We went to Trader Joe's this morning (I love the Pickle Popcorn) and since it appears that the Trader has gone nuts over mangos this month, I picked up some Mango Salt Water Taffy. This is really good! No, I don't work for Trader Joe's but I am a devoted fan.
Back to the mangos. With Trader Joe's advertising of mango everything, a memory of Hawai'i came to me. It was 1999 and again I had to spend a week in our Honolulu office. As usual it was a great place to work. I was able to order manapua for lunch each day and I had a hotel room in the Ala Moana hotel, high above the city. Also, I had made plans to take my vacation starting right after my assignment here. My wife was coming over in a weeks time and we would then stay in the company condominium until it was time to fly to the Big Island. I had searched the web for a place to stay and since I wanted to avoid the tourists, I found a small residential area hotel in Hilo, the Dolphin Bay. I made reservations without noticing the fact that the hotel had no telephone or internet connections. While I worked the secretarial staff adopted my wife found things for her to do during the day and then invited us to dinner parties at night. All great memories. Then it was time to get on the inter island airline and fly to the Hilo airport. It was a small plane and there were few passengers, maybe 20 or so. There was a couple seated in the row across from us and I couldn't help but overhear their conversation and from what I heard, they were assuming that this plane was going to the Kona airport. Sure enough, when the pilot announced that we were just 10 minutes away from landing at Hilo, the couple rang for the flight attendant. It was quickly determined that, yes, they were on the wrong plane. And, yes, the flight attendant had made a mistake by not noticing the incorrect tickets. What to do? The attendant said that they could rent a car (the airline would pay for it) and drive to Kona or they could stay on the plane and fly back to Oahu and then take the next flight to Kona and refund the cost of the ticket It was finally decided that the couple was going to fly back to Oahu. The whole situation was handled with smiles and laughter...the island way!
We found the Dolphin Bay hotel and it was in the middle of a residential area. It was just a two story hotel, much like a condo. There was a nice kitchen and the rooms were large. In back of the hotel was a small jungle area with a path through it. It was owned by the hotel and once you stepped into the 'jungle' you were removed from the local civilization.
With our suitcases unpacked I went to find a place to plug in my portable modem for my laptop. It was then that I discovered that I was cut off. Then I saw a note that said if you really need a telephone, there was one in the managers office but not after 9 PM or before 7 AM. I decided to do my best to enjoy this break from my 24 hour a day electronic leash. Another note told us that fresh mangoes and bananas for breakfast were available at the office. The next morning I walked down to the office and there was a large stalk of bananas hanging from the eaves and a basket filled with mangoes. I picked four of the bananas and took two mangoes. Back at our kitchen, I peeled the mangoes and sliced them. Bananas and mangoes were a real treat for breakfast. The bananas were the small tropical variety with a taste that you wish a a market banana had. Both items were so fresh and delicious that we looked forward to making the walk down to the managers office each day. Sometimes there was banana bread as well. And when the banana stalk was almost empty of its treasure, another one was put in its place.
(I see that the hotel now advertises that wifi is available. I guess they they had to give in. I would give the hotel 5 stars for people who are not looking for luxury but wish to enjoy the island without being insulated from real life on this beautiful island)