September Updates

by Mike on October 1, 2013

It’s a busy month for me. I’ve spent the better part of the month traveling, which is what you expect from a travel blog.  But I’ve had too much fun and not enough writing.

I had some time to myself in Honolulu and spent it diving.  The company I went with was a random one I found via Google the day after I landed.  The abundance of dive companies in Oahu provides many options for diving any day of the week.  They key is finding a deal.

I was really lucky to find an open spot with Island Divers Hawaii(IDH) located 20 min from Waikiki.  I didn’t specifically want IDH, they simply had an opening the day I wanted to dive and it was one of the top dive shops to appear in Google.

I also lucked out because on Sunday’s they offer a three tank dive for about $120 USD, which is really a competitive price.  Compare that to what I paid for each dive in the Maldives($100 per dive) and you see what a bargain that is.

On top of their great price, their crew and staff are awesome.  The majority of the crew/staff with an exception of a few were younger yet knowledgeable about diving and most importantly the wrecks.  If I had to dive again in Oahu, I wouldn’t hesitate going with IDH again.

I “gained” access to the Hilton Hawaiian village and tried out their water slide.  It’s nothing wild, but the slide had a few turns to keep the kid in me amused.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Water Slide

I also spent nearly a week in the land of In-and-Out Burgers in the latter part of the month.  That burger joint is always a stop whenever I find myself in California.

Here’s the “protein style” double-double at In-and-Out Burger.

"Protein Style" In-and-Out Burger

“Protein Style” In-and-Out Burger

I also replaced my old(er) iPhone 3GS with the iPhone 5S.  The following picture is from La Jolla cove taken with my iPhone 5S.  Another random tidbit.  This past February I spend a night at the Hotel La Jolla, Kimpton property coming from a short stop in Tokyo.  I have to say that bed in the Hotel La Jolla is the most comfortable bed I slept on.  So comfortable, that I took the sheets off to see the label on the mattress.  It turns out it was a Pillow Top Sealy Posturepedic made specifically for the Hotel La Jolla.  I’m keeping that mind when I need to buy a new bed.

La Jolla Cove with Iphone 5S

La Jolla Cove with Iphone 5S

I’m going to be planning with my teammates for the Mongol Rally 2014.  We have several items to talk about, most importantly buying a car, storaing a car, and the overall budget.

From the initial thought of participating in the Mongol Rally until now, things are starting to roll in to place.  I found teammates, which I didn’t have in August when I registered.  I have a place to store a vehicle in the U.K. and a tentative idwa on what I want in a car.

Needless to say, to get the ball rolling, I’ll need to take a trip over to the U.K. to meet the person overseeing the car I purchase in storage and other logistical matter.

I plan to use Hawaiian Airline Miles to fly on their Partner Airline, Virgin Atlantic.  It’s 60,000 miles and about $200 or so USD to fly round trip from Virgin Atlantic’s North America destinations to London.  The availability is phenomenal any day of the week. I speculate because other redemption possibilities for the same economy seats incur hefty fuel surcharges, which doesn’t make sense for an economy class redemption with miles.  This is because the fuel surcharges make up a substantial part of a paid ticket.

The major downside with redeeming with Hawaiian Airline miles is dealing with their outsourced call center.  I guess everything comes with a trade off – more reliable agents and high fuel surcharges or frustration with out sourced agents and low fuel surcharges.

Updates to come…

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Andy October 15, 2013 at 7:54 am

Looks like you have a lot going on, congrats on signing up for the Mongol Rally, that seems like a blast.


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