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Vacation Time


XavierOnasis
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Since graduating high school, the longest I've been out of class is four weeks. I have not been out of state in seven years. I have no wife, no girlfriend, no baby-mama. No car payment, no morgatge. My tuition is in hand, and my student loans are paid off. I've set the output record on my shift at work. Never been late, never turned down overtime, worked through illness and injury.

I'm due for some time off.

I'm going to Hawaii.

What's cool to do there? Alternately, post some cool vacation stories.

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You may want to ask XS about some of cool things to do there.

He's still around? (not that I've been here much...)

It may be faster to ask "What's not cool to do there?"

True. The fact one can add "... in Hawaii" to anything done trumps any other vacation option.

All I'm going to say is fly United. ;)

Why? I haven't flown since I was 14.

Still in the process of comparing times and costs. I want to go over my Spring Break, (hopefully, the distance will bar most frat-rats) or over the Memorial Day week. All depends..

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Don't fly AA. They suck. Trust me. I'm no fan of them. Not to mention, United could use the business.

With travelling to Hawaii, you're not in much danger of breaking customs/traditions etc etc. So don't worry. Avoid scummy neighborhoods and strip-joints, that's a big no-no. ;)

Bring plenty of cash, but carry it wisely. If you walk around with $400 in your pocket, you're asking for it. This is common sense, but worth writing down.

Remember, Hawaii is a very "touristy" area. Don't fall into any "tourist traps", they're out there, and there are plenty of scams too.

Enjoy the "scenery", loaf on the beach, that's always fun. Talk with locals for things to do, don't get sucked into the typical tourist stuff. Local Hawaiians can tell you the places to go. So ask when you get there. You'll probably be able to hit some clubs, dances, parties whatever. It's all there.

Don't fly AA.

XS would be the one to ask. IIRC, he's in and out of port in Hawaii often, not sure though. Rocky would know. :)

Take care, the best thing to do is wait until you get to Hawaii to decide what to do. Because no brochure, phamplet or even word of mouth can compare to what you see with your eyes. You be the judge of where you go, not someone else. Book your own flights, maybe even a rental car or whatever. I wouldn't recommend a Travel Agent, they're in it to make some cash by sending you to those touristy places.

I remember when we went to Amsterdam some eyars ago, the best places we went weren't even that well known. It was great, all from asking locals where to go. In spite of what I said above, walking is actually the best way to get to know an area and discover things.

Enjoy the time off man, I'm sure you need it. :) Hawaii's a great place, or was when I was there, but I'm sure it'll be better appreciated by you than me. lol.

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Being that it's the weekend, and thanks to the apparent blizzard, I'm not being run ragged, it's update time.

Deal through Apple is something like airfare, 5 nights, all meals, and an unlimited-milage rental car for $1150. Booking a round-trip plane ticket myself via Priceline is $723.

Taking the opportunity to shop around for good cameras, as I'm not likely to be back (unless the place blows my mind and I don't leave). May have a good deal on a used Nikon D70. Anyone have experience...Ruin?;)

Ruin / Crimson - Either of you care to expand on your airline choices? I respect your opinions, and all, being that you've flown since I have, but I'd like to make my decision on a bit more than 'trust me,' you know?

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Seeing as SouthWest isn't going to get you to where you're going, my only previous airline experiance with is with Delta and United. The Delta flight being average, and the United flight being excellent, evening while going into blustery Chicago O'Hare. The flight attendants were wonderful to say the least. The breakfast/brunch meal was actually pretty good. They showed two good flicks, one being Pirates of the Carribean, and the other was Seabiscuit. It just seemed like with United you get a lot more.

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Camera: I just picked up a 6.1MP Kodak DX7630 for $350 at walmart and I am VERY pleased with the results. It's not too beefy for general use. It's a nice size (fits well in the cargo-pocket) and it's got great battery life. I highly reccomend it.

I have a Nikon N65. Excellent pictures. BUT, it's a pain in the ass to carry around. Thats why I got the Kodak. I had a previous one stolen in PA (I'm sure ZJJ has heard the story more than once, lol) because I left it at a stand for 15 mins. It was gone. I accredit this mainly to my own stupidity, but also not having anything really to carry it in. So, I bought a pack when I got back home and replcaed the camera. Now, it's bulky, heavy, and something you always have to keep on your shoulder etc etc. Not to mention the costs in film, developing etc. I reccomend, given that you have the option, avoid an SLR and go Digi.

Airlines: I Hate AA mainly from the way I was treated. I was, errr I think 13 flying from Miami to Atlanta. It was supposed to be a 45 minute flight. However, we got delayed on the ground for whatever reason, and I decided to pop on some music. Nope, CD players weren't allowed. I was in the 3rd of 4 seats in the middle, surrounded by strangers. One of whom was a stink big french guy who decided I'd make a good pillow. Ukh. When we got in the air, I attempted, again, to listen to music. The stweardess tried to take it from me. That didn't go over well. I refused to give it to her, and she left me alone. Drinks were briefly served, and I asked for a soda. I got carbonated water. Oh, if you're wondering why I was in such a large plane for a short flight, it's because that plane refuled in ATL and flew into Paris. Anyway, we were gonna land, but spent an additional 45 mins circle above. It took almost 3 hours for what was supposed to be a 45 min flight.

I've flown, a lot, in my life. I have been most pleased with Continental. I've only flown once or twice with United, and as I recall they were great airlines as well. In both cases, stweardesses were friendly, and so were the passengers, oddly. I believe I flew continental from Asheville to Houston on a little plane, and had a blast. I loved it. The pilots would, when I was younger, let me look in the cockpit etc. The only thing I find amusing is that on the Asheville ot Houston flight... this is great. I wasn't allowed to bring a McDonalds cup on the plane. It was plastic. I dunno, maybe I could have broken it and slit someones throat. Anyway, We got on the plane, and a male steward was giving out flight wings. I laughed hysterically. The point on the end of the wings were sharp enough to be a weapon, lol.

Anyway, bottom line is to have fun man. :)

Ask more questions if you need to man. I'm up for it.

Lol, I just got a letter from NWA saying that I have enough Frequent flyer miles for one free round-trip ticket to anywhere in Europe, lol. I've done this more than once. ;)

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XO...first off...great to hear from you again. I got your PM as well, but I'll go ahead and answer all of it here...to make it easier to read for ya.

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Hawaii

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I'm no "expert" but have lived here for nearly six years so I know my way around (after all, it is an island). When coming here, first you need to decide what "island" you are coming to. I'm on Oahu, which is where Honolulu and Waikiki are. It does have tourist attractions and such, but many tourists prefer to go to Maui, Kaui or the Big Island. It all depends on what you want to do. Maui - more touristy. Kaui - more nature and tropical. Big Island - Volcano. Oahu - military bases/memorials

I don't have an airline preference so I can't offer you any advice. I flew to FLA once since I've been here on American Airlines and had no problems...but that is the extent of my knowledge. The airport *ahem* sucks, but you wont be spending much time there.

March or May...doesnt really matter. March is more of the wet season...so you may see more waterfalls and such. May might be a tad warmer, but basically it's shorts and flip flops (called slippers) year round...so you can go to the beach anytime.

The spring break here is never an issue...not like in the mainland. In other words, there isn't a huge influx of people over spring break. Memorial Day is very busy here. Not just at the military bases, but Island wide. It's not so much that you wouldn't be able to get a room, but definitely celebrated here. This place is busy at memorial day but quite a site...

normally all the ships are in full dress with the flags and penants. http://www.hawaiiweb.com/oahu/sites_to_see/punchbowl.htm

Somebody made a comment about no danger of breaking customs/traditions...while for the most part that is true, there are some things to be aware of. There are some historical sites that may not look like much, but if you mess around with them it's very offensive. Lets just say some "rock formations" are considered sacred here, so don't climb on them. Also, if you go to the beaches, and you're standing on the rock overhangs, don't get too close to the edge. Every year we lose a couple tourist who have the urge to get as close to the edge for that perfect picture and then a wave will grab them and dump them on the sharp rocks and, well, you get the idea. If you surf, be careful as it can be dangerous some places here. 20-30' waves breaking on the North Shore last week.

There are a few shady areas. If you're on the beach board walks, stay in lighted areas. If you rent a car, be careful where you leave it and what you leave in it. Pretty much standard where ever you go.

Someone said Hawaii is very touristy...which is true more so around Honolulu/Waikiki. Get away from those areas and you'll be fine. Those areas aren't really that bad. I mean, we're part of the U.S. - so your money is good here. You know what you should expect to pay for certain items.

If you let me know what you're into I could probably give you some better advice or maybe even send you some info. The island I'm on has the USS Missouri (I think 10-15 bucks) and USS Arizona Memorial (free - but get there very earl or wait in long lines). It has Diamond Head (a mountain hike). It has Hanauma Bay (excellent snorkelling). If you just want beach. We have plenty of that. There are waterfalls. Surfing. There is a place on the North Shore where you can go skydiving, hang gliding. Plenty of scuba places. One of those little discovery submarines that goes around the bays. Whale Watching. Lots of hiking trails. They have this huge swap meet on WED/SAT/SUN where you can get all the souveneirs you ever wanted...pretty good price. Costs like .50 to get in. Lots of junk but lots of souveneirs/postcards/shirts/etc.

You'll want a good camera. Plenty of photo opportunities.

Turtle Bay Resort is a nice place. No doubt. It's further away from "downtown" and well secluded. Ko Olina is another place that is pretty nice though I don't know prices.

You can definitely relax here. As far as looking at sights, it all depends on what kind of sights you want to see. Not a lot of buildings, but definitely lots of natural sites.

Let me know what you decide or if you need more info. I'd be glad to help. Who knows, maybe we can meet up and I can show you around. I can probably take you to a few places that your average tourist would not get to go. ;o)

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I went to Hawaii with my parents a couple years ago. We saw the memorials and sat around on the beach and stayed in an awesome condo! It was really cool. I think the coolest thing was riding horses along the beach. My dad got to ride the horse that made his "star" appearance in the movie Waterworld (the end where they finally see land....). Anyway, the sunsets are incredible and it really is a nice place to go.

Speaking of vacations... anyone been to Alaska? That's where I want to go when I get out of college. :)

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firefly, I was on a cruise to three destinations in Alaska two years ago. LOVED EVERY FREAKIN SECOND OF IT. I would go back before I went anywhere else. I believe, and sorry for the spelling, the three towns were:

Ketchikan - The best of the three!

Skagway - Smaller than my school.

Juneau - Pretty good.

Royal Carribean was the cruise line... awesome.

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