Monday, October 27, 2008

Picture Time!

Finally got a chance to upload the pics from the trip. Here are some highlights!
This is the view from the little time I got to work at the hotel. Not really such a bad place to work. Unfortunately, connectivity was horrible so this I didn't end up here often.
This is a view I saw daily, usually at lunch. Ford Island was home to an old airfield and the tower still remains. Not sure when this dates back to exactly but you may recognize it, I am told, from the movie, Pearl Harbor. We had lunch at a little restaurant just across from the tower. You can see my work in the background. 

So I took one half a day off during my time. I ended up driving around the island. First place I stopped was the Dole Pineapple Plantation. It was a big tourist trap but kind of fun. I had never seen pineapples growing so it was pretty cool to see them on a plant.

I drove to the North Shore - it wasn't too impressive this time of year because there were no waves. I kept driving. Eventually I found this beautiful beach. I would have liked to stay here forever. 

My feet actually hit the beach and the water! Here is proof! It was the only time as that night I stopped and got a cool new tattoo on my foot so it had to stay clean and dry. 
Finally, I stopped at Koaloa Ranch for the movie site tour. The highlight for me was Hurley's golf course. I am such a Lost fanatic. I got a total kick out of this!

Not much play but a chance to see some sights. Once the new Tattoo heals I will post some pics of that as well. 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

Ah, home. Finally. Whew. Its nice to be home. I flew all last night - it takes about 13 hours to fly from Honolulu to Boston with a six hour time change so it felt like I traveled forever. I was lucky, though, and the middle seat was empty on both legs of my trip so I was able to get comfortable and sleep. For once I didn't mind the turbulence because it was kind of like being rocked while I was sleeping. Still, it only equated to a few hours of sleep and by the time I made it home this morning I was beat. So I did what I shouldn't have done - I went to bed and slept. I slept on and off all day. So now, its 1:30 in the morning and guess what ... I am wide awake. And hungry. Because my body still thinks its 8pm which was dinner time for the past two weeks. So I am sitting here eating cereal and blogging. I am also sick. I came home with my usual cold which is a byproduct of having to work in extremes for two weeks. Part of where I work gets really hot - sweat pouring hot. Then I go to another part where it is really cold - like jacket cold. So I spent two weeks going between extreme hot and cold. No wonder I always get sick on these trips. Then to top it off I managed to get eye infections. Both eyes are swollen goopy messes. But I refuse to pay $75 to go to the ER for an eye infection so I have to wait until Monday to see my doctor. I hate that there is no weekend care here. So in case you all were wondering - this is how my "glamorous" Hawaii trips always end up. Oh, and also in case you were wondering, I had exactly one half day off work for the entire trip. I officially worked 20 days straight, most of the days no less than 10 hours. I had to be up and out the door by 7 to drive in Honolulu traffic to get to work for the 8am meeting. I left during evening traffic (which I think goes to about 8) so the commute each way usually was 45-60 minutes. Then after getting back to the hotel I struggled to check in online with work for email, showered and finally headed out to get dinner. Dinner in Waikiki is an experience usually requiring an hours wait for a table. So we ended up eating between 8 and 10 every night. Then collapse in bed to do it all over again. Oh, and because folks would forget that I was in Hawaii I got a couple of 2am phone calls which did not get answered. So yes, I really am glad to be home even if it is 40 degrees outside. I do feel that the work I did was interesting and worthwhile. I really wish I could blog about some of the things I did because they were really cool but alas, I can't discuss. But it is the type of thing that in 20 years I will still look back at and go "wow, that was really cool". 
So as I mentioned I had exactly one half a day off. That day I drove the island. Oahu is actually quite pretty once you get away from Waikiki. Honestly folks - if you are going to pay to visit Hawaii - do not go to Waikiki. It is nothing but a huge shopping mall with a very small beach and lots of tourists. If you want to see Oahu stay outside of Waikiki - I hear good things about Turtle Beach and Ko'Olina. There are things worth seeing on Oahu - Pearl Harbor being number one, just stay elsewhere for a better experience. You can visit Waikiki but unless you really like big cities and very expensive shopping malls, Waikiki isn't worth it in my opinion. My recommendation is a two day stay on Oahu to visit Pearl Harbor and the North Shore, then go to another island. I do recommend Pearl Harbor. A visit to the Arizona is a must for everyone. I also got the opportunity to visit the Oklahoma which is not open for the public - you have to be able to get on base to see it. The Oklahoma was a short walk from our pier and every day I not only drove past the Arizona in the morning, but I looked down on the Oklahoma as I rode the elevator up to work. You can't help being moved by those two views. As for the rest of Oahu, once I got on the green side I found some beautiful beaches and amazing mountains. I stopped at Koaloa ranch and did the movie site tour. That meant I got to see the gorgeous valley used in many movies, including Jurrasic Park. That was a worthwhile 20 dollar tour. That night I stopped and got a very cool new tattoo on my foot - some Hawaiian plumerias. I will post pictures. But that was the extent of my Oahu siteseeing. WooHoo. Back to work the next day.
On my last day at work things were getting closed down so our vessel could sail so I was actually able to leave at 3pm which meant I finally was able to get to one of the Honolulu yarn stores. I located Isle Knit tucked away on the 14th floor of a building but inside was a treasure trove. Sue, the owner, was sweet as could be and let me just oogle everything. I did buy a few things that I hadn't seen before but I can't mention to much as some are going in my HSKS6 kit for my spoilee! So the two weeks weren't a complete waste. 
Well I think I am going to go try to sleep again. I hope to get my pictures uploaded tomorrow and post a few pics from the trip. Gnight for now!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Im Blogging Im Blogging

Ahhh - almost done here in paradise - not that I have seen much but I did get to take a half day off work and see a few things - including Hurley's golf course! One more day - my goal is to try and get to at least one of the LYS before I take off. I only wish I didn't have to work 12 hour days. Ah well - at least I see the beach every day on the way to work!
Ok - theres my blog - that should meet the requirement and keep Lav happy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quidditch Round 2

1. What animal does the portrait in the Muggle Prime Minster’s office resemble?b. Frog
2. What drink does Romilda Vane try to give Harry?a. Gillywater
3. What is the name of the person who heads the Holyhead Harpies?b. Gwenog Jones
4. How many ‘Exceeds Expectation’ grades does Harry receive in his O.W.L’s?c. 5
5. What is Professor Sughorn’s favorite candy?d. Crystallized Pineapple
6. What tattoo is Harry reported to have on his chest?c. Hippogriff
7. What color robes do the staff at the Weasley’s shop wear?b. Magenta
8. What is the man outside Flourish and Blotts selling?a. Amulets
9. How much is the skull, which Hermione enquires about at Borgin and Burkes, worth?c. 16 Galleons
10. What are Professor Slughorn’s initials?b. H.E.F.

LEts try this again

I tried to post this the other day but couldn't. Hopefully this will work:
Sometimes my job sucks .....

And then there is my job and days like today. Sigh.

My morning started with an early drive over the bridge to Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. On my left, the stark white memorial to the USS Arizona. On my right, my destination sitting over the harbor like a giant pearl -how appropriate. It was a beautiful Hawaiian morning - clear and cool with the tradewinds blowing.
I had some time before I needed to report in so I went to the USS Utah memorial. I never knew it was here. Sitting at the edge of the channel were the rusty remains of the ship taken down on that infamous day back in 1941. The memorial noted that while they moved her out of the channel they decided to leave her on the bottom. A portion of her is above water. Another reminder of that day. I drank my coffee as I looked over her remains. It was very queit. Since you can only get to her with naval base access it was very quiet - free of the usual tourists.
Upon reporting to work I found that most of my activities got moved to tomorrow. I ended up working a few loose ends then leaving mid day. Ahh - some free time in Honolulu. An unexpected bonus. And while I was working, I went outside and was treated to a rainbow over the harbor while enjoying more coffee.
Today was one of those days when you really appreciate your job. I really do love my work but its nice to have days like today.
So after a much needed nap (still recovering from almost 15 hours of travel) I took my laptop to the balcony to enjoy the trades and the view. Soon I will venture out for some beach time.
Yep - work sucks. But seriously, someone has to do it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Gotta go get my portkey. So I am sneaking in a quick post to help towards my blogging requirement for HSKS6. 
I cant believe it is finally time to leave. Ok - this week has been like 100 days long already. I had Ministry officials nosing around this week (disguised as Corporate Auditors) and I swear Umbridge was one of the officials. Gawd am I glad that is over. I think we did well but it was a lot of work. But I learned a lot and got to know some people that I really hadn't worked with yet. 
Then, of all things, we got called in to the Young Ones school to talk to the teacher. Ok - I need to point out he has been in this new preschool a grand total of FOUR days. Yes, thats right. FOUR. Is this a record of some sort? I mean seriously, I knew this would happen - but not quite so quick. Anyways, it was a good thing - I know he has issues with his temper and social skills. That is one of the reasons we moved him to this school. So I am really glad we had the conversation. Now we have some things to work on to get him ready for Kindergarten and the teacher is really partnering with us. But wow - Four Freakin Days. Thats my little terror. 
Of course, with a new preschool comes new germs - needless to say he got a cold which I promptly got so I get to be the person on the plane with the hacking germy cough. Hmmm - maybe I will get the row to myself as people double up in other areas just to escape my germs. One can wish. Hey, at least I will take drugs and carry lots of hand sanitizer. I will try not to share. At least it is more in that end of lifecycle phase. 
Ok all - I will be trying to blog from the islands - hopefully I can post at least a few pictures of the beach which I will see as I go to and from the hotel. 

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Just Because

Being a good girl here and making sure I blog. Actually things are pretty uneventful right now. Young one started a new preschool and we are pretty excited. Its the local High School early education program so it is limited to his age group and small in size. As such, he is in more of a transition program with kids he will likely be in Kindergarten with next year. The program also focuses on some of the basics  - sit still, play nice, don't reach out and body slam your friend to get the train toy - these are things the young one really needs. He has mastered letters and numbers and is starting to show an interest in reading books so we are much more concerned about the fact that we quite possibly have the next Hulk Hogan or Ali on our hands. Ahh the joys of parenthood. 
Aside from that I am still obsessively knitting my project for my HSKS6 swap spoilee, Miss Ophelia Ballycastle. I am almost done. Yeah. I need it to be all done before I leave this week. I don't want to try to take it with me. So today is all about laundry, packing and finishing it off. I am also planning what to take with me. Ok - most people think about two weeks in Hawaii and think swimsuit, flipflops and a good book. Me - steel toes, blue jeans and knitting in the hope that I actually have some free time. At least on the plane I can probably get my MILs shawl completed. 
Well young one is up - so I will finish!