To set the stage for my birthday adventure yesterday, I was meeting up on the Island of Lanai with Elizabeth Weintraub who is the top listing broker in Sacramento. I, of course, am a real estate broker in both California and Hawaii. She was coming from the Island of Maui via ferry while I was coming via small prop plane from the island of Oahu (Honolulu).
How small is the island of Lanai? Let me tell you the ways.
When I got to the airport on Lanai, there is no cab stand! The cab company sends someone out from Lanai City, a respectable distance from the airport. The next available cab (and seemingly only one) could be there within 1/2 an hour. And it would cost me a flat $10 (a per person rate) to get to the 5-Star Four Seasons Lanai.
When I asked if there was a shuttle to the Four Seasons where I was to meet Elizabeth, they regretfully told me that since I was not checking into the hotel, they could not take me. "Not even if I'm a lunch guest?" Sorry, no can do. OK, no free shuttle to the Four Seasons.
How do I go about renting a car, I asked? Is there a shuttle to the car rental company - which obviously wasn't at the airport. That sounded just as complicated. Don't ask.
So I made my first big decision on Lanai: I waited for the cab to come get me.
AND A GOOD DECISION IT WAS.
Rick, the cab driver (and with whom we were to take several trips during the day peeling off $10 a pop plus tip) drove me to the ferry landing to pick up Elizabeth, and then to the Four Seasons down the street.
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents had a great crossing from Maui and was hot to trot to show me around the Four Seasons and its beautiful surrounding. You see, she had stayed there a couple of years or so ago and was up for the challenge.
THE BEACH AND SWEETHEARTS ROCK.
The island of Lanai is a peaceful place. You would think that it would be filled with tourists at this time of the year (like Maui is and which is driving Elizabeth crazy) and Oahu/Honolulu/Waikiki Beach where it's "tourist gridlock". Everyone is seemingly getting away from the harsh winter on the mainland to be on those two islands.
BUT NOT THE ISLAND OF LANAI
Lanai is absolutely heavenly.
Elizabeth invited me to a fabulous birthday lunch (yes, my birthday is on January 15th) at the golf course where we sat for probably two hours just yakking away about nothing and everything, about her vacation house on the Big Island of Hawaii (that's how the two of us officially met, when I was her Hawaii real estate broker to purchase it exactly a year ago), to talking about our business (oh, yes, it was also a "business lunch"). We even talked about some of you Activerainers and how we learn from each other.
And we talked about coming back to this magical island with nary a tourist.
Then we hailed Rick, the cabdriver, to take us to Lanai City. You guessed it, this was not as easy as it sounded. We shared the cab with some other people going to the airport who had snared Rick first, so, in a democratic way, they were let off first at the airport - even though we drove right by Lanai City. No worries, "going with the flow" we ended up at our destination in due time.
At the Mike Carroll Gallery
You would expect that in a one horse cab company town with only ONE GAS STATION, that this would be your normal small town local artist/artisan gallery. I make a big point of this because my California office is in Carmel-by-the-Sea, one of the premier artist and art gallery enclaves anywhere in the world.
So here we are walking into the Mike Carroll Gallery where I introduce myself to Mike, the owner and an artist himself. Here I am not Hella Rothwell the real estate broker but (another hat I wear) one of the officers and organizers of the world renowned Carmel Art Festival, a very prestigious juried plein air event held annually in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
"We have Randall Sexton, one of your winning artists here in our gallery and a couple of others you might know," says Mike.
Was I ever blown away! Randy exhibits his art, amongst other places, with the Nancy Dodds Gallery in Carmel-by-the-Sea and is a very "collected" artist.
After that very satisfying encounter, Elizabeth and I hit some of the shops in Lanai City but our hearts weren't in it. We wanted to get back to the Four Seasons to "wet our whistles". We actually managed to snag the Four Seasons shuttle to get back.
And all through our adventures, we both kept our "virtual" eyes on our business
I saw Elizabeth sneak peeks at her phone from time to time and whisper things into it; I presume instructions to send text messages "close that deal" here and there. The phone would ring, and she would give out the number of her team member. I, too, answered emails and texts and a couple of calls during the day to make my real estate business flow smoothly in my absence. No one even knew I had sneaked off to Lanai for a day of fun. And fun it was!
Then came the time for our departure from Lanai.
Yes, we cried into our adult beverage in the Sports Bar at the Four Seasons. But we had had our day on this magical island and it was time to go. Elizabeth's ferry was leaving earlier than my plane, so Rick the Cab Driver dropped her off first, then the other two couples in the cab were dropped off at their various destinations in Lanai City. While dropping them off, I couldn't help but notice this big wad of cash openly sitting in the console between the driver's seat and my passenger seat. Did I mention cabs only take cash? It had obviously been a VERY good day for him. So, finally, Rick and I had the cab to ourselves and we talked about our day. He was on his way to Reno and Las Vegas in a few days (with his stash), while I was talking about having to go back to California soon.
And there was my trusted little 2 engine prop plane sitting all by it's lonesone on the tarmac, full moon up above waiting to take me back to "real life".
It was the best day ever on Lanai!