HONOLULU — It started with a kiss. Now nearly 30 years later, Peter Fithian is doing weddings, luaus, flightseeing trips, dinner cruises, limousine outings and passing out gifts ranging from fruit baskets to birthday cakes.
In the beginning, Fithian marketed the aloha spirit by handing out leis to passengers arriving by ship and plane. Until Fithian came along, only VIPs got that sort of treatment. It seemed unfair, Fithian reasoned, and so he began meeting vacationers with armfuls of leis and kisses for the ladies.
When word spread that a tall, blond, leading man-type was earning his living kissing women, his business grew. Fithian hired other "greeters." Now besides passing out leis at the airport, Fithian and his wife Bobi deliver baskets of fruit, candy and liquor to guests at their hotels and put together parties and weddings. All that's necessary is for the bride and groom to show up. The Fithians take care of everything else. Announcements, flowers, license, minister, priest, rabbi, guru. Whatever.
Fithian productions have been performed beside waterfalls, aboard yachts, on beaches at sunset and on boats chugging up remote rivers. They'll even do marriages in the air (aboard helicopters) or underwater with the scuba gear supplied.
Fithian promises the sweetest ceremony this side of Bali Hai.
The kissing game that led to all this also led to private parties that Peter and Bobi Fithian arrange for groups and individuals. Fithian & Co. operate on all the islands. You can contact him c/o Greeters of Hawaii (also known as Honolulu Hosts), P.O. Box 29638, Honolulu 96820 or telephone toll-free (800) 367-2669.
Connecticut--Mrs. Catherine Beardsley, Los Angeles: Praise for Stonecroft Inn, 17 Main St., East Haddam, Conn. 06423. "Paid $80.63 for two persons, a full breakfast included. The inn is a converted Federal home built about 1830. Lovely yard, antique furnishings. Recommend it heartily."
Badger, Calif.--Richard and Pamela Hertz, Los Angeles: "Just spent a glorious week with our two children at M Bar J Guest Ranch, P.O. Box 67, Badger, Calif. 93603 (in the foothills of the Sequoias). Riding every day, a creek minutes away, a Jacuzzi, swimming pool. Rates, $420 per person per week. Includes meals. Special children's rates."
England--Sarah Crawley, Los Angeles: Kenfield House, Petham, near Canterbury, England. Set in a valley four miles from the center of Canterbury. A large family house on five acres with a variety of animal life. Rates: 9/11 single, 18/20 double.
England--Marjorie W. Callier, Los Angeles: "The Fowey Hotel, Fowey, Cornwall PL23 1HX, England. Bed and breakfast, 26 per person. Also, Tanyard Hotel (farmhouse circa 1350), Wierton Hill, Broughton Monchelsea, Nr. Maidstone, Kent ME17 4JT, England. Bed and breakfast, 36 a night. Another: Front House Guest House, East Street, Bovey Tracey, Devon TO1 39EL, England. Bed and breakfast, 18 per person."
England--Mrs. Albert J. Josselson, Pasadena: "Loreto Guest House, Bowness-on-Windermere, England. Small, friendly. About $12 per person."
New Zealand--Lois C. Riddle, Long Beach: "A delightful stay at Waiere Downs Deer Farm, No. 1 R.D., Ashburton, Staveley, N.Z. Around U.S.$25 per person. A lovely home with two guest rooms with shower and bath facilities. Congenial host and hostess. Gourmet cook."
France--Olivier and Janet Soges, Laguna Hills: "Hotel/Restaurant de Bourgogne, Place de l'Abbaye, 71250 Cluny, France. Approximately $40 for a double. Meals, $20/$50 per person. Only 3 1/2 hours by car from Paris, 1 hour 45 minutes by TGV train. Family-run. Jean-Claude and Michele Gosse greet you warmly and make you feel right at home in this elegant country-style inn. Chef Patrice Gosse well-known throughout France for his innovative techniques. Restaurant has already one coveted Michelin star."
Spain--Martha McEwan, Orange: "The all-time best bargain of the country, Hostal Alfaro, Ventura de la Vega 16, Madrid. A small, squeaky-clean inn on a side street. We were charged $10 double per night and when we were ready to leave, the senor insisted on driving us to the bus depot. Completely safe for a single woman. Cleanest accommodations I've had anywhere in the world."
Austria--Mr. and Mrs. William G. Drulias, Whittier: "Enjoyed a small restaurant outside Vienna, the Sailer, 1180 Wien, Gerthofer Strabe 14."
Mackinac Island, Mich.--Mrs. C. Riddle, Canoga Park: Enjoyed the Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Mich. 49757. "A luxurious hotel. Ask about the $79 special (double occupancy)."
Ojai, Calif.--Dave Johnson, Ontario: "Have stayed at B&Bs in Britain and Europe but have never seen one as nice as Casa de La Luna, 710 S. La Luna in Ojai. For $55 had a beautiful room with a separate bath, a gourmet breakfast."
Canada--Robert and Raye Yaller, Laguna Hills: A B&B, 1756 Grand Blvd., North Vancouver, B.C. V7L 3Y4. "Only $45 a day for two. Transportation nearby to Expo, a 15-minute ride. "