The Princeville Hotel is closing for several months in order to "renovate up" and emerge from the dust as a St. Regis maximum stars hotel. They're having a massive sale so we took the pleasant drive to the North Shore with our Nissan Frontier hoping to bring home something slightly big.
I realize now what a Costco girl I am. Or ok, Walmart girl. I had the naive audacity to assume they wanted to get rid of 252 rooms of stuff so they'd sell things at garage sale prices. As I browsed through the ballroom filled with their diningroom wares, I thought, "So are these the REAL prices or is it half-off??" and "Why does that sign say 10% added?" A tiny, bland-looking creamer was $2...couldn't I buy one brand new at KMart for that price? A cake stand, albeit silver-plated, was $30. Surely I could find a new one at Macy's? No? Two elderly women nearby were saying, "Oh look, this sugar bowl is $5, can't beat that! This is quality stuff." Ah ha...ok, there WAS a stamp under the mini creamer indicating a china company in England as opposed to MADE in China. People like to say "You get what you pay for," but someone tell me why after 30 years of using "cheap" bedsheets and not once finding holes in them, there are a couple of holes in our 3 month old high-thread-count "quality" sheets that I bought at Macy's?? And no, they're NOT from insects because we've never seen any bug on our bed and the sheets aren't left sitting in a hamper.
We ended up buying a peach tablecloth, 2 tiny new wastebaskets, 6 plastic tumblers, a BACKSCRATCHER (darn if I know what those were doing there) and 2 small woven trays (Made in China.. now that's more like it!). Oh yeh, I did buy the QUALITY tiny creamer.
So that was the first hour. We then moved on to the guestrooms in search of a safe. We were looking for a small safe and the "sample area" in the lobby indicated there were 2 small models and 1 large. Every room we visited had the larger safe in it. While searching for the small safe we did find a $10 radio/speaker set that I would say packed quite a punch for their size. Our search was also enjoyable because we got to see several suites and it was fun to wonder who'd stayed in them in the past. One of the features of the Princeville rooms are the bathroom window glass which allows you to see through the bathtub wall into the room (and vice versa, it's not one way). When you flick the light switch, it "fogs up" the glass to enable privacy. I wondered what happens when the power goes off. Leonard asked me why I was laughing. Note to self: Never be naked in that type of bathroom when visitors are in the next room or if Granny goes in there to take a bath during a thunderstorm, clear the room!
That was our second hour. After not finding any small safes in the rooms they allowed us into, it occurred to me that none of the three models were fireproof! Omigod, we just wasted an hour searching for something I didn't want in the first place!
We should've left right then and there, but nooooo back in the lobby "sample area" I heard myself saying "Hey look those mini-bars are only $25!" I recalled seeing some brown ones in the rooms like the sample, but also some newer types that were white. I asked one of the workers if the white ones I had seen were also $25 and he said yes. So back down we went in search of the nice mini-bars. I couldn't recall where I'd seen them so that meant looking through 2 floors of rooms. Finally we found them near the end of the second hall. Although the older types had wheels on them, this new one did not so I had to trudge through several hallways and catch two elevators to find a cart. That's ok, I was getting some exercise for a change and now getting an almost brand new little "mini-bar" for our diningroom.
As we loaded it on the wagon and proceeded on our long trek back to the lobby, my intuition told me, "What if they tell us this is NOT $25?" After all, although a similar size, it was obviously newer than the sample. Well, sure enough, the cashier asked, "What do we have here?" I said "It's a mini-bar, $25." Her supervisor, Mr. No-Nonsense-What-Are-You-Trying-To-Do-Rip-Us-Off, said "No, that's a refrigerator. $85." I explained that I was told that it was a mini-bar and showed them the card that was in it which said "Dear Guest, this is a cooler...etc etc." Mr. No-Aloha repeated, "It's a refrigerator." I went to talk to The Pricer (that's what the cashier called him), a more pleasant man in the Sample Area and he confirmed, yes that IS a refrigerator. Grrrrr.
Although $85 is not a high price for a mini-refrigerator, I'd had my heart set on $25...maybe $50 max. Plus I didn't like Mr. No-Nonsense's brusque attitude. Plus we really don't need a mini-bar OR mini-fridge. Plus there's a FINANCIAL CRISIS going on in the U.S. I felt sad leaving that cute little refrigerator there.
So that ended our 3rd hour and our Aloha Trip to the Princeville Hotel.
Arriving back to Kapaa Town, I suggested we stop at Cost-U-Less for some veggies. I suppose I felt cheated that our truckbed was empty upon leaving that MAJOR hotel sale or maybe I was in Furniture-Finding Mode. We came out of Cost-U-Less with the usual groceries...and something I've been wanting for years: a walnut/glass curio cabinet! Brand new and uh....Made in China. Way over the cost of an almost-new cute mini-fridge, and we had to spend all evening putting it together, but I'm a happy camper! And yes, there's a FINANCIAL CRISIS happening, so I'm returning the new bracelet I bought from QVC.