We swung around a corner and drove through an enormous building. “This is one of the prop warehouses,” the driver announced. We passed aisle after aisle of fascinating objects. The aisles appeared to be a hundred yards long. One was filled with chandeliers, another with paintings in ornate gilt frames, another with vases, and so on. It was overwhelming, but 20 seconds later, we exited. I can barely remember the exhibits they wanted us to see, but I will never forget that warehouse.
My wife had booked us on a Movie Tour of Kauai. This experience ranks as the second worst thing we did in Hawaii. We boarded a bus and were driven to pick up the remaining tourists. Most were older people (okay I’m old too), but there was one young couple on their honeymoon.
The bus driver started regaling us with stories about himself, but during the rare silences, we struck up a conversation with the young couple. The bus driver shot us irritated glances, annoyed that his captive audience was not permitting him to entertain them. What I didn’t know is that he was only the first entertainer that I would piss off that day.
We picked up our tour guide last. The bus had been rigged with a TV in the front, and she would show us brief clips of movies, and then point out the window to some part of Kauai that had been used to shoot the scene. For example, the little framework shack that you see in this photo was used in the film “Tropic Thunder.” None of the cows appeared in the film.
We drove to Hanalei Bay, where South Pacific was filmed.
We stopped for lunch at a restaurant that was used in the movie “The Descendants.” I haven’t seen the movie, and George Clooney wasn’t there, so I had to content myself with a hamburger.
The absolute high point and the absolute low point came about 20 minutes later, when we arrived at the Coco Palms hotel. This hotel was a hot spot back in the sixties, but fell into a state of decline until it was terribly damaged in Hurricane Iniki and closed for good. Why did we stop there? Because the hotel was used in the last 20 minutes of the 1961 Elvis Presley movie, “Blue Hawaii.” Please don’t watch the movie, it really sucks.
The hotel now stands in ruins, overgrown by jungle. In fact, we had to sign a waiver in case we were injured on the premises, which included a clause about falling coconuts. I was entranced by the place, and it wasn't the real reason we had been brought there.
He then started to sing again, but I couldn’t pretend to listen politely. So I began taking pictures of the majestic decay of the hotel. I wandered a bit too far from the group, and suddenly Larry materialized next to me.
Glowering, he said, “Hey, no leaving the tour!” And then, under his breath, he muttered, “If you weren’t so big, I’d…” He let the thought trail off, and turned to the rest of the tourists, who were now dispersing. The spell broken, he returned to his car and packed up his CDs. We returned to the bus, pretty much unimpressed with the motion picture history of Kauai.