Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas)

(Julie and I enjoying the holidays on Lanikai Beach.)

It's been another long week in HI.  I worked a ton, at both jobs.  The second Land Rover that I sold last Tuesday actually got returned the next day.  Basically the buyers wife was not happy about a new vehicle purchase just before the holidays.  I've only got one truck sold, but another two lined up for later this week.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  I also managed to sneak in a kiteboarding lesson last Thursday evening.  It was fun, but I wasn't on the rite gear and struggled a bit.

Julie had a week full of work and family.  She had her Mom, Dad, and Sister Diana in town.  They are a great family and where tons of fun to have around for the holidays.  There time here has gone by quickly, as they leave on Thursday night.

Christmas in Hawaii has been a very different experience than the normal family gathering.  This is only the second time in my life that I've been away from my family for the holidays, and I miss them dearly.  It has been 75 degrees, sunny, windy, and at times rainy all day.  Aaron, our new roommate, and I went up into the mountains above Kailua and did the Olomana hike.  It is a hike that takes you over 1600 vertical feet, over 6 miles round trip, and over three separate peaks.  It was EXTREMELY muddy, very steep, very exposed, and required anchored ropes at times.  It was a great challenge and a great workout.  Julie spent the day teaching windsurfing in her Santa hat and took her sister for a kayak tour.  The whole lot of us had a cookout at the house in the evening.  Hamburgers on the grill was a first for me as a Christmas meal:)  Julie got a nice road bicycle from Santa (ie: Me).  Julie is buying me a kiteboarding kite, that should arrive late next week.

I really hope that everyone is enjoying the holidays and staying safe.  I miss my family, friends, and the snow.  No winter sports or kayaking is driving me a bit nuts, but hopefully kiteboarding will quench my appetite for adrenaline for a while.

(Aaron , our new roommate, hiking up the second peak with the third peak in the background.)
(This is descending from the third peak, with the second and first peaks in the background.)
(This is from atop the first peak.)
(A classic beach shot down at Lanikai Beach.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Work, Work, Work

I started at Land Rover of Honolulu last Tuesday, and have sold two used LR3s already.  One today and one yesterday.  Basically I have been busy accumulating leads, following up, training, and selling cars.  I also put in some hours with Skagen, and remembered how much fun mall retail was around the holidays (hopefully you can hear the sarcasm in my voice!).  The new schedule has taken some getting use to:  6am run, 7:30am commute, 8:30 arrive at work, off work at 6pm, and home a little before 7pm.  Trying to get to bed early hasn't worked all that well, but I'm working on it.

Julie has also been busy at work.  The winds have also gone back to normal, East at 15-25 mph.  Julie has been enjoying the windsurfing and managed to get in a kiteboarding lesson as well.  She enjoyed it, but I don't thing she is going to give up windsurfing anytime soon:)

Enjoy the week leading into Christmas.  Julie and I are thinking of you all.  We are also really excited that her parents and sister will be in Hawaii later tonight.  Sorry there aren't any photos this week, but I've been a bit busy.  Next post coming on Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Kona Winds and Heavy Rains

(An evening shot of Kailua Bay looking South towards the Mokalua Islands)

This week has been a bit strange.  The weather has been crazy with strong Kona, west, winds and big rain storms.  Between the winds and flooding we lost power on a number of occasions and the North Shore turned into an Island within an Island with no way in or out.  Julie and I did manage to squeeze one long day of adventures in with some surfing and hiking.  I put in a bunch of hours at Skagen and Julie did a lot of busy work as their weren't too many tours due to the weather.  I started my job at Land Rover today.  The commute, long hours, and new arena of sales are going to be a bit trying for a while, but it should pay off in the long run.  Please stay in touch and be sure to write comments on this blog, as they are funny and everyone can enjoy them together:)

(Julie and I had a great longboard session at this spot, called Cockroach Bay)
(The Light House at the South Eastern corner of Oahu)
(Julie at the top of the Light House hike overlooking Rabbit Island)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Work in Paradise

This has been another long week of job searching and crazy weather.  I went to a number of interviews and filled out countless applications, both online and in person.  I also put in a number of hours at my part time job for Skagen watches.  I have been selling for them at the Macys at Ala Moana mall as well as handling their merchandising at their two accounts here on the island.  The weather has been crazy here with temps in the 70's instead of the 80's, the winds have been extremely strong (but out of the west instead of the east), it has rained hard every day, and the surf on the North Shore has been EPIC!!!  Basically what all that means for Julie and I is that we can't go windsurfing or kiteboarding and surfing is out of the question.  I've been running a lot, but the heavy rains have slowed me down a bit.

The big news is that I got a full time job yesterday.  I will now be selling Land Rovers in Honolulu.  It is a commission based position that will require me to work 55 hrs a week and commute across the island 5 days a week.  This will be a big change for me, but I think I'm up for the task.  A part of me is actually looking forward to having a normal schedule and being able to put some money in the bank.  I have to do a drug test later today and then they need to run a background check, so I should start work sometime next week.
(The current Land Rover product range.)
(This the watch that Skagen is sending me for working for them.)
(This shot was taken atop the Pali Lookout- Purple: The house we stayed at on Marine Base Hawaii, Blue: Kailua Bay, Orange: Our new house)

Hopefully everyone is doing well back on the "mainland".  Please keep in touch.  Until next week...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fried Turkey & Endless Interviews

It’s been a long and strange week. Besides Thanksgiving I’ve done very little besides search for jobs, fill out applications, and attend interviews. I did manage to get a hold of a Necky Orbit Fish, whitewater kayak, and get out in some small surf (Thanks Steve!). I’ve been trying to get that kiteboard lesson in, but there has been crazy strong onshore winds or no wind at all. Hopefully the strong winter winds will set in soon.

(Derek droppin the turkey into the fryer. Derek, on left, and Tyler, on right, are our roommates.)

(Our fried turkey, this thing was sooooo good!!! Nice work Derek.)

(The Thanksgiving spread. We did not go hungry!)

(The Thanksgiving crew enjoying the 651 bar.)

(Looking down on Laniki and the Mokalua Islands from the Pill Box trail.)

(Self Portrait on the second lookout on the Pill Box trail overlooking Kailua Bay.)

I also started my job this week working for Skagen watches. I'm going to be selling their watches at the big Macys store in Honolulu for the holidays and then doing their merchandising on the island after the holidays. It is a very part time job, but the watches are nice:)

I've interviewed for jobs that include: kayak instructor/guide, kiteboarding/surfing shop manager, Chevy/Mazda car sales, Porsche sales, Land Rover sales, motorcyle sales, and motorcycle rentals. I'm still keeping my options open, and waiting to hear back from two of the positions, as I've already been offered most of the positions. I'll keep you guys posted.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Reef Pro- 11/22/07

Julie got the day off and the surf was supposed to be huge, so we headed up to the North Shore to check out the first stop of the Triple Crown of Surfing, the Reef Pro at Haleiwa. All the big names where making the huge messy surf look easy.

(Julie enjoying the Reef Pro.)

(Julie in front of the Reef Pro score board/judges booth.)

(I believed the sign and didn't go out in the water!)

(Julie and I enjoying the day together.)

(Painter preparing for the next stop of the Triple Crown at Sunset Beach.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hawai'i- Week Two

It has been a busy and hectic week, but things got accomplished! We now have a place to live, a bed to sleep on, and reliable transportation. Now if only I could find some solid employment☺

(This is a beautiful sunset looking across the canal in Kailua Beach Park.)

Wednesday- Julie says: We went to Hanauma Bay, a popular snorkeling place. We saw lots of cool fishies! We looked at a few studio apartments that we were less than impressed with. Ok, ok, they were dumps and expensive dumps at that. When we finally went to look at 651 Akoakoa St. we couldn’t sign up fast enough. We were VERY relieved.

On Friday Julie and I set out to get a million things done at once. We managed to arrange to pick up our new car very early in the morning, return the rental car, get the title of the car put into my name, buy towels and bed linens, buy a queen mattress set, drop off the mattress at our new house, and get to the beach for a 2 pm kiteboarding lesson. Sadly there wasn’t enough wind and the lesson was canceled.

(This is my new Hawaii Beach Car. It is a ’90 Toyota Corolla Wagon with about 100K on it that I picked up for $1,400. It is an automatic, so Julie can drive it, and has a new CD player. The car runs absolutely perfect, better than my ’06 Rental Car! I added sweet orange Hawaiian print seat covers☺)

Saturday was Julie’s day back at work and moving day for me. I moved our things into our new house in Kailua (651 Akoakoa St. Kailua, HI 96734). Our roommates seem to be cool people that we will get along with quite well. Currently there are two Navy Submarine guys and a Coast Guard guy, who is on deployment for the next 3+ months.

(Our new house. This thing is huge, probably over 2,000 sq/ft, and has a two car garage.)

(This is the house bar, and currently my home office.)

(This is our huge deck, hot tub, and hammock. Through the trees you can just see the canal that we back up to. More shots of the rest of the house in future posts.)

Sunday was a long day for Julie and I both. Julie had two kayak tours, the second of which was 15 Japanese tourists. I ended up spending the day at the beach taking some photos, watching the kiteboarders, and spending a few hours out on a windsurfer. It was my first time in the ocean windsurfing, and I did okay, but not great. The key was that I made it back each time I went out☺.

On Monday I had another long day of job searching at home on the internet. Julie spent the day at the Windsurf trailer at the beach dealing with very few customers due to the onshore wind and big surf. I had another kiteboarding lesson, but it was canceled again due to the light onshore winds.

(This is the windsurfing trailer that Julie works at located in the parking lot at Kailua Beach Park.)

I did manage to get a part time position with Skaggen Watches for the Holidays, just a few hours a week, and a long term position with them, only a few hours per month. I also lined up a few interviews and was offered a job with a local kayak outfitter, but I’m currently holding out for more money.

(Rainbows are everywhere here. This is looking east out over Kailua Beach.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hawai'i- Week 1

I managed to sell off most of my worldly belongings, including my car, truck, and motorcycle in about a week’s time. My truck sold on Monday Nov. 5th (A big thanks to Stan and Jacklyn at Davis GMC Buick in Westminster) and I purchased my one-way airfare to Honolulu the same day.

(All the vehicles left behind)

I got a ride from Dad super early Tuesday morning (Thanks Dad!) to the airport. After two long flights, first to Phoenix and then Honolulu, I made it to Oahu in the early afternoon. The plan was get my luggage, pick up my rental car, drive to Kailua in rush hour traffic, and meet Julie at her work as she got off at 5pm. The plan changed a little when Julie surprised me by meeting me at the airport. It was a really nice surprise and included a traditional Hawaiian lei. Julie and I spent some time in Honolulu and then headed to the MCBH (Marine Corps Base Hawaii) where we would be staying with her friends Jen and Dean.

Julie has been here for almost a month, but didn’t have a car and hasn’t seen much of the island. On Wednesday we took the “long” drive up to the north shore of Oahu, only about an hour or so each way. We had a fun day checking out all the famous surf breaks and local shops. Instead of coming back down the coast, the way we drove in, we decided to take the “highway” through the mountains and see some other sights. The only real stop on this leg of the journey was at the Dole pineapple plantation. We took the tourist train ride around the plantation and tried some Dole whip pineapple soft serve ice cream, that in the end didn’t agree with either of our stomachs. It was another long fun day, and I was a bit exhausted to say the least.

(Juile loved the Dole plantation)

(Julie loves her pineapples!)

On Thursday we slept in, did some internet work (i.e.: apt shopping, car shopping, and job hunting), and then took a nap. It was afternoon before we left the house, but it was yet another beautiful day in Hawaii. We picked up some surfboards at the shop Julie works at, Kailua Sailboards and Kayaks (KSK), and headed off to find some surf. We ended up at the Ala Moana Park in downtown Honolulu. After a long paddle out past the reef Julie and I waited for quite some time, as the lull between wave sets was considerable. In about two hours time I managed to surf 4 waves, of four that I tried to catch. Julie caught her first wave in Hawaii and was instantly hooked on surfing. She caught a few more waves and in the process managed to lose the fin off her board, which made standing on the board very difficult. After the surf session we drove around Waikiki and checked out the sites. We had dinner at the Spaghetti factory in Honolulu, a very cool restaurant.

The plan for Friday was to get up early and go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. It was a beautiful drive along the southern tip of Oahu, but the wind was blowing and the visibility for snorkeling would not have been all that good. We continued the drive around to Diamond Head and Waikiki. The Diamond Head hike was quite fun and offered up amazing views of Waikiki and Honolulu. After a refreshing Hawaiian shave ice we tried to find our way back to the Pali Hwy and back to Kailua. On the way we stumbled across one of the two main kayak shops in Hawaii, “Go Bananas”. We stopped in and I talked kayaks with the owner for a while and filled out an employment application. Julie and I were quite hungry after our adventures so we found a Safeway that was having its grand opening. We managed to get enough free samples for a solid lunch and only had to purchase some bread and drinks. Back in Kailua the wind was still blowing and Julie went out for a quick windsurf.

(View from atop Dimond Head towards Honolulu)

(Julie windsurfing in Kailua)

Julie headed back to work on Saturday morning and I got up with her ready to find some work myself. My goal for the day was to find a place for us to live as well as some employment for myself. I also kept an eye out for any good deals on a cheap vehicle. Sadly I came up blank on all fronts. I did get a chance to hang out at the beach in Kailua for a while though and check out the kiteboarding scene. I have a feeling that kiteboarding will soon be my main Hawaiian recreation. I also got a good feel for the town of Kailua and visited many shops, both to check them out and search for employment opportunities. Julie and I rented Spiderman 3 and want everyone to know how much of a waste of time that movie is. It is not worth the $1 rental fee we paid!!!

Sunday was another day of work for Julie and another day of research for me. I did manage to find an apartment or two, but was unable to get calls back from any of them. I was also able to drop off a few resumes around town and talk to the owner of “Twogood Kayaks” here in Kailua. After Julie got off work we headed over to the local hangout, The Shack, with her friend and coworker Molly. After dinner and a few drinks we hung out at a local house party for a while and got to know a few of the locals.

On Monday I put in another long day at the computer researching places to live, jobs, and cars while Julie worked at KSK.

Tuesday was a grueling day with me filling out online applications and doing more internet research for a large majority of the day. I did manage to squeeze in a solid 30 min. run before picking Julie up from work. After getting cleaned up Julie and I went out to Pinky’s, a local pub and restaurant. The food was solid, but nothing special, but the mixed tropical drinks were amazing. For six bucks you got a huge goblet of fine rum with a little fruit juice for flavor. Julie was quite happy after her one goblet of goodness☺

Wednesday we got up early and headed down to Hanauma Bay with one of Julie’s co-workers, Audrea, for some snorkeling. It was tons of fun and we got to see a lot of fishes. The place was crowded and the water wasn’t all that clear, but it was still quite amazing. It was a little overcast though and I got REALLY cold after only about an hour in the water. We checked out some apartments and rested up for most of the rest of the day. Hopefully we have found our place and will be moving in on Saturday, keep your fingers crossed!!! I also have a job interview tomorrow and a solid lead on a car that I will probably purchase on Friday, when I have to return the rental car.

Summary after 8 days in Hawaii:
-EVERYTHING is extremely expensive!!!
-Jobs pay much less here than on the mainland.
-The only whitewater on the island is class 6 creeking during serious flooding.
-Decked boat “surf kayaking” doesn’t really exist here.
-The weather is always nice, but expect rain every day.
-Hawaii is going to be an adventure (that I’m glad I’m sharing with Julie)!

PS- My future posts on this blog will not be the novel that this one was:)
PSS-Check out more photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieborsetti/sets/72157602401543971/