Many of you know that I travel for a living, visiting exotic cities like Baton Rouge, LA, and Tulsa, OK. Yippee. But the years of toil pay off whenever we work somewhere interesting. in 2005 I was sent to Hawaii for work (and play), and on March 15th, 2010, I returned to Oahu with Jen in tow.
We arrived Monday around 2PM. A cab to the hotel, a quick shower, and then: cocktails! Our hotel, the Park Shore Waikiki, had a bar named "Lulu's" handy, so we met JL and his dad there for drinks. And maybe some more drinks - I can't be sure. Afterwards we ate sushi at a decent but pricey restaurant. I didn't stay up too late, because contrary to what you may believe I really had to work the next day.
And work, I did. There were five of us to handle the Mililani testing: TC, JC, CW, JL, and I. The first day was 12 hours long, the next was 7, and the third was 15. Barring what might be construed as being slightly late to work two of the three days, we put in a lot of effort, especially when everything went haywire the third day. But enough about work, because, hey, who cares?
On Friday Jen and I drove all over Oahu. We followed the west coast road out to its end, and then came back up the H2 to visit the northern shore. Wending back around to the east, we passed Hanauma Bay and the beautiful rocky coast. Returning to Waikiki we checked into Hilton's Prince Kuhio Hotel. We were upgraded to an executive room (it pays to have hotel points) with a great view of the ocean and the city. Our room was on the 32nd floor, far away from the noise of the streets below. It was so peaceful and the weather so moderate that we slept with only an opened balcony door for cooling.
We went to Hanauma Bay on Saturday. The protected cove is a popular spot for snorkeling, and Jen and I rented snorkels and fins from the water-side concessions stand. I broke my mask's elastic band when I tried forcing it onto my overlarge head, but the concessions staff replaced the mask for free, and I ran back to water's edge. Jen followed me in, but quickly grew uncomfortable with the claustrophobic feeling of the mask and fins. She decided to stay on the beach and warm up on what was becoming a cloudy day. I snorkeled for about an hour and a half before returning to Jen, who was still shivering from the water. The sun finally peaked out from the clouds, and dried us both off.
After lunch we went down to the beach in Waikiki, and lounged in the surf and the sun. Jen got a tan, while my grossly pale body merely burned a bit. We ate a delicious dinner at HALE Macrobiotic, and retired.
Sunday we drove around the island a bit more, taking the scenic road through the mountains. We returned to Honolulu in plenty of time to catch our 5PM flight back home, and had a good experience with USAirways (for a change). The flight put us in Baltimore at 1:30PM Monday, so we were pretty burnt out and got a good night's sleep before returning to the daily grind. There's plans for more work in Mililani later in the year, and I hope I'll be on the next job. Five years is too long to wait for another trip.