Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Moana Surfrider: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/pr operty/overview/index.html?propertyID=3 74&language=en-US
I slept poorly and was awake early. We’d been advised by the hotel clerk on checking in that we only needed to be at the airport 30 min ~1 hr before our flight. This had clearly played on my subconscious during the night. That and the fact that there was no free wi fi at the hotel. There was an extra charge for wifi but, really, why bother teasing this cost out and making Internet access that much more complex? Call this a ‘first world problem’ if you want but, really, who is ever going to turn up at an LA airport hotel and not going to want to check ‘how’, ‘when’ and what time’ they can make their escape from the place??
I had rung the Concierge the night before to explain the error in their ‘room rate marketing’ and was quickly advised that this ‘fee’ would be waived. Having explained that this was not the point of the matter the girl still couldn’t understand my meaning. I tried explaining how even tiny motels, in the middle of the desert at Death Valley, offered free and high speed internet but that still didn’t seem to help my cause. Anyway, once finally logged on, the wi fi didn’t even work so maybe that was the hotels revenge! This was what must have contributed to my poor sleep though: I wasn’t able to easily check our flight escape details on the airline website without this wifi access!
So, me and my heightened anxiety headed to the gym. It was whilst on the treadmill and listening to Tom’s Gen Z music that some moments of clarity descended upon me. This lack of Internet at a huge city hotel had got me thinking about other disconnects I’d noted over the last 2 weeks. Two such items stuck out:
~ Toilet seat liners: I was constantly amazed how I would find these ‘value added’ items available no matter how remote, or off the beaten track in the dessert, the toilet block happened to be.
~ Traffic congestion and productivity issues: the culture of the car is so well supported here that it is not uncommon to have extensive traffic jams, extending across 10 lane highways, at multiple points across the city.
I think their focus is all wrong here and that they’d be better investing more energy in promoting car pooling and public transport usage than worrying about equipping public toilets with this added feature!
My point here in citing these two examples of disconnect is that this great country of the USA seems to have lost sight of the need to work for that of the greater good rather than for just that of the individual. The latest round of national gun debate following Sandy Hook was another clear, and obviously more substantial, example of just this very problem!
With my head somewhat cleared I headed back to the room and we decided to leave for the airport a bit earlier. That turned out to be lucky for us as we ended up having to redistribute weight across our bags to comply with ‘domestic airline requirements’ for this particular sector of our flight. Mark was the one with anxiety now. Would the bottles of red wine in his case survive the plane trip now they’d been readjusted. Time, as they say, will tell us that one!
The flight from LA to Honolulu was just over 5 hrs, hence all of the rambling above!
We finally arrived at our Waikiki hotel at around 3 pm and headed down to the Banyan Tree courtyard for a late lunch and then again, a bit later on, for dinner. We had tried some other venues for dinner but, given the peak holiday season, most places were already booked out for the night.