Since the semester hasn't started again yet, I have some time to make a post. My trip to Hawaii for Globecom 2009 went really well. My presentations went well and I had some people ask me questions during and after my sessions. I'm not sure we got a lot of exposure there, but it's ok, it was Hawaii after all.
Besides the conference, I got to snorkel, hike, and explore some of the island, besides cheering the Badgers on to victory over the University of Hawaii in football. All of these were fun, but I'd have to say the highlight of the sight-seeing part of my trip was going to Pearl Harbor.
I went twice, first on 12/5 and then again on the anniversary on 12/7. I went on the U.S.S. Arizona memorial tour on the first day, which was fortunate since the tour was full on the 7th. It is a heart-wrenching experience, but I
wholeheartedly endorse it. The first picture shows the memorial from across the harbor, and the second the flag over the memorial from inside.
It was amazing to see the wreckage underwater and the oil still bubbling up. I tried to take pictures of the latter, but a photo just doesn't do them justice. Since it was close to the anniversary on the 5th (I assume that was the reason), they were handing out flowers for us to cast into the water. The third picture shows my flower in the oil slick.
On the 7th, I spent more time at the submarine memorial, the submarine museum, and I toured the U.S.S. Bowfin, a WWII-era submarine. It was cramped. Climbing through the bulkheads was challenging while carrying a camera.
The only thing I missed was the U.S.S. Missouri, which was not there because it was being repaired or was having some maintenance done on it. Too bad.
If I had to choose between the big island and Oahu, I'd go to the big island. There's way less people, things seem cheaper, the snorkeling is better, and there's lava. That said, having Chantal and Alethea with would have made either island seem more like paradise. I very much hope that the next time I'm in Hawaii they will be with me.