My All-Expenses Paid Trip to Maui
January 11, 2007
Here it was the first week of January, and my companion and I were
already exhausted. We decided we needed a vacation. A place where we
could revel in the simple act of doing whatever the hell we wanted.
Somewhere that would allow us to luxuriate in the natural splendor of
white sandy beaches and swaying palm trees while consuming Mai Tais
served on silver platters and burgers that cost $25.
Yes, people, that somewhere would be Maui. Please return your trays
to the upright position, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for landing.
Sometimes a girl needs more than just a beach mat and a cooler. And
since I remembered I knew a friend of a friend who was working by the
pool at a resort in an area I hadn't been to in a long time, we donned
our heels (nobody wears slippahs at a resort!), hopped in my lowrider
and jetted off.
Once we arrived at the lavishly landscaped roundabout in front of
the hotel's enchanting entrance, I politely beckoned a parking
"Excuse me, sir," I asked. "Can you please tell me where guest parking is?"
"Uh, are you staying at this hotel?" he said.
"No," I said. "We just want to—"
"Well, then," he said. "You are not a guest."
His tone prompted my friend to take more, uh, brazen action.
"We're guests of guests who are staying at your hotel," she said, leaning over me with a defiant eyebrow raised.
The attendant then offered us complimentary valet parking, and
graciously held open my door for me. So we click-clacked our way across
the circular driveway, through the immense lobby, and down the
extremely long and winding path to the pool area.
Admiring the various, meticulously placed tropical flora and
Hawaiian-inspired decor spread throughout the resort, I recalled a
friend who was once visiting from New York. After taking her on hikes
in Haiku and `Iao Valley, a road trip to Hana and Kahakaloa, as well as
countless beaches around the island, she only started to warm up after
we walked her through the grounds of a resort.
"Now I feel like I'm actually in Hawai`i," she'd said, with no irony whatsoever.
Back at the resort on my most recent outing, I scanned the pool area
for my resort-employee acquaintance. But she was nowhere to be found. I
was crestfallen. And I was sure there was no way we could lounge
poolside without her assistance.
"Don't you worry," said my day-vacation co-hort. "I'll take care of it."
When she returned, she simply handed me my towel and wristband and
informed me that we had recently checked out of room number "1234"
under the name "Smith" (not the real name or number, sorry).
But my spy skills are not nearly as honed as my friend's. When I
went back for another complimentary towel, the friendly desk clerk
noticed "my" hometown.
"Laguna Beach!" he said, beaming at me. "I've always wanted to go there. What's it like?"
"Uh, yeah," I said, putting my shades back on. "It's fabulous! A lot like here, actually."
I flashed him my best LB smile and scurried away.
Once we found a prime spot next to a cabana that was equidistant
from the pool and beach, we ordered our Mai Tais and $25 burger (yes,
that's for real) from our stunning poolside server.
"And what room number shall I put this under?" she asked, sweetly.
"We just checked out this morning," said my friend, nonchalantly. "We'll pay cash."
"Can you put it on my credit card?" I asked. My friend shot me a look.
"Oh," the server said, as she took my Hawaiian bankcard. "Do you live here?"
"Um, yes!" I said, stuttering just a little. "Yes, I do! Yeah, I'm
visiting… her. So it's, uh, kinda like a little vacation… you know?"
Our server smiled and took my card.
"I'm not very good at this," I told my lounging friend after our server left.
"I noticed," she said. "You just have to pretend like you own the joint. You know, like you belong here."
"You're right, I guess," I said. "I'll work on that."
On our way out, we nearly bulldozed Steven Tyler.
Samantha Campos would like to thank each and every member of the Academy. MTW
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