In a matter of a few hours, I’ve gone from this:
So, I’ve spent the last week in what I would call paradise – Hawaii. I have never wished I won the lottery more than right now – if I had money, I think I could handle living on Maui! (It has water!)
Alas, I am not independently wealthy. I must work for a living (although I have two more days to pretend that I don’t.) I’m acclimating to the 20+ degree rise in temperature, and preparing for 100 degrees tomorrow. Funny how quickly I got used to mid-seventies, cloud cover and misting rain 🙂
I was forewarned, but the shock of $15 hamburgers and $4 glasses of iced tea still stung (kind of like the 284 emails in my “In” box!) The gas was over $1 a gallon higher than in Arizona. And, as if the food costs weren’t bad enough, we had to be careful not to overspend on activities. I marvel at how creatively they can extract money from tourists’ wallets.
Pictures. This was a biggie. There seemed to be someone around every corner willing to take your picture and sell you a copy (yes, one picture) for $20 or more. Had I been a vain lottery winner, I’d have dozens of pictures of ME to show everyone 😉
Upgrades. The snorkeling excursion we booked had one of the best sales pitches. They offered digital camera rentals for $40 (and would buy our disposable underwater camera for $10), they also offered a video CD for an additional amount, as well as neoprene wet suit tops for $10. The water was a bit cold for me, so they got the ten bucks for the shirt (but not the $100 for the deluxe video/picture combo DVD).
Multi-item discounts. For the bargain-minded tourist, this would seem like a great deal. The one that almost got me was the seven T-shirts for $20. Bought individually, the shirts were $4 apiece, saving you eight dollars if you needed seven T-shirts. Luckily, I stopped to think about it – I just needed two shirts – so really, I saved twelve dollars.
When I get more caught up, I’ll write about the different activities we did: zip line, snorkeling, rain forest hike, luau, theater show, our travels on the road to Hana and just walking along the beach. I may not be in paradise anymore, but I’ve got nearly 800 pictures to jog my memory! (Surely some of them are good enough to share, right?)
For now, I’m off to read some of the great posts that I’ve missed over the last week. I know I can’t read them all, but will do my best!