorite resorts and I can't recommend it highly enough. Pricey, but terrific. Hope to make it back there someday. For what it's worth, they are currently offering an amazing deal on the standard rates - free daily golf for two and a spa service for one. Looks like the economy is hitting them, too, as I don't recall such deal offerings in the past.

FS Nevis. . . always wanted to go there, even though it's another tough to get to destination. You might skip it this year, as last fall's Hurricane Omar almost wiped it off the map and it's closed until November 2009 per their website. Google it for sad pictures of the property. Most of the other parts of the island seem to have escaped relatively unscathed.

Hawaii
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10. Re: We're Back!! Sadly...

Pixel, awesome that you saw the dolphins. I'm glad they are still frequenting Hulopo'e and what a treat for you to be surrounded by them. I still have not had that experience. But maybe one day they will swim by me (of course I will be very still and leave them alone). ;-) I would love to see the pics/video if you have time to post.

Lots of great input on the Lana'i forum lately. So glad everyone enjoyed their vacations! Husband said HNL is packed with folks going to Lana'i today. Maybe the the sluggish travel industry is making a comeback?