Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Working Hard? Hardly Working? In Hawaii....

The next few posts are going to be really LONG!!

Most of you already know that I was in Hawaii for work for a week in December and then for couple weeks in January.. The work involved experimenting with some new technology at the Marine Corp Base in Kaneohe, HI.. Hawaii as you might know is a collection of 6 or so islands. Kaneohe is on the island of Oahu.. The same island that Honolulu is on.. Some trivia about Hawaii.. Its the most remote set of islands in the world. The closest land mass is around 2500 miles away. The chain of islands is still growing due to an active volcano under the ocean.. More on that in the next few posts.

Hotel - My december (I've forgotten grammar.. Should the "d" in december be upper case?) trip was very short.. Got to Honolulu sunday afternoon .. Hawaii is 5 hours behind eastern time this time of year. So, it was already night time in Boston by the time I got there.. I had taken a VERY early (5 am) flight that morning so was pretty beat.. When I first got to my hotel, Hilton Hawaiian Village it felt like a big zoo.. The place is huge with multiple high rises on the property. The front desk is not in a building but, kind of in a courtyard between the buildings. One of my co-workers, Dan had insisted on staying here because there was some 24 hour coffee shop across the street from the hotel.. People from other companies that we were working with were also staying at the same place.. So, after standing in line for what seemed like eternity (it was only about 10 minutes and I didn't see that there was a separate line for Hilton Honors members, so I had to stand with the masses ;-) ), I was checked in and was in the Rainbow tower on the 17th floor.. The guy said that he had upgraded me to "partial ocean view" which I was excited about... Ofcourse when I got to the room, I realized that almost all the rooms of this hotel have some or the other view of the ocean.. Mine wasn't that bad.. I didn't get a chance to take a photo during the day but, this is what it looked it at night.. We had to reach our work by 7:30am, which meant that we had to leave our hotel at around 6:45am, which was before sunrise.. We used to leave our work around 5:00pm and it would already be dark by the time we got back to the hotel. The hotel complex also had some 5 or so restaurants and 2 or 3 swimming pools, hot tubs, a HUGE shopping area with designer stores.. In January, I stayed in the Tapa Tower on the 25th floor.. This was set little further back than the Rainbow tower, but I could easily see the Hilton Luau (which was on the rooftop of their parking garage) from my room. Every friday the hotel has fireworks.. Which are LOUD.. Almost made me jump out of my bed one friday..

Food - Breakfast at this hotel was a nice EXPENSIVE buffet.. I opted for that for most days of the 1st trip.. I used to get their awesomely (is that even a word?) sweet Papayas and acidic pineapples and their divine guava juice and toast with guava jam and strawberry yogurt with granola.. Sometimes I would get their macadamia and coconut pancakes with coconut syrup.. Yummmmmm!! This was way more food than what I have for breakfast everyday.. I did go to the 24 hour Wailana Coffee House once to try it out and see what Dan's fuss was all about.. Its just a generic diner that is open all 24 hours.. For lunch, we had our pick of Subway or Taco Bell and MCBH Officer's Club .. And then for dinner, we went to restaurants in waikiki like Singha Thai which used to feature tradtional thai dances, Yard House which I found out later is a chain, Todai which is an all you can eat sushi / sea food buffet.. On the last thursday of the second week, almost everyone got together and we had a very nice dinner together at a oceanside reastaurant called, House Without A Key .. Their drinks were yummy.. And for dessert, I had a panna-cotta... The vanilla custard layer and pomegranate jelly was good but, I didn't care much for the green tea layer that they had added to it.. I can't go too long without Indian food so, during my January trip after about a week or so, I started craving some Indian food.. Searched on yelp and found Maharani Indian Restaurant which had gotten pretty good reviews. Went there with the BBN gang.. The place it seemed was really popular. We had about a 45 minute wait. When we did finally sit down, order and eat, the wait was definitely worth it.. I had some Malai Kofta and Naan and Tomato rice.. All very very yummy!! The Malai Kofta had the right amount of sweetness to it.. The naan was very soft and tasty and this is the first time that I had tomato rice, loved it.. Would highly recommend it to people going to Honolulu.. They don't take reservations.. So, be prepared to wait..

Work - With this awesome weather around me, I had almost forgotten that we were there for work.. Met some very nice people there.. Most of my work day involved either sitting in a windowless freezing conference room or sitting in a non-airconditioned disel fumed HMMWV(Humvee) or sitting in a nice SUV. Liked the SUV the most.. The people I worked with were super funny and we became really good friends towards the end of the trip and used to often get into mini competitions on who could type the fastest or speak on the radio the quickest.. Here are the photos..
Hawaii Work

Fun - As they say, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Well, we are by no means dull.. So, we also took some time out to go sightseeing.. On the last day of the first week, we took the long way home and drove around the east side of the island.. Was great seeing the ocean against the moutains.. We also saw a few people body surfing some big waves... And, then during the second week, we learnt surfing and went snorkeling where we saw turtles and some very pretty fish and coral.. Most of the people in our group had also invited their wives and families to come to Hawaii.. It was great meeting them and hanging out with them..

OK.. I could go on and on and on.. but, I'll stop here for now.. Stay tuned for the Hawaii Vacation Posts(Sapan came to HI on the last day and then we stayed an extra week and vacationed on the different islands) ..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not sure where to post this but I wanted to ask if anyone has heard of National Clicks?

Can someone help me find it?

Overheard some co-workers talking about it all week but didn't have time to ask so I thought I would post it here to see if someone could help me out.

Seems to be getting alot of buzz right now.