I spent much of last week on the beautiful main island of Hawaii on the Kahala cost North of Kona. I had the same feelings as many who visit Hawaii and that was consider looking for a job there and never leave but I came back and still work for Autodesk. ;-)
* I got to ride a commercial self powered submarine similar to one I built (DS-48 Voyager II). Almost ten years back I performed the ASME external pressure design, NDT, and certification prior to coming to Autodesk of which I used Autodesk software in the design and fabrication drawings of the sub. The crew and company of the vessel Atlantis in Kona Atlantis Adventures were awesome people and I would recommend a ride if you are in Kailua Kona or any other location they have submarines commercially operating.
* Got to snorkel with some tropical reef fish and green sea turtles. This was a blast even though while on one adventure I got caught in a rip current and had to cross a small bay and beach myself on some lava rocks causing a few cuts and urchin jabs.
* Visited a Kava bar and chilled out.
* Had a great 398 miles of driving around the island including a visit to Waipio and Hilo as well as the sunny Kona region. I prefer to not follow the crowds and make my own tourist plans and locations preferably off the beaten path and more of the real local flavor and people of places I visit.
* Got to take some photos with my Canon Rebel XT of nice sceneries, beaches, and flora.
* Found a locals only hidden beach location that was awesome and some locals were fishing and catching odd fish. I even was the person unhooking and releasing some of the fish including one that the locals said was poisonous but I being a former hard core salt water aquarist thought otherwise and survived.
* Got to test a rental cars limits and how it would do on non-paved rough lava roads. :-)
Check out my photos from the trip. I will be annotating them later tonight.
This Wednesday, May 3rd 2006 I leave for New Zealand and Australia for both work and play. Yes I feel like I am living on planes but meeting people all over the world and experiencing things off the beaten path is something I would not trade anything for.