Work keeps sending me to Hawaii. [Waiting for sympathy.]

[Still waiting.]

Anyway, I flew out Monday, have two days of meetings, and will fly back Thursday. So far it’s going swimmingly. Because of the relatively late notice of the trip and the bizarre decision-making process of my team leader, we are lodging at the Ko Olina (which, weirdly, accepts the standard government rates). On the plus side, the resort itself is pretty swanky. On the minus side, everything is extraordinarily expensive and it’s swarming with tourists and (worse) pandering pseudo-Hawaiian touristy activities.

[Lest you forget, dear reader (singular) my ideal lodging for a vacation getaway is rather more like this.  The prime amenity is the lack of cell phone coverage.]

But again on the plus side, beach sunset two minutes from my room.

We finished up a little earlier than expected yesterday afternoon, so after a working lunch with our boss, Patrick and I were trying to decide how best to use the remainder of the day.  We had just concluded that perhaps some sort of light hike would be in order when our boss called to recommend a light hike on our end of the island which would take us to the westernmost point of Oahu to catch the sunset if we were so inclined.


Anyway, we met up at 4:45, intending to cruise over to the end of the highway and then do the quick hike out to Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve in time for the 6:25 sunset.

Naturally, we forgot the inexplicable Hawaii highway phenomenon wherein traffic comes to a standstill for no apparent reason for miles on end. We did eventually arrive at the end of the road (literally) at around 5:45.  Not a lot of time to hike a “former road” (complete with requisite Watch for Falling Rocks signs) in casual shoes, but we are youngish, reasonably fit, and motivated.

[Part of the motivation was that we wanted to see the location where another co-worker “almost fell to [his] death” on a previous trip out here.  It’s one thing to hear the dramatic re-telling in the office, but we wanted to see The Spot.  We found half a dozen candidates that might have been The Spot.]

We arrived at a big rodent-control fence (seriously) with just minutes to spare, and had to sprint the last few hundred meters over broken ground and sand.  We arrived just in time to catch the sunset: mission accomplished.

I didn’t take a picture.  If you want to see it, you’re going to have to sprint there yourself.  As a consolation prize, here’s a sunset from the resort:

The walk back was slightly more hazardous; it gets dark fast.

I’m not a big fan of Hawaii in general, but there are certainly worse places to go, and the Army has sent me to several of them.

(Meanwhile at home, my wife and at least one of the kids are sick, and her car has Subaru Syndrome–timing belt, cooling system and the infamous head gasket replacement. Repairs will take all week and are costing almost exactly what I had saved up for painting the Capri.  I suspect the Subaru is doing it out of spite.)