A few weeks ago, I've had the chance to go to Honolulu to present 2 papers at the IEEE VTC 2019-Fall Conference. I've never been to Hawaii before, so I was actually quite excited. Here are some photos of the adventure
Pictures are either from my iPhone X or iPhone 6S, since I didn't lug around my dSLR most of the time. The iPhone 6S is my spare phone, which I used with a US SIM card.
I landed on Saturday, Sept 21 night and I rented a car to get myself around, given taxi was very expensive to use and driving myself is much more reliable. The side benefit is I can actually go around and explore more places in my free time. And what car was it? A nice red Honda Accord. To save money, I found free parking on a nearby street.
Lol more pics of the car. Visiting the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
It was a rainy day, and I got very soaked. But nice campus and I bought a couple of T-shirts, since my dad studied here back in the days.
Given it was a work trip, there is no doubt I had to do some presentations as well. My first paper was a poster presentation, which I had to bring a 36x48 poster on the plane from Calgary to Hawaii via LAX. I also brought it back safely, which is now in the lab.
In my personal off time, I had a chance to drive all around the island of Oahu. I went east on Kalaniana'ole Highway and looped around places like the Lanai Lookout, Makapu'u Lookout, past Waimanalo Beach. At the Castle Junction, I turned right to hit the Kamehameha Highway to get some very scenic oceanside views. The full loop of Oahu is about 100 miles.
Sunshine and beaches and Honda Accord, what more does one need?
Being a tourist, I decided to hit up a classic shrimp truck, Giovanni's. Everyone talks about it, but I was not sure what the craze was all about. It's $14 USD for a plate of food, cash only.
It's literally just a very greasy plate of food with two scoops of rice. I was still wondering why I paid almost $20 CAD for something like this and still had to sit at a picnic table, but my first bite explained everything. The taste was amazing.
Of course, I also drove to North Shore to go to Matsumoto for shave ice. The lineup was about 15 minutes, but for $3 USD, it was worth it.
The conference also had a banquet for some classic Hawaii performance.
How can I miss a nice walk on Waikiki Beach at night?
Me presenting my second paper.
Went with a couple of friends to try out some traditional Hawaii cuisine that real locals go to. I still don't have much idea what I ate; I just got whatever they recommended.
What's a visit without going to the local Costco, my favorite store? Apparently, there are 4 Costcos on the island and I ended up visiting 3 of the 4. Gas was also 50 cents a gallon cheaper. Good thing I brought my membership card along.
A really expensive meal that ended up costing me $42 USD. At least the sushi was great!
Visiting Pearl Harbor. Got lucky and found 1 parking spot -- it was busy even though it was a Thursday in September.
I walked in at 10:20am and they gave me a ticket to the memorial for 10:30. Glad I made it!
The USS Arizona memorial is located over the sunken ship and you have to be ferried out. The whole program lasts about 75 minutes, where you first start off with a 20 minute film. The historical presentation was very well done and educational.
The actual memorial.
I also hiked to Ka'ena Point, which is the western most part of the island. You can approach it from the north or from the south, which is separated by a big mountain in between. Since I've already done the northern stint, I decided to approach from the south, which is something a tourist does not normally do. The advice I was given was to bring lots of water. At first, I was like, "How hard can it be?" It was only a 2.5 mile hike and there was no elevation gain at sea level. Since I'm from Calgary, I thought it'll be an easy hike. As it turns out, I brought 2L of water and drank 3/4 of it by the time I got there. 32c heat in at 2pm is serious business and by the time I got to my car, I had to down another 2L of water with the A/C maxed out to cool down.
Visited another Costco lol. They sell sushi here.
Ended off the day at White Plains Beach. It was almost time to fly back.
Returned the car at around 8pm. It was a great trip -- I didn't get to do everything like hiking the Diamond Head, but overall it was a great trip and I took the 10:25pm flight back to Canada.