Monthly Archives: January 2009

Three (ukulele) days in Waikiki!

(Read first for guilt-laden disclaimer: Yes, I know it’s been more than a few weeks since the trip this entry is about, but in between times I’ve been really busy. Really. So, here’s the first part of our ukulele-centric trip to Hawaii. The second section, which is about our time on the Big Island, will follow soon. Really. Oh, and if you just want to skip to the photo gallery for this entry—with lots more pictures than I had room for on this page—click here.)

While the rest of the world was (endlessly!) discussing voting on Election Day, Mark and I were winging our way west from Sacramento Airport to the islands of Hawaii. First stop, Oahu—home of Waikiki’s famed beach and a more-than-lively music scene populated by a wealth of talented–and friendly–performers.

After more than five hours of jet time (we fly coach, folks; if you’re a first class passenger, your experience may vary), I always disembark feeling as if I’ve spent a bit of time as a dryer sheet, bouncing around in a noisy metal drum. Yet arriving at the terminal in Honolulu Airport, I’m immediately energized by the variety of people (with the US economy as it is right now, the Asian tourists totally outnumber anyone else), the balmy breeze and the fragrances of the flowering trees planted in the gardens throughout this mainly-outdoors airport.

A quick trip downstairs for luggage, a hike (no sidewalk during an airport reconstruction so we hoofed it across a bit of a planted area and two lanes of traffic) across the street to the lei stands and then off to Avis to see what the rental car gods have blessed us with this trip—a serviceable and non-impressive Subaru-something-or-other four-door (in grey, no less).

Mark and I have only been to Oahu for one night in the past (usually we just pass through Honolulu on our way to a neighbor island), so we’d decided this Hawaii vacation would feature a bit of time on the island that most folks recognize at “the” Hawaii of the oft-imagined tropical dream vacation. We booked ourselves into a one-bedroom unit at the Wyndham Waikiki Beach Walk. We’re not timeshare members with RCI (heck, we’re not timeshare members with anyone), but rented the rooms through a third party. Good decision! While not on the beach (we’d have plenty of that on the Island of Hawaii in the next two weeks), the WWBW is close to everything as well as immaculate and roomy. Destiny checked us in (she’s so lovely and equally sweet–and she plays ukulele left-handed, I found out later). Our room, on the eighth floor, even had a view of Diamond Head, seen over the cotton candy pink spires of the Royal Hawaiian.

In which I find a uke enthusiast at a Macintosh convention…

Since I have to work in an office for my living (gee, where’s my fairy godmother to give me money-making ukulele talent instead?), I’m happy that one of the main tools I use is a Macintosh. It provides an interface that gets out of the way so I can get my writing and design work done without having to worry about the computer’s operating system.

We’ve been a Mac office since 1986 (I know, that’s before lots of you were even born!) and one of the side benefits of running a Mac for so many years is our long-standing tradition of attending the annual MacWorld Expo held each year in San Francisco.

While Mark and I started attending in 1988 (believe me, it was a much different expo back then), for the past decade or so, my dad and I have made MacWorld Expo an after-holiday date. Dad flies to Sacramento, I pick him up and we travel in my trusty 1987 Mazda 626 (36 mpg!) to San Francisco, where we take in the show and some great dining.

Son, Matt (who is an Apple service technician and sales manager at BitVision), joined up with us at our hotel near Fisherman’s Wharf and we rode the iconic F Train streetcars (photo above by Matt Dale), hopping off at the nearest stop to Moscone Center. These cars originally operated all over the US and even in Italy; today they’ll get you from Fisherman’s Wharf and all the way down Market toward Castro for a meager $1.50. It’s a bargain—and a delightful experience to boot!