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Sunday, January 11, 2015

In the Immortal Words of Russel Casse...

"Ha-ha-ha! Hello, boys! I'm BAAAAAACK!"

Well, that was a lot of fun. Now I have to get back to the daily grind. Oh well, that's how vacations are paid for. Right?

So let's start with some old business. The last place on Kaua'i I posted a picture of, which no one guessed about, was the Limahuli Garden & Preserve. It's all the way at the end of the road on the north shore of Kaua'i. I was standing 10 feet north of the default pin on the Google map below when I took the picture - just in case anyone was curious. ;)

So if you ever go to Kaua'i, I have a few pieces of advice for you.

  1. Book events before you leave the mainland. Companies like Na Pali Explorer sell out quickly. You can always move things around once you arrive, providing there is space and flexibility on the part of the provider. However, once a particular event is booked up, you won't be able to get in. That didn't happen with me exactly, but it nearly did. With the Internet at your fingertips, there's no good reason not to book in advance.

  2. Don't try to do more than two things in a given day. You might even want to consider just one "big" thing a day. After all, you'll need time to swim, sun bath or just relax on the beach. It's vacation. Don't try to do everything at once. Besides, traffic will never cooperate with you.

  3. On that note, rent a car if you plan on seeing things all over the island. The island isn't big, but it is big enough you'll have to drive everywhere. Kaua'i isn't exactly walking friendly. There are taxi cabs, but not many and they're heavily used. You have to wait on them and that doesn't always do your schedule good. Traffic is terrible. As an example, our Na Pali Explorer ride left from Kekaha on the southwest shore. We were staying in Wailua on the east shore. The distance between the two is 33 miles. It takes an hour minimum to drive the 33 miles. The top speed on the island is 50 MPH, and you'll be lucky to go that fast.

  4. And last but most important, if you plan on eating anywhere upscale, you must make reservations well in advance. Don't call the morning you expect to eat at a given restaurant and expect there will be a table. We went on off-season and most places we ate at were booked two or three says in advance at a minimum. If you plan on eating McDonald's, don't worry about this advice. But if you go to Kaua'i and eat at McDonald's, you need to reevaluate what vacations are about my friend.

I imagine these could apply to any of the islands. Just saying.

On the flight back I finished reading Roadside Geology of Oregon, Second Edition. I read the first edition, and the day I wrote my review on Goodreads, I found out they had just published the updated second edition. So I had to find out what the differences were. :P Three decades of scientific fieldwork and a much better author is pretty much what it boils down to. It was fascinating if you're into geology like I am. I won't post the reviews here because... geology. You know? However, if the mood strikes you, just go to my Goodreads page and read the reviews there. Or don't.

I started reading another traditional book on the flight back as well: what if? by Randall Munroe, the author of xkcd. I'll review it on Goodreads of course, and I'll probably throw it up here as well. It's something gamer geeks read so why not.

Tomorrow I have a 90 minute commute to start back to work. That's why you're getting this tonight. That's in addition to my normal Tuesday morning 75 minute commute. So I picked up a new audio book to which to listen: Lock In by John Scalzi, narrated Amber Benson. Scalzi never gives the sex for the protagonist in this near future detective sci-fi story, so Audible had Wil Wheaton and Amber Benson do a version each and you, the reader, get to pick which sex you want the protagonist to be. I went with Amber because I already know what Wil Wheaton sounds like. He's one of my go-to voice actors. I figured it was only fair to give Amber a shot this time. ;-)

Oh, and on the gaming front, I forgot to pay my claim upkeep in advance before I left for Kaua'i. I also left my gaming laptop at home for the same reason I don't eat at fast food restaurants while on vacation. The end shot is they took my claim away. That's how it works in Landmark. And you know what, I'm okay with that. Landmark is turning into a game people will love, but I'm probably not one of them. It's become a bit of a hack and slash fantasy MMO, and I've had enough of those for a while. I'm going to play Elite: Dangerous for now, and eventually I'll dive head first into Star Citizen. Oh, and I HAVE to finish The Vanishing of Ethan Carter! That'll keep me busy enough. Cheers!

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