Hawaii trip report Sept. 25-Oct. 9th

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Oct 12th, 2004, 09:37 AM
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Hawaii trip report Sept. 25-Oct. 9th

Hello everyone.

First let me thank everyone for all their advice ahd help with planning this trip. I could not have done so well without your help. I sincerely hope the good/bad from my report helps those yet to travel.

We were in Hawaii for two weeks so this will have to be done in segments. Also let me preface by saying my husband Mark was wonderful on the trip but is NOT a morning person nor does he move in a hurry at any time

MAUI Sept. 25-Oct. 1

Sept. 25th Sat.

We flew an 8 hour nonstop flight from Dallas to Maui. I know you are not supposed to take to much luggage but I planned to bring back lots of "research" material, as in brochures phamplets, etc. and souveniers/Xmas shopping. So with that in mind my husband Mark and I each checked two bags plus we had our carry ons and Mark took his laptop.

Our fist mistake was not paying for coach tickets and using our miles to upgrade to first class. Eight hours on a plane in one of those coach seats is a long time. It did not bother me but as a result an old sports back injury flared up for Mark from setting in the seat for that long. We decided next time to purchase tickets and upgrade.

As you can guess with 7 pieces of luggage we rented one of those luggage carts at every airport. Our first challange was getting the luggage in our mustang convertible with their tiny trunks. We used Mark's AM Ex miles for the car so we had no choice but to use Herts and they only have mustangs. We were quite a sight driving to our hotel with the trunk and back seat full of luggage and with my seat pushed as far forward as possible. It was quite a sight I am sure with me trying to read the map with the windshield right in my face and and the wind blwing the map There was lots of traffic on Maui and it took us nearly an hour to get to Napili Kai Beach Resort. I had to spell the raod names as I still can not pronouce the names. WE wer so anxious to turn in we took the first two turn ins to the resort before we finally got to the main entrance. Note to those staying at Napili turn in the 3rd intrance for the office

We had a ocean view condo with a beautiful view of Napili Bay. The room was very clean and had a nice kitchenewtte which we only used the microwave for our entire stay. What we did not know until after we checked in was that they were doing construction on the building next to us so if you were in your room during the day you heard the construction i.e. naps. I wanted to ask for a room change but Mark did not want to deal with moving the luggage so we stayed. Our first mistake was not staying somewhere with air conditioning. Don't get me wrong as the room itself was very nice for a moderate property but you had to keep your Lani doors open when you were to there to get a breeze and had to stay under the ceiling fan to stay cool. So we always heard the construction in the daytime if we were there and at night our neighbors was quite often out on their lani caughing and spitting over the railing it seemed to us. They also had their Tv on most of the time. It was not turned up loud but we could always hear it. WE wanted to get away form TVs. Also we were right above the restaurant/bar so could hear music and talking. Now this did not go on late as stopped with the restuarant closed at 10 pm. But still bothersome to us anyway and we would not have heard nearly as much if we could have closed the doors. Also when the sun came up streaming in our doors (no curtains) it woke us up early. Like a said I do recommend staying here as the resort itself and rooms are very nice just make sure no construction is near you and ask for aroom away from the restaurant. There is a great stone and boulder walk way that fronts the beach at the resort and I got soem great pictures. That first night we got there we ate diinner the Seahouse REstaurant there at the hotel. It was very pretty and right on the sand with very good food and service. Since our bodies were on Dallas time we went to bed at 8 pm that first night.

I don't know how much space fodors give you so
I will end here and just reply to my own email to continue.





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Oct 12th, 2004, 10:08 AM
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to continue ...

I forgot to say I had my first lave flow drink at dinner and it was sonderful!

Sept. 26th Sun.

We woke early of course, got dressed and walked over to the other side of the bay to eat breakfast at the Gazzebo Restaurant which had been highly recommended. We got there late and had to wait about 20 minutes to get in. It was worth the wait. The views were wonderful and the macadamia nut pancakes with whipped cream and coconut syrup VERY YUMMY! In fact we are now addicted to they syrup as we broght back 3 bottles.

That particular Sunday they were having part of the statwide aloha festival in Lahina under the huge banyon tree which included local entertainment and lots of craft booths. I love that kind of festival so we went into town for lunch at Lahina Grill and then walked over to the festival. We spent the afternoon there. I purchased a beautiful monkeypod wood carving of a palm tree from the actual artist who was there carving (my first souviner)

We wanted to get back to the room before sunset so decided just to stop and get sandwiches to eat later that evening in our room. We got some great sunset pictures that evening. I must say the weather was great the whole time in Maui. But surf and waves were high that week so you had to be watchful when in the water.
We spent the evening relaxing on our lani.

I ahve run out of time so will continue this with a reply to this later.

Keep to for further trip report.

Kay
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Oct 12th, 2004, 05:41 PM
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Sept. 27th Tues.

Spent most of the day at the beach by our hotel. That evening we went to Nick's Fishmarket at the Fairmont Kei Lani Resort for the best dinner we have ever had. The atmosphere, food and service was the best ever. Our head waiter Mr. Cooins was wonderful with suggestions and very friendly attitude. The Restaurant photographer took our photo which we purchased as well. WE had a prime perfect outside table from which we watched the sun set and the tiki torch lighting ceremony. Our head waiter even suggestions he take us to the wine celler so we could have a special photo taken. To top it off we ahd a full moon SIGH! It was an evening neither of us will ever forget. WE droke back to our hotel with the op down so we could watch the moon

Sept. 28th Tues.

This was our road to Hana and night at the Hotel Hana Maui. We had the blue bible with us as did most of the people we saw. We did not get as early a start as I had wanted but did stop in Paia for a great breakfast at Charlie's. WE went by Cafe Mambo, formaly, Picnics to get a picnic lunch to take with us. Big mistake as the lunch turned out to be terribel when we ate it. My advice is have your hotel pack you a nice lunch in a cooler to take with you. The raod to Hana was very nice but not as wonderful as it could have been. Our problem was that it was hard to keep up with and see the mile markers. Either they were obstructed, faded out or in a bad location for us to see anyway. Some of the places we had wanted to stop we either missed or there were too many cars parked for us to stop. We decided that we would try tp stop at some of the places we missed on the way back down the next day. We arrived at the hotel Hana Maui by 1 pm. The hotel is wonderful, beautiful and peaceful. We were greeted with a topical drink and leis. Our oceanview cottage was awesome with its hardwood floor, beamed ceiling and HUGE bathroom with it's deep soaking tub and walk in shower. Now I see why so many celebraties stay here. Our cottage was only one behid the oceanfront so we really had a great oceanview and and huge lani. To the right of our cottage was the pasture where the hotel keeps the horses during hte day. I wnt over to the fense to take a picture and a whilte horse saw me and immediately sarted galloping over to the fense. When he got to teh fense where I was standing he rput his head over and nuzzeled me and let me pet him until he realized I had no food to give him then he alluped away (how fickle) I got some great pictures. Tehre are not TVs or radioos in the cottages so it was very quiet. You would hardly believe you were on Maui still. There was cmfortable cotton robes and egyption cotton towls and sheets!

We had a light dinner at the casual restaurant and when it got dark we put our swimsuites and robes on and went over to the huge infinity pool wich we had to our selves. Just us, the moon and stars!! Afer playing in the pool went got int the huge hot tub for awhile then it clouded up and a gental rain started to fall while we were in teh hot tub (COOL!) then the light rain got a little harder, then harder and harder until it became a deluge. We threw on our robes and shoes and hot footed it to our cottage soaking wet. A guest went by on a golf cart and hollared out to us "How was the hot tub in the rain" as we stood there soaking wet HA HA I would not have traded it for anything though and it was such fun. Up in Hana the air was cool with ceiling fans so you dis NOT need air conditioning. It was so great not to ahve had to do the road in to Hana in one. We did not check out of our other hotel we just paced and overnight case for the stay at Hana. The cottages had tin roofs so it was sooo cool to listened to the rain that night. I widh we could have spent more than one night here, maybe next time.
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Oct 13th, 2004, 01:39 PM
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Sept. 29 Wed.

On Wed. mornign we ahd a choice of going to the seven sacred pools or taking the shuttel down to Hamoa Beach. Since it rained so much the night before we opted for the beach. Hamoa is awonderful beach. While I sat under an umbrella Mark learned to bookie board and has the scraped shoulder to show that the water is in charge. The only thing missing is that the hotel has new ownerships and does not have a license to have drinks on the beach yet, so no mai tis.

We had lunch in the main dining room which was very nice nad the food was great.

It was afternoon before we heading back down the road to Napili. We managed to get a few pictures we missed on teh way up but since it was a long tiring drive and sunset when we got back to the hotel we opted for dinner at the Seahouse again.

Sept. 30 Thurs.

Slept late, did laundry. Went over to Kaanapili for lunch at Hula Grill which was great. After that we went parasailing which was a blast and got some great pictures.

We saved the Old Lahina Luau for our last night on Maui and we were not disappointed. We had a table with great views and sat accross from a very nice couple that we chatted with all evening. The drinks were very good as well as the food and service. The show was wonderful and very authentic. It was quite a lovely evening and if you go to Maui for the first time I would say it is not to be missed.

Oct. 1 Fri.

We were up very early in order to get to the airport for our 9 am flight to Kauai. Poor Mark had to get all that luggage in the Mustang again We did have a scare at the airport which was caused from so much luggage. We checked the luggage curb side them Mark went to turn in the car while I stayed with the carry on luggage. I thoguht he had taken the laptop with him since we did not check it and it was not with the carry ons. Then when I saw him walking toward me without it I asked him where it was. I had never seen that look of total panic on his face before. He knew he had put it in the car and thought maybe it got with the checked in by accident. About that time the car rental bus driver came over carrying it and saved the rest of the trip. He had left it in the car even though he thought he had gotten it out. WHEW!!!

We arrived at the In Kauia and right away you could tell the difference from Maui. Kaui is very laid back and rural with really only a two land road around the island and VERY BEAUTIFUL. We rented a jeep in Kaui and managed to get all the luggage in the back this time and headed off to the Hyatt.

The Hyatt is amazing. Immediatley when we pulled up the bell hops were right there with leis and got our luggage and directed us to where to check in. The Hyatt has a very Hawaiian open air casual laid back feel to it. Our partical ocean view room was ready. WE had room 3032 in the Poipu wing which was only a 5 minute walk from the lobby. The room was beautiful and we had a partical ocean view and best of all air conditioning YEA! The bathroom was large and very nice. The hotel is built in a series of low buildings down the side of the hill. The foliage is very lush and beautiful with waterfalls etc. We took a walking tour of the property then went to the pool restaurant for some lunch. Mark took a nap in the afternoon and I went shopping and out to take pictures. We had dinner that night at Tidepools a wonderul restaurant over the koi pools. Our table was right on the water and the koi kept us entertained jumping out of the water and begging for food which we supplied. I am a sucker for begging animals/fish. Again the service was great and the food was wonderful. WE wateched the torch lighting ceremony from our table just as we had done at Nick's fishmarket on Maui.

Our room was right down from one of the wedding gazbos and I got to see a wedding that afternoon and the next.

to be continued
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Oct 13th, 2004, 05:45 PM
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Oct. 2 Saturday

On the plane ride over and after dealing with all our luggage my husband hand aggrevated an old back injury so he wanted to get messages and since I had never had one either we made an apt. for Sat. morning at the Hyatt's famous Ansas Spa. Mark was in heaven and just loved his message but to me it was OK. But hten I am not the message kind of person. After our messages we spent the rest of the day enjoying the Hyatt fantastic water activies: the 5 acre lagoon where you can rent kyaks, the adult and kid pools, the meandering rivers with their hidden hot tubs waterfall hidden grottos and the slide that goes from one pool to the other. The hyatt is in my opinion the kind of resort where adults and kids would be very happy co-inciding. WE saw kids and honeymooners having a blast.

That eveinging we went to the Beach House for a sunset dinner and really enjoyed it. The setting was beautiful and the food again wonderful. For dessert we both had the chocolate molten cake thing, definately for chocolate fanatics!!! The restaurant photographer took a beautifu picture of us which we plan to have framed. We finished the eveing with champagyne and chocoate covered macademia nuts compliments of the hotel.

Oct. 3 Sunday

WE ahd breakfast brunch in one of the restaurants. We checked out and ahd the hotel store our luggae and headed off to drive up Waimea Canyon. We only had time to get about half way up but the views were stunning and we got some great pictures. Then we headed over the Inter-Island Helicopters for the highlight of our whole trip, our helicopter tour with waterfall landing.
We of course ahd heard about the tragic crash the day before we arrived in Hawaii. I ahd done considerable research and followed the "blue book" recommendation that Inter-island was the best and booked with them. We were with a couple from Israel. Our ilot was JOhn who had been flying on Kauai for about 5 years. Inter-island is the ones called for search and rescue adn JOh our pilot said that had been called to help with the recovery but the winds were to high ath the time of the crash adn they had to bring hin coast guard helicopters. John said the cause of the crash was pilot error. He said for one thing Bali Hai does not fly high performance helicopter but standard tourist helipoters. Inter-island are high performance with give extra umph when you need it. He also said the piot ws an experience pilot but not on Kauai. He had only been on the island for 3 months and ahd deviated form the flgiht path that day, maybe showing off but we will never know. The weather the day of the crash was not that great he said.

Anyway back to our flight. The helipoter is small and hold the pilot and two passengers beside him and and two in the back. We were put in the back seat and there were NO DOORS. Let me tell you if you are the least bit afraid of hights go with anther company. But it was very very excilerating to lean over and be able to look straight down. The weather was perfect and JOhn our pilot said it was rare to be clear on top of the mountain and we were very lucky to ahve such a day. I can't even find the right words to say how surreal, amazing and out of this world the view were on our flight. I have never seen such sights as I saw that day. JOhn was mattter of fact while flying but informative when he needed to be. The view spoke for itself. He pointed out specific sights when he need to. I ahve never seen so many waterfalls!!! The hight point was when we set down in a little clearing somewhre in the interior of the island and walked about 5 minutes to the most beautiful waterfall and pool. Mark went in first and warned me the water was cold but I did not care I was not missing the experience of swimming in a private waterfall. It was COLD too but I gritted my teeand went in about a 1/3 of the water after that the depth dropped off over my head. Mark swam all the way over to the waterfall and I got some great pictures. After swimming we had a nice lunch and chatted with John the other couple. All too soon we wer back in the helipoter. We got to fly right over the Hanalie Colony Resort where we were staying next and the highest mountain and gradually back to hlme base. I will never forget that ride as long as I live.

BAck at the Hyatt we got our luggage and headed to the north shore and the Hanalie Colony Beach resort. Thh closer we got to the north shore the more amazing the views got WOW!!! The office was closed when we got to the resort but they left us the key and directions to our oceanfront condo.

Hanalie Colony Resort was very nice and so clean you could eat off the floor. Our only 15 feet from the water and georgous views of the beach. The beach is fine to walk on but you are forbidden to get in the water at this beach. We had pictures windows and a huge balcony. I thought I would love being so close to the water but the ocean sure is loud when you are trying to sleep and you can't turn the sound dawn Agian no air conditioning but lots of breeze, sometimes too much breeze. This resort is also very quiet with no Tv or Radio.

We went into Hanalie to Zelos for dinner which was OK but nothing to write home about. The end of an amazing day for us.
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Oct 14th, 2004, 09:50 AM
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Oct. 3 Monday

Today dawned overcast adn cloudy so we lazed around the condo and out on the balcony watching the ocean. Around lunctime we decided to go into Hanalie to have lunch and do some shopping. We had lunch at the Polynesia Cafe which OK but nothing special and looked at the shops in the Chung YOung Center. We we met a really nice shop owner in on t-shirt sops what that we chated with for abotu 20 minutes. she was really nice as were most of the people we met in Hawaii.

Our dinner was leftoverw from the night before.

Oct. 5 Tues.

Today dwned bright and clear YEA! After breakfast at eth condo we drove the long ditance of 1 miles to Tunnels beach which I thoght was beautiful and quite long and wide. Unfortunately the surf was very high and the life guard that came by asked everyone not to go in the water, but at least we could look at it. Then we went on down to Kee Beach which I did not think was as nice as Tunnels. Kee beach was packed with people. We walked a little ways up the trail which is doable for just about anyone who can walk but it is not a walk in the park. You ahve to do some climbing and be sure to watch your footing closely as there are not guard rails etc. We didn't ahve time to do the first 2 miles but it was fun.

WE drove up to the Princeville Hotel for lunch at Cafe Hanali so I could se ethis hote and compare it with the Hyatt.

The views from the hotel and Cafe Hanalie were STUNNING and the food was very good. My husband had the first $15 hamburger he had ever had and thought it was very good. WE walked around the hotel and grounds and the front desk even gave me a key so I could see an oceanview room.

My impression of Princeville is that it is very beautiful and elegant but ahs a cold feeling aobut it. You could take the hotel and put it in New YOrk City and it wold look right at home. The rooms wer ebeautiful and the bathrooms wer edone in black marble. This is comparable to the Hyatt but the Hyatt has a much more Hawaiian laid back feelign adn much better pools but Princeville wins hands down the view department.

After we left Princeville we made a quick tirp to Kapaa so my husband coud go by a wook shop that carried koa wood as he is into wood working.

WE ate dinner that night at our condo.

Oct. 6 Wed.

WE checked out of the condo and started our drive to the airport for our flight to Honalulu first stoping by the Stitery shop so I coudl shop for fabric ( I am into sewing like my husband is inot wood working). This time we made sure we had all lthe pieces of luggage.

WE had a jeep on Kauai but had a car in Honalulu and were updraded to a nice luxury car.

We checked into the Radisson Prince Kuhio HOtel just 1 block form the beach. We were upgraded to a oceanview room on the 24th floor. Teh hotel was very nice for the price. The hotel is newly redecorated and remodeld and is very nice. It is only a 5 minute walk to the beach. After chekcign in my husband decided to take a nap so I went shopping at the Internation Marketplace. That is a great place to shop and I got some great bargains. Some of the shop keeps are not particularly but some are very nice and helpful. I got lost and had to ket directions to find my way back out. My husbadn wa sjust waking up when I walked in the room and after seeling all my packages aske dif I had bought everything they had It is always a mistake for him to take nap when we are on vacation.

That evening we walked over to the Sheratan Moana Surfrider for a sunset drink. Now that is a beautiful elegant hotel that has lots of old world charm. the banyon tree int ehcourtyard is huge.
I had the drink in the coconut Am I a tourist or what! WE ahd room service dinner that night.

Oct. 7 Thurs.

We were up very early to meet our group for the Home OF The Brave military base tour. It was somethign really special. I have to admit I had not had high expectations as I expected it to be kind of dull and boirng. Boy was wrong. Our tour guide Olav really made the tour very very special. He told all kinds of Pearl Harbor stories and showed video clips form old movies showing Pearl Harbor while driving us to different places. Olav is an ametur historian and knew lots ove r very intereting facinationg things about Peral Harbor. He also had some very usful advice for us to enjoy Pearl Harbor more but I won't tell you. You ahve to take the tour Olav got us to Peral Harbor by 7 am. There was already a line. He said the tickets are usually gone by mid morning. WE were there early enough to get in the first group. The tickets you get are facinating as on the back of each one there is a story of an individual at Peral Harbor. WE toured the small museum first then the gift shop and fianlly the bathroom before getting in line for the movie in the audatorium. Afterword be boarded the boat to take us out to the Arizona Memorial. There was the most beautiful rainbow over the Arizona memorial as we approached it WOW!

We happened to be on the memorial at the exact time the bombs had started to fall. It was very solumn and everyone was hushed. We got about 20 minutes on teh meeorial and then headed back to eeh bus to over to Hickem Air Force bace. Olav pointed out what had been destroyed there and all kinds of other interesting facts about the base that day. Then we went over to the army base and had lunch in the commisary. My husband had been in the army and said if they had had commisaries as nice as this one he might have stayed in! After lunch we went over to headquarters and got to meet the head commander chief person of the whole pacific area. It was really special for him to take time to talk with us. After listening to him I really wanted to go right over and sign up for military servcie. They should have him speak on TV , he was that powerful a speaker. WE then drove over to punchbowl cemetary where all the brave souls killed that day at Pearl Harbor are buried (very moving). Afterward we went to the Home of the Brave museum and gift shop and got our picture taken in a World WAr II jeep. We were back at the hotel by 2:30. If you go to Honalulu don't miss this tour!!!

Mark again took a nap while I went down to Waikiki beach. I could not go and not go to the beach. The beach has lots of poeple on it but the sand and water were very nice.

That evening for our farewell dinner we drove over to the Kahala Mandarin Hotel for our dinner at Cabanas Seaside Grill under a private caban right on the sand. The food, atmosphere and service were very good and we had a romantic final dinner in Hawaii.

Oct. 8th

We had arranged for late check out so slept late (air conditioning is sooo nice) WE walked over to the Moana Surfrider for afternoon tea. It was so nice to set on the veranda. The only problem was that it was hot even in the shade and drinking hot tea made it even hotter. The tea is served in a silver tea pot which makes the tea pot to hot to pick up without using your napkin. Anyway it was OK but not worth the high price you pay for what you get and hot climate and hot tea do not go together.

After this we went back to the hotel to pack and check out for our trip back to the airport and home to Dallas.

We miss Hawaii terribly and are already planning to return in two years most likely to the Big Island since we have not seen it yet and Kauai.

Let me know if there are any questions and I hope to have pictures up by next week. I will alert you
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Oct 14th, 2004, 12:18 PM
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Sounds like y'all had a great time. I'm glad to hear it. You're too funny with the luggage overload!
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Oct 15th, 2004, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for sharing your fun trip with us. Glad you enjoyed it so much that the next trip there is already being planned !
 
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Oct 15th, 2004, 09:56 AM
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Great trip report. Your description of the Hyatt on Kauai was really great and makes me want to explore that location more, as we will be traveling next year with our 12 year old son and I have been trying to decide where to stay with him. Where can I get information about the Home of the Brave tour? I'd like to explore that too.
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Oct 16th, 2004, 06:38 PM
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Thanks for the interesting and detailed trip report!
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Oct 18th, 2004, 06:24 AM
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Sherrie

I can't remember the web addres off the top of my head but I will find it for you. In the meantime you could do a google search for HOme of the brave tour honalulu and see if it brings it up. I consider it a "not ot be missed" tour if you at all interested in what happend that day and try to get Olov as your guide.
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Oct 18th, 2004, 10:52 AM
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Thanks Kamit, I'll check out Google.
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Nov 9th, 2004, 11:11 AM
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Let me know if there are any questions
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