Day 5 & 6 were the conference days, and I also worked during both days, so that’s why I’m putting them together. Working from Hawaii is really not as rough as it sounds though, so don’t worry.
So Monday morning, aka Day 5, I got up bright and early to help with the conference registration. We were also passing out Agathon Group mugs, so that was my main responsibility. I was also told to tell people about the party that night that we were hosting. So it was a “Morgan, go talk to people” type of job, which you all probably realize I don’t really mind.
I helped setup the conference table, which was of course inside of all kinds of open air architecture, like I mentioned before. Here are a couple pics of what it looked like from or near my spot at the registration table.
Yeah, it was rough.
So eventually I had lunch with everyone, and then took off to go work elsewhere. However, I wasn’t sure exactly where I’d find reliable internet, and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to stay close to the guys at the conference, so I decided to work from the lobby of the hotel, which looked like this:
Yep, that’s the lobby. I worked next to an indoor waterfall.
So it was a rough spot to work from.
After the first day of the conference wrapped up, it was time for the Agathon Group hosted after party at a bar across the street called Tiki’s (with free food and drink, no less, and not just for me!).
The location of Tiki’s is absolutely amazing, as it overlooks Waikiki beach. Our party happened to start right at sunset.
(you can click on that one for the bigger image)
It’s also apparently customary for Tiki’s staff to blow the conch horn (or whatever you can it) at sunset
All of us got delightfuly tanked at the party, and talked to a lot of cool people from the conference. Ron said something that I totally agree with which was that he’d never been to a tech conference with so many socially adept people. It was refreshing.
The next morning (Day 6), Ron and I decided to join the Aloha on Rails run, which was a (you guessed it) run that started at the nearby starbucks and went for 4.5 miles. Ron is in far better shape than I am, and turns out, everyone that showed up was too. So I made it about 2 miles and stopped and looked at the ocean for a while. It was a run around Diamond Head (that big mountain that I could see from my hotel room balcony), and unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera/phone, as I was entirely covered in sweat (which would soon become a them of this trip).
Since I got done with my part of the run early, and I actually had no reason to be at the conference everyone else was going to, I decided to go for a little swim in the ocean (why not, it’s right there). So all in all that was a refreshing and exhilirating (if not a little exhausting) way to start the day. It’s hard for me to imagine why most of the inhabitants of Hawaii don’t do the same (maybe you’d just get tired of it, I suppose).
I also decided to have breakfast in the restaurant in the lobby of the hotel, which happens to sit on the beach, and offered a lovely view of the ocean.
Eventually, after working during the day, I ended up at what ended up being my favorite coffeeshop (Island Vintage Coffee). The coffee there is 100% Kona, and is amazing. They also have wifi, and just happened to have a little balcony that I could sit on while working
Well while I was working, in this little courtyard started up a dance/martial arts show. So I had to take pictures of that as well.
You can’t tell from any of those pictures, but these kids could do some of the craziest flips I’ve ever seen.
Eventually I stopped working and met up with everyone. The conference was techincally over at this part, but everyone was still staying for another day, so we all had dinner together. We at at Cheesecake Factory, which we knew would make Alan roll his eyes, as we could eat that anywhere.
Meal aside, Luke brought his lovely wife Mandi and adorable child Clair along with on the trip. Clair was very shy, especially of the big loud guy with the crazy hair, but I was able to get a couple pictures anyway
After dinner I took a cab to an open mic that Alan had informed me of (I had packed a guitar with me afterall, I may as well use it). So I headed to a place called On Stage, which is like the Red Line Tap of Honolulu (for you Chicago folks), except nowhere near the talent leve of RLT.
The music was quite mediocre, but the bartender was great, people gave me great feedback, and a couple old Hawaiian dudes bought me beers all night. Highlight of the night was when one older guy remarked “you know who would do that one song of yours really well? Nickelback!” I died a little inside. But overall it was a good time.
This guy was the Honolulu version of Cliffy Time.
Eventually it wrapped up and I took a cab back to the hotel, where I needed to get to bed right away, as early the next morning, Joel, Ron, and I were planning on hiking Diamond Head, that mountain that had been staring at us since we got there. Oh it was go time.