The New Job – Honeymoon

Friday at 5pm I get a chat from my manager, “Join this call in progress.” OK.  My manager and another manager are on the line. “Andrew we need you to get to a customer site for Monday at 9:00 AM.” OK. “Where am I going?” He said, “The customer is in Honolulu.”

Silence.

My manager got upset. “I’d be jumping up and down screaming like I won the lottery if I was just told I was going to Hawai’i. I think I’m going to drop what I’m doing, pick up the manuals and go to Hawaii myself to do your job!”

I replied cautiosly, “I asked where I was going. [He] answered ‘the customer is in Hawai’i.’ I’m still waiting for the other shoe to fall. Like the customer is in Hawai’i, but I’ll be going to their datacenter in Alaska.”

I was also told I could stay a few extra days – the airfare was covered, I just couldn’t expense the hotel or meals for the extended stay. Which would have been great, if Saturday wasn’t Valentine’s Day.

So, I worked all weekend, packing, arranging last minute travel, doing research, preparing to be successful at work, etc.  I left the house at 8:00 AM Eastern time and arrived in Hawai’i 16 hours later at 12:00 AM Eastern time (the following day). Not a fun commute to work.

One connecting flight

One connecting flight

It was a very long flight. During it, I thought to pull out my car’s GPS and hold it to the window to get some satellite reception. I’ve got a Garmin and if you hold your finger on the signal strength on the first screen, you get into this hidden menu that shows the satellites, their signal strength, your location, speed and elevation.

You can see on Google Maps, right where I was when I took the photo of my GPS below: http://goo.gl/0WuDjy.

Geek out!

The secret screen on my GPS

The secret screen on my GPS

Off the Coast of Mexico

Off the Coast of Mexico

A very, very, very long flight indeed. But I had power in my seat, and I had brought my DC/AC converter for the rental car. I had no idea I needed it for the plane. So I had power the whole flight, which was very nice.

In the home-stretch, just over an hour away

In the home-stretch, just over an hour away

Nothing around for miles

Nothing around for miles

My hotel was spectacular, a short walk from the beach at Wikiki.  The view of the city was wonderful.

Panoramic View off my balcony

Panoramic View off my balcony

Wikiki at Night

Wikiki at Night

And the room, although a little dated, was clean and comfortable.

I'm not weird because I took a photo of the bathroom

I’m not weird because I took a photo of the bathroom

It was an efficiency apartment

It was an efficiency apartment

Tight, but comfy

Tight, but comfy

Not sure why, sleep wasn't on the top of my list

Not sure why, sleep wasn’t on the top of my list

I got so see the sunrise on my first day there.  Which was pretty easy, considering I woke up at 4:00 AM local time (9:00 AM in my home timezone).  I tried to keep an early schedule, so adjusting back would be easier. I kept my wristwatch on Eastern Time, and my iPhone automatically displayed the local time.

Dumb tourists sat down right in the middle of my photo

Dumb tourists sat down right in the middle of my photo

Wikiki Beach

Wikiki Beach

Monkeypod Tree at Dawn

Monkeypod Tree at Dawn

This is my iPhone's Lock Screen presently

This is my iPhone’s Lock Screen presently

And I got to see the sun set on Paradise. I actually had enough light Wednesday night to get into the water for a short period of time. The Pacific Ocean here is clean and fresh. It wasn’t overly salty or fishy, like the North Atlantic can be. I was very pleasantly surprised. Aside from the rude police officer I interacted with, making sure I wasn’t breaking any laws by swimming after sunset, everyone was kind, polite, and helpful.

Sunset

Sunset

Now it wasn’t all fun and games. I spent 40+ hours working, both in data-centers, and in offices.  However, these views were always waiting for me, just outside the door.

The view from the office I was working from

The view from the office I was working from

I stayed at the Ilikai Hotel, on the right in the photo below. It’s claim to fame was being in the opening credits of Hawaii Five-O.

The Ilikai and the Rainbow Hilton

The Ilikai and the Rainbow Hilton

City Hall

City Hall

I got to eat some traditional island food.

Lau Lau; Pork wrapped in Ti leaves

Lau Lau; Pork wrapped in Ti leaves

I loved Lau Lau! It was delicious. And if you’re on the Island, Oahu, you have to stop by Helena’s Hawaiian Foods 1240 North School Street. Be prepared to wait and I know you’ll thank me afterwards.

And the final day, after work and before my plane ride home, I visited the USS Arizona Memorial.

The USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor 1

The USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor

The USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor 2

The USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor

The USS Arizona's Berth on Battleship Row

The USS Arizona’s Berth on Battleship Row

The USS Arizona, proper

The USS Arizona, proper

She still bleeds into the harbor, to this day

She still bleeds into the harbor, to this day

The USS Arizona's Anchor

The USS Arizona’s Anchor

It was a powerful and moving experience.

Pearl Harbor Visitors Center

Pearl Harbor Visitors Center

Overall an awesome week. I was challenged at work. I think I did a great job, at least the customer’s feedback I got before leaving was very positive. It was tough. Including my travel time, I worked more than 80 hours; but, it was so worth it.

I am loving my job, but I have a foreboding feeling that the Honeymoon is now over.

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