Hawaii

Oahu, Hawaii Bus Tour — A Humorous Experience

When I was in my 30’s, I won a company sales contest. The grand prize was a trip to England or Hawaii. I chose Hawaii.

As part of my prize, my company planned guided tours on Oahu, Hawaii. I felt obligated to attend the first tour, and I disliked it and it became my first and last bus tour.

Following are some reasons why this tour influenced me to never take a bus tour again:

1. I had nothing in common with my bus mates who left the bus to take pictures of pineapples in fields and then took close-up photos of them. I wondered if they took pictures of pineapples in grocery stores.

2. My tour mates reinforced that I had nothing in common with them when they stepped off the bus again to photograph field and close-up pictures of sugarcane. At this point, I wanted to return to my hotel because I thought that I was in hell.

3. The bus driver repeated incessantly that there were no snakes on the Island. He said it so many times that I started to suspect that there were some. In addition, I had a nightmare about snakes and the bus driver.

4. I was stuck on the bus all day when I wanted to lie on the beach, enjoy a casual lunch, and read my book.

5. Everyone on the bus carried bags and cameras and resembled Terry and Tommy tourist. I hoped no one recognized me with this motley group — even though I probably fit in more than I will admit.

6. I didn’t like to get shuttled to a tourist-trap restaurant where the bus driver seemed chummy with the owner. The food was terrible and I couldn’t get a cold beer to escape my misery.

7. Everyone on the bus was old — like I am now. But even though I am old, I still won’t get trapped on a bus.

8. I prefer to eat with the locals and determine when my tour begins and ends.

This bus tour affected me for life and left me with humorous memories. However, no matter how old I am, you won’t catch me lined up to board a bus with old people like me, unless I am forced.

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The fountain in the courtyard at The Setai

Tranquility at The Setai resort in Miami Beach

Roses and an orange in the lobby at The Setai

Roses and an orange in the lobby at The Setai )photo by dorothyadele)

The Setai hotel in South Beach Miami, Fla., is rated one of the top luxury hotels in the area. The art deco design, peaceful ambiance and outstanding customer service places The Setai in a unique category.

Upon entry, the hotel’s atmosphere transports visitors to a tranquil resort. Oranges are displayed in clear glass globes on wooden tables in the courtyard and along the walkways to remind visitors that they are in South Florida and not just in an Asian retreat.

As we entered The Setai, the front desk agent greeted us and gave us cold lemongrass iced tea and warm moist hand towels to freshen us while we waited to check in. The dimly lit hotel and lobby made me feel like I had entered a spa.

As we exited the elevator and walked toward our room instrumental music drifted through the hall. We entered our softly lit suite and heard music that had previously been turned on.

A suite at The Setai in Miami Beach,Fla.

A suite at The Setai in Miami Beach, Fla. (photo by dorothyadele)

Dark cherry colored wood floors, cream-colored walls and sleek brown rectangular tables and lamps create a peaceful art deco design in our room. A comfortable king size bed is set against the far wall beyond a brown square table with two chairs. The hotel management is serious about relaxation, and it was the first hotel room that I have visited that didn’t have an obvious clock.

Room amenities include a large bathroom with double-above -the-counter sinks and a large shower. The overhead rain shower and the wall system stream water from two directions.

Guests may brew tea, espresso, regular and decaf coffee with the shiny black and stainless Illy coffee maker in the room. The coffee maker includes a steam wand for milk frothing. The Setai also offers a beach bag and umbrella for guests to use while visiting.

The hotel has three large pools set at different temperatures. Large comfortable lounge chairs are near the pools and on the beach. Between the pools and the beach is an outdoor bar and restaurant. The food is excellent.

I have never visited a hotel comparable to The Setai. The Setai’s soothing atmosphere, muted decor and superb customer service offer the traveler a unique experience.

The Setai lounge near the pools

The Setai lounge near the pools (photo by dorothyadele)