Once again you steered us in all the right directions with all the great suggestions and advice.  You were so right…no need for any “guided” group activity at all.  I  think someone who goes to the Big Island a lot told Tom about the group gig at Mauna Kae.  Just have to pick and choose who you listen to!

The Fairmont Orchid was lovely!  Great staff!  The concierge was very helpful in planning a few of our excursions and with other restaurant suggestions.  In fact, her restaurant choices were better than the two I added!  Great accommodations (thank you for the upgrade)!  We enjoyed our time there relaxing but also touring the island.  We made it to the Northwest corner to Hawi, which was so fun and so “old Hawaii,”  then to the falls and the botanical garden (which Tom thoroughly enjoyed) and Hilo (which Tom did not enjoy…a little too throw back for him, I think!…  (Hawi was what I thought Hilo would be), and another day at the Volcano National Park.  We only went by Mauna Kae…that will be the next trip…we didn’t want to get up before dawn or go up before sunset, which are all suggested because of the stars and, truthfully, we didn’t want to be cold!  There was snow!!!  So we need to go back since we also didn’t see Waimea.  Having our own car and doing our thing was truly the way to go!

The Four Seasons!  Wow!  We did not leave the property!!!  A great way to spend the end of the trip just totally relaxing.  And thank you again for the beautiful upgrade to a suite.  You can’t beat the Four Seasons’ perks!

And all because of you, we had many other advantages…breakfasts and hotel credits.  We felt totally indulged!

Funny, because on the way from Phoenix to Kona we ran into a nice elderly couple from NY.  They were separated on the plane, because he had forgotten to reserve seats.  Only later to find out they used a travel agent.  (That’s the first thing YOU did!)  Saw them at the Fairmont, but they said they weren’t going back to breakfast because it was so costly.  AND they didn’t have a car!  (They took a 10 hour tour around the island…ugh!).  I told them, politely of course, to get a new travel agent.  We suggested you, but who knows what they’ll do!  

Yep!  You gave us all the perfect recommendations and accommodations.  We loved touring the island on our own time and in our own way!  

Next time, I’ll just try to book early enough to use miles for first class upgrade on the way home.  By the way, I’m beginning to think those AA  miles are worthless!  They never work out.    

What a trip, John!  And I will admit.  I had a bit of skepticism.  27 (?) years ago when we were in Maui with the kids, the restaurant choices were Mahi Mahi Teriyaki or grilled Mahi Mahi.  Boy, has the cuisine and culinary expertise come a long way….especially at the Four Seasons. 

Thank you again for guiding us through a most memorable, relaxing, rewarding, fun, awe inspiring trip!  We loved the Big Island!!  You know we’ll keep in touch!!

Most sincerely,

Tom & Maureen, Tower Lakes, IL