Bus pickup at 8am the next day for the first day of the conference – 4 cups of coffee consumed by 10.30am. Actually a very useful conference/workshop as it turns out which was good. Conference dinner on the first night, at which I fell asleep at the table. Not cool. Extremely jetlagged. Went out for sushi the next night, I had garlic Ahi yum yum yum. Conference finished on the Thursday, with enough time for me to do a 50minute run before dinnertime. Walked down into Waikiki to get a coffee and then back to the hotel to do some work for my upgrade presentation when I got back to the UK.
Managed to wangle a few days extra, so had Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning as holiday time. Spent Friday morning working, and then went to the Honolulu Zoo :) and whilst I was there of course I took tonnes of photos. It’s actually quite a good zoo, the only thing I didn’t like was the smallness of the tiger enclosure. Big cats should have big enclosures so they can run around and stretch their legs. (Oh, and shave-ice is the best thing ever - shaved ice, with syrup on it..... mmmmmmmm)
After that I spent an hour or so on the beach outside the hotel, went for a swim a few times, and generally just chilled out. Little bit more work after that, and then out for dinner with a friend in Hawaii. Unfortunately was so tired that I was very antisocial and didn’t really make the most of the night! Another friend was staying too, so in the morning we caught a cab back into Waikiki and did the Diamond Head crater hike. Awesome views from the top, although it was already getting pretty busy when we were there.
Afternoon was a trip to the North shore with our friend John and his lovely lady friend Abby for them to do some surfing, and for Sarah and I to soak up some sun :) then to a party in Waimea Bay once John had dropped Sarah at the airport, just the most amazing sunset I think I’ve ever seen, and such a perfect place – pool, hammock between trees, pagoda-type thingy with a bench under it, and waves rolling in past the rocks into the bay.
Sunday morning we mainly spent plebbing around the house, did a bit more work, then went out to a sushi bar for some lunch, before they took me to the airport. Then began the long haul home, 8 and a half hour flight to Chicago, 3 hours in Chicago O’Hare airport, and then a 7 and a half hour flight back to Heathrow, a two hour wait for my National Express coach, and then a 80minute coach journey back to Southampton. Greeted by the news (at 2.30am) that my car was leaking petrol everywhere, and I needed to catch a taxi home from the bus station instead of being collected. I have never been so pleased to crawl into my own bed.