Tuesday, September 18, 2007


My week in Hawaii was lovely. Low humidity, temps never above 90 degrees, sunny every day. Couldn’t have asked for better weather. Of course, having two weeks off from work certainly wasn’t a bad thing, either. I spent the entire time on Oahu, with no island hopping. And lucky me, I managed to avoid getting sunburned.

The flights weren’t too bad. About 2 and a half hours from here to Dallas, and then just under 8 hours from DFW to Honolulu. And just under 7 hours coming back. Gotta love those tailwinds.

While I was there, I did quite a bit of sight-seeing and took over 2,000 photos. Literally. I’m in the process now of culling out the bad pictures, and then I’ll go back through and remove as many duplicates as I can. Because, really, I don’t want to get 2,000 prints and then have to decide which ones to put in the scrapbook. After I pull the duplicates, I’ll get the remaining pictures up on the trusty Kodak site and start sharing them. One thing I discovered about the pictures – there’s a small spot visible on the left side of pictures with light backgrounds. I didn’t realize it was there before I left because I really don’t ever take pictures of the sky. If I really feel like taking the time and effort, I’m sure I could Photoshop the spot out, but I seriously doubt I’ll feel like doing that. After all, that’s what cropping is for, right? I’m also going to do a post on each of the interesting places I visited, with a few pictures attached. I figure that’s the best way to get my thoughts down now, so that I’m not scratching my head, wondering what I did and where I went when I’m ready to start the scrapbook.

The only bad part about the trip was that my friend, Matt, occasionally seemed to forget that this was my vacation, not his. Every now and then, he’d pop out with “I’ve been there before and don’t want to go back” or “I’ve seen that before and didn’t like it, so you won’t, either.” Um, excuse me? Who flew 10½ hours to get here? By the third day, we’d worked it out. He and I would go somewhere in the morning, and then back to his place after getting lunch. And then I’d take his car and go do what I wanted, and he would stay home and watch ESPN. It worked out well for both of us, I think. We also only ate at a non-national chain twice. That was a bit disappointing. We ate Mexican once (not exactly local cuisine), and had lunch at a small seafood place in Hale’Iwa. Other than that, we ate fast food or big chains like Outback. Not that I have anything against Outback, but I can get that here in Raleigh.

One really neat, very random sort of thing happened on my last day. We went to Hilo Hattie’s to pick up a few gifts for folks, and I stopped at a jewelry counter to look at the charms. Ever since Ed gave me a gold charm bracelet, I try and make a point to get a charm from everywhere interesting that I go. I have a few from Europe, and from the Grand Caymans, Cozumel, and Cancun. I ended up buying a small pineapple, which definitely screams “Hawaii” to me more than a palm tree or flip flop. Especially after visiting the Dole Plantation. While the lady was ringing up my purchase, she asked if I wanted an oyster. It took a few minutes and a quick translation from Matt, but the store keeps a bowl of oysters available, and for $15 a customer can choose an oyster. If there’s a pearl inside the oyster, the customer gets to keep it. Of course, there won’t always be a pearl. I wasn’t going to do it, but then the lady said it would be on the house. Well, heck, if its free, hand me an oyster. She asked which color I’d prefer, black, white, pink or one other color that I don’t remember. Not knowing a thing about pearls, I chose pink. As she mumbled something about being difficult and wanting expensive pearls, the lady selected three oysters for me to choose from. I picked the one closest to me because that was simply the easiest thing to do. She informed me that I had to follow Hawaiian tradition – tap the oyster three times, say “Aloha” and ring the lucky bell. So, I did.

Turns out my little oyster had two pink pearls in it, and they’re basically identical. They aren't huge, but they are definitely pretty. Now I just have to find a jeweler and figure out what I want to do with them.

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