Tag Archives: Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Buffet Big Top Tour, copyright Beanhammer

Jimmy Buffett at Jiffy Lube Live September 4th 2010

Jimmy Buffet Big Top Tour, copyright Beanhammer
Big Top Tour, copyright Beanhammer

Labor Day weekend is here again and Buffett was playing his annual run at Jiffy Lube Live. Nancy and I planned months ago to attending when tickets went on sale and we coordinate with Dave and Mike from last year and we had extras so we invited Cassee and Chris who we went to Tom Petty with a few weeks ago.

We started the long day early with some pre-game at Dave’s house who fortunately live 5 minutes from the venue. He made margaritas while we sat out on the patio.  I would have loved to join everyone but I knew there would be police check points going to venue and decided to wait. We would be in the lots for hours so I was certain I would have my fill of drinks. We had several six packs of beer and a blender to make boat drinks.  We brought banana colada and Dave brought with him margarita stuff.  Then there was the food we all brought.  Nancy and I had buffalo chicken dip with some home made burgers.  Cassee brought some marinated chicken on a skewer that was soooo good.  Dave brought more dips and brats to be grilled.

We arrived at Jiffy Lube just before 3pm when the lots opened to the general public.  We found out that you could get in at noon for an extra $30, maybe next time.  As soon as we arrived we setup shelter, brought out the coolers and I fired up the grill.  It was a chaotic mess as everyone was running around doing their own thing without much direction.  After 10 minutes or so we had the canopy setup, chairs out, grilled started, beers cracked and a new addition to our setup, a porta pot for the ladies.  Nancy got a small changing tent and a camping toilet so she wouldn’t have to pee in the woods.

A couple of beer down and two dips killed I wanted a hamburger really bad so I fired up the grill again and started cooking.  From here on it was on like Donky Kong with me manning the grill cooking a ton of meat.  The burgers came out perfect with Cassee’s chicken bits up next, they were so good I couldn’t stop eating the bit size peaces of goodness.  As for the brats no on really ate those, but they certainly came in handy after the show, so I was glad I cooked them up.  To wash all this food down I must of had 4 beers and several mixed drinks.  We had some difficulties with the power convert for the car to power the blender.  Nancy tested the setup in her Jeep successfully but it didn’t work in my truck or any car we had with us.  Not sure why, only thing I can figure it our old ass cars couldn’t handle the current draw.  The blender was slow and wouldn’t run constantly but I got my banana colada and a vary strong margarita.

tailgating for Buffett at Jiffy Lube Labor Day weekend
tailgating for Buffett at Jiffy Lube Labor Day weekend

For hours we just chilled in the lot eating, drinking, and smoking cigars.  I could not think of a better way to spend a wonderful Labor Day weekend.  The weather certainly was cooperating with us all day.  Hurricane Earl passed by a day earlier off the coast and brought with it 80 degree temps with a nice breeze all weekend long.  By showtime the temps dropped further give a nice crisp chill to the air.

All afternoon things were rolling along quite well till the pee incident!  The bathroom Nancy bought was strictly female only.  I was totally fine with this because I didn’t want anything to do with clean up.  As a man I could always find a tree, bush, or two cars to do my business.  As the day went on the rule got loosened so all the men started using it.

Nearing the end of our time in the lot Dave needed to make one last piss.  Things were going well till all of a sudden he walks out of the makeshift bathroom holding the bag of piss!  We couldn’t believe what had happened, nor did we know exactly what happened.  But we looked at the floor and it was covered in pee.  He begins to tell us when he opened the lid the bag of pee feel and despite his better judgment he quickly reached for it.  In the process, getting pee all over him and dumping half of the bags contents onto the tent floor.  Nancy’s saw this and almost went ballistic, she kept her cool but I could tell she was upset with the whole situation.  Her tent was ruined, but at least Dave was covered in pee as punishment.  To his credit he was very apologetic and immediately began to clean the mess.  We went through a whole roll of paper towels and a gallon of water cleaning it out.  All the contents used to weight down the tent and keep it from blowing away in the wind was written off as a loss, no one wanted pee covered anything.

After the pee incident was cleaned up we started to dismantle Camp Buffett in preparation for the show.  In no time everything was put away and we were getting physced for the show.  I even put the grill into the bed of my truck so it wouldn’t get stolen this time.  We each grabbed one last beer and started to follow the hordes into the venue.  From our lot it took several minutes as we passed fellow concert goers still partying in the lots.  While walked Dave couldn’t wait for a bathroom so he stopped at a porta pot and we continued on.  When we finally got up to the gate the line were huge and moving very slowly.  We all finished out drink and just sat in line, nothing we could do.  While talking I see a flash of a blue Hawaiian shirt, I turn to look and it’s Dave weaseling his way into the venue, before us!  I tried to get his attention but he was focused on getting in and his next mission was getting beer.  We finally caught up to him in the beer line which I promptly cut in to help carry beer for everyone.

crowd getting into venue, copyright Beanhammer
crowd getting into venue, copyright Beanhammer

Next up was the long walk up the back of the hill to get to the lawn.  I had a beer in one hand and a cigar in the other on my way to see Buffett perform, life is good.  When we made it to the top it was just before 8pm so the sold out lawn was just smashed with people.  I didn’t feel much like fighting the crowds so I lead my group to an open spot on the left side of the stage.  Surprisingly when 8pm hit there was an opening act, never caught the name and they only lasted a few minutes.  Finally the spectacle begins with a couple guys shooting t-shirts into the audience and the stage lights go crazy while slowly the band meanders on stage.

All I can really say for the show is it was great.  The set started off great with a good mix of new and old tunes, slow and fast.  The vibe from the audience was intense with everyone up on their feet dancing around.  Myself I never once sat down much to the chagrin of Nancy.  She rented a seat with Cassee and Dave and I would catch them several times during the show sitting down with Chris, I just couldn’t do it.  At one point we lost Mike for a while as he got another beer and meet up with some friends.  About the same time we lost Dave as well, not sure where he was or what he was doing but he was gone for a long time.  Probably chatting it up with others after a bathroom break.

We heard several of the classics that you want to hear including: Piece of Work, Volcano, Changes in Latitudes, Son of a Sailor, check out the set list below for more detail.  I was happy to hear two Grateful Dead cover that Jimmy is known to cover regularly; Brown Eyed Girl and Scarlet Begonias.  While in the lot I heard them sound check Scarlet Begonias so I was pretty certain it would make an appearance that night.  The party  went strong for over two hours with no set break.  Every time I have seen him before there was a set break after about an hour, not this time.  The band took a small break while Jimmy did a solo and vice versa when Nadirah sang Creola.

The show ended strong with Southern Cross and Magaritaville two hours after it started.  By this point we already lost Cassee and Chris and Dave and Nancy decided to bug out before the encore.  The two of them have gotten into the habit of leaving at the encore to grab a seat at the car and have another beer.  Mike and I were the only ones to stay to the bitter end, not till the houselights come on do I leave.  Because we stayed I got my Scarlet Begonias and the ever popular Fins.  For the second encore it was a Jimmy solo acoustic He Went to Paris.  Speaking of solo acoustic Jimmy at the beginning this summer released an album called Encores with nothing but Jimmy on acoustic guitar.  The album featured songs from the 2009 Summerzcool tour where he would play a song or two solo acoustic each night for the encore.  A great idea, I just have not gotten it yet.

Jimmy usually does some sort of weird location in January or February.  A small venue in a far flung part of the world.  Last year he played in Hawaii for two shows and we were fortunate enough to catch him at the Waikiki Shell in Honolulu.  We turned it into a week long Hawaiian vacation because of the show, what a fantastic trip.  I hope to do it again in early 2011, but we probably wont have the money because we are saving for our wedding.  Another fantastic Labor Day weekend with Buffett and some close friends.

Set 1 (start 8:18pm)
01. Nobody From Nowhere
02. Piece of Work
03. Knees of My Heart
04. Wings
05. It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (w/ Mac)
06. Bama Breeze
07. Windows on the World
08. Volcano
09. Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
10. Where the Boat Leaves From (Zac Brown Band cover)
11. On Particular Harbour
12. Brown Eyed Girl
13. Brahma Fear (solo acoustic)
14. Why Don’t We Get Drunk (Jimmy and Mac)
15. It’s My Job (Jimmy and Mac)
16. Mexico
17. Creola (Nadirah on vocals)
18. Gypsies in the Palace
19. Son of a Son of a Sailor
20. Come Monday
21. Cheeseburger in Paradise
22. A Pirate Looks at Forty
23. Back Where I come From (Jimmy and Mac)
24. Woman Goin’ Crazy on Caroline Street
25. Southern Cross
26. Margaritaville
set ends at 10:17pm

Encore 1 (starts at 10:21pm)
27. Scarlet Begonias
28. Fins
encore 1 ends at 10:29pm

Encore 2 (starts at 10:31pm)
29. He Went to Paris (solo acoustic)
encore 2 ends at 10:35pm

Sonny Landreth was a guest for this show
Brahma Fear was last played November 20th 1999 in East Hampton, NY
It’s My Job was last played November 3rd 2007 in Tampa, FL

Jimmy Buffett Nissan Pavilion September 3rd 2009

the man himself
the man himself

Last year I saw Jimmy Buffett at Nissan Pavilion over the Labor Day weekend for the first time and again in Hawaii early this year.  Last years show was great and I was looking forward to this years show at Nissan when it was announced again over the Labor Day weekend.  This year my Dad and Pat got tickets and were coming with us.  Pat has been wanting to see Buffett for sometime but getting tickets just never worked out.  However we all got tickets this year and planned to do a little tailgating and then see the show.  We also planned to head to Rehoboth Beach for the weekend turning it into one long party weekend.

Well the best laid plans of man sometimes don’t work out.  My Dad got horrible sick and couldn’t make the show so Pat had to scramble to find someone the day of to go with her, fortunately her friend Kay said she could make it.  Then the beach house got rented, not only for the week before Labor Day, but also the week OF Labor Day, which never happens.  So much for hitting the beach for a long weekend after the Buffett show.  As chaotic as the day was in the end it turned out to be a great show.

I meet Nancy at my Dad’s house about 3 and we headed towards the venue.  We had to fight a little traffic getting there, but we were in the lot about 4:45 and immediately setup the canopy to provide us with some shade and steak out our territory.  Next we cracked open a beer and sat in the chairs for a while.  After a long couple of days fretting about what we were doing, where we were meeting, who was going, etc…we were in the lot awaiting the show.  Pat and Kay wouldn’t be able to make it till much later, but that was not a problem.

broke that rule...copyright Darin Bokeno
broke that rule…copyright Darin Bokeno

We quickly made friends with our neighbors, David and Mike.  Their wives were suppose to come, but both bailed so Nancy and I filled the gap of their missing compatriots.  We had so much food and beer it was a logical choice to invite them over anyhow.  It is crazy the people you meet a Buffett show, these two followed us off the deep end which was cool.  A lot of fun to talk to, they made great drinking buddies.  Eventually Pat and Kay made it to the lot and after getting lost finding us, about 7 I tracked them down and joined everyone at the tent.  They were playing catchup but were able to enjoy a little wine and some food.  About the time Pat and Kay showed up another friend of mine, Joe Camacho and his lovely wife found us and stayed for a beer.

The lot was so much fun we were pretty late getting into the venue.  We had to break down the canopy and put all the crap away, by the time we did this it was almost 8pm.  We were not the only ones late either, after a long hike from the lot the entrance was smashed with people.  Then getting in was a hassle, they found Kay’s camera, apparently a no go item.  But I ninjaed that shit in and it came in handy as you can see from the pictures.  Just inside the venue we all needed one last beer, $11/beer, we headed up to the lawn to enjoy the show.

We had already missed 20-30 minutes, but I didn’t care.  The experience so far was great and I was loving every minute of it.  We could hardly see Jimmy on stage we were so far back, but that didn’t matter.  We could hear the music, see the jumbo trons and everyone around us was having a great time.  But as quick as I got settled in it was time for another beer run.  Fortunately they have a stand at the top of the lawn but that didn’t matter.  With the number of people it was still a 20 minute process to get a beer.  While in line I talked to Mandi from Scotland,  who is a teach for Loudon County public schools.  Great person to talk to, helped pass the time while waiting for the beer.

me, Nancy, and David
me, Nancy, and David

About the time I got back with a beer the first set was over, no sooner did we get there and half the show was over.  We took the opportunity to relax and sit for a while.  There was a full moon on a clear night so things were perfect.  The air was crispy, in fact a little chilly at about 65 degrees.  When the second set started no one realized it.  The house music was Bob Marley’s One Love, what we didn’t notice was that Jimmy and two others had walked onto the stage.  The house music faded out and the three of them picked up right on queue to finish out the song.  Then they started with My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink and I Don’t Love Jesus.  As the set progress all the band members come out.  Some set two highlights included a good Southern Cross and two fan favorites Margaritaville and Fins to close out the second set.

For the first encore a new song premiered from his new album Far Side of the World album, Beautiful Swimmer.  He also did a cover of the Beatles song, Yellow Submarine which was pretty cool.  I have heard a few other covers Jimmy has done and they are always good to hear.  However sometimes he doesn’t do the song justice, but gets an A for effort.  His cover of Scarlet Begonias from the Live at Fenway is not the greatest, but it’s cool to hear Jimmy pay homage to the Dead.

When the show finally ended it was almost 11pm and I was exhausted, still drunk, but thoroughly entertained.  Everyone in our group had a great time.  As we walked across the top of the lawn with the throngs of people, already there was a line of cars attempting to leave the lot.  We were parked in the extreme back and knew there would be little hope of us getting out early.  I walked Pat and Kay to their car then met up with David, Mike, and Nancy back at her Jeep.  We pulled out the chairs and proceeded to dine on some munchie food and talk about the show.  We must have sat there for an hour before a police office finally came by and told us it was time to leave.  He said “Traffic is moving along now, do you guys mind getting in your car and heading out.”  He was so polite we couldn’t refuse his request.

the entire crew, what a great time
the entire crew, what a great time

On the way out of the lot we had one last act of kindness to fulfill.  A guy flagged us down asking for a jump start.  Of course we would help a fellow parrothead out, but we didn’t have any jumper cables.  Luckily a third car had cables that we use and got the guy going so we could all make it home.

As we drove down the highway we had Sirius tuned to the Margaritaville station and they were replaying the concert we just attended.  The full moon lit up the sky at night and I just gazed at the brightest stars in the heavens with Jimmy playing in the background.  Reliving one of the most incredible shows I have seen in my life.  Things started off chaotic, but everything feel into place in the end making a wonderful experience.

I had such a great time, so much so I was still drunk when I woke up the next morning.  Nancy had to drive me to my car and I was not looking forward to going into work on Friday.  I started off pretty good, but I dragged ass for the second half of the day.  When I got home later that night I crashed heard around 8pm and slept for twelve hours.

Set 1: start time not sure, arrived late
01. Lage Nom Ai
02. Stars on the Water
03. Summerzcool
04. It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (with Mac)
05. Mañana
06. Conky Tonkin’ (with Nadirah)
07. Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
08. Volcano
09. Cheeseburger in Paradise
10. Come Monday (The Beach Band)
11. Son of a Son of a Sailor
12. Brown Eyed Girl
13. One Particular Harbor
14. A Lot to Drink About (acoustic)

set 1 ends at 9:25pm

Set 2: start time 9:40pm
01. My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink and I Don’t Love Jesus (ukulele version)
02. Frank and Lola (Jimmy, Mac, Johnn Lovell)
03. Grapefruite Juicy Fruit (The Beach Band)
04. Let Me Love Again (Ilo Ferreira)
05. Gypsies in the Palace
06. Last Mango in Paris
07. Surfin’ in a Hurricane
08. Southern Cross
09. A Pirate Looks at Forty (solo)
10. Margaritaville
11. Fins

set 2 ends at 10:30pm

Encore 1: encore beings at 10:32pm
12. We are the People our Parents Warned Us About
13. Yellow Submarine
14. Beautiful Swimmers*

Encore 2:
15. Tin Cup Chalice (solo)

house lights come on at 10:51pm


Ilo Ferreria was a special guest for this show
* First known performance of the Far Side of the World demo “Beautiful Swimmers”

Hawaii: A Week in Paradise

Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay

So I just got back from 6 nights in Honolulu and what a great trip it was, my write up is a little late but what ever.  This is actually the second time I have been to Honolulu. The first time was in October of 2007, so in less than a two years I was back again. For anyone that has been to Hawaii, you know what I am talking about. For everyone else, get your ass over there!

Just getting out there turned into an adventure. Our flight left Dulles at 8:20am and me being the dumb ass that I am sometimes I set the alarm for the wrong time. So when I opened my eyes and saw the sun was up, I about shit my pants. We were suppose to be up at 4:30am to drive to my Dad’s house so he could drop us off at the airport. Unfortunately that plan got blown out of the water when I got up at 6:30am. In less than two hour we needed to board a plan for Honolulu. Fortunately we were all packed and and traffic was not heavy headed toward the airport. We arrived just in time, we got to the gate and immediately got on the plan.

Nancy and I @ Buffett
Nancy and I @ Buffett

With that tragedy averted we settled in for an 11:30 flight to Honolulu. Being the start of the trip we both were very excited to arrive and could hardly sleep. So when we landed at 4pm local time we were ready to rock and roll! A quick trip to check into Hotel Renew to shower and drop off our luggage, we headed out for a night on the town. One of Nancy’s friends, Matt, is stationed at Barbers Point with the Coast Guard. So we meet up with him for a couple of drinks to get the night started off right. By about 10:30pm it was time to head home, for us it was 3:30am on the east coast and we had been up for almost 20 hours at this point. Excited or not it was time to sleep.

Saturday was an adventure day before we headed to the Waikiki Shell to catch the Jimmy Buffett show, our “reason” for being in Honolulu. We drove completely around the island taking in the beautiful sites of the island. We first stopped by Hanauma Bay to check out the picture perfect bay and headed east after that. We drove from town to town with great stretches of beautiful scenery along the way.

When we got to the north shore we were excited to see some surfing. It was still winter, so the best time to watch. It is not unusual for there to be 15-20′ waves. To bad the poor weather was keeping everyone away for the day. Instead we decided to get some food at Luibueno’s in Haleiwa. Of all things it’s a Mexican join. After that it was some shopping and hitting the local galleries.

historic down town
historic down town

Eventually we made it back to the hotel to clean up and meet Nancy’s friend Matt and his girlfriend Shannon just before the show. Fortunately the venue was in the park right across the street from the hotel. With a city setting there was not an opportunity to tailgate. So that meant getting into the venue and drinking $7.00 beers.

The venue was fantastic, you couldn’t get a better setting. Behind the venue was the mountain range and to the right was Diamond Head. The only thing that could have been better was the temperature and wind. There was a constant breeze with temps in the low 60’s. But as long as I kept drinking the temperature didn’t matter to me. It was a kick ass show in the best possible place to see a Buffett concert. After the show we headed into Honolulu for some after show drinks.

Sunday was a day to do the absolute classic Oahu day trip, Pearl Harbor. I am pretty young and everyone I know was to young to remember the attacks. But that doesn’t mean we can’t all remember that tragic day in American history. This was at the top of Nancy’s to-do list on our trip and I was happy to oblidge.

The crowds that day were pretty light so there was not much wait to take the boat over to the actual memorial. We had a few minutes to kill so we walked around the museum with pictures and artifacts from the attack. When the called our number it was time to file into the theater for a fifteen minute video describing the attack and exactly what went down.

lazy afternoon in paradise
lazy afternoon in paradise

When the house lights came on we exited out of the theater and boarded a boat run by the Navy to take us to the memorial for a quick visit. Once at the memorial it is a very sobering experience. You stand on a plate form directly above the sunken wreckage of the USS Arizona. Little pieces of the twisted wreckage poking above the water with drops of oil dotting the surface. All you can hear is the flag whipping in the high winds, fully extended in the high winds. On the back wall there is the name of every soldier that perished on the ship. It’s heart breaking when you see that many names listed on the wall. All those young men that gave their lives that fateful Sunday morning. By the time you come around and finally realize what it all means it is time to head back to the museum. When we got back we walked around the grounds for a while. Even here it is somber and quite.

After this it was time for some food and a walk in the historic district.  With it being Sunday the place was empty and closed.  I found out later there is a dispute over some of the buildings with the current owner and the city.  The owner does not want to have it as a public museum any more.  There are many fights like between the native people and the state.  Just from the outside the place is impressive, Nancy and I got some great shots of the grounds and the surrounding buildings. We pretty much had the place to ourselves so we took the opportunity to relax on the lawn and enjoy the warm sun.

USS Arizona memorial
USS Arizona memorial

Monday was spent lounging on the beach and snorkeling at Hanauma Bay.  I mostly snorkeled and Nancy lounged on the beach while we were there.  Unfortunately the tide was out and the surf was rough so I lost my fight with the coral and took a couple battle wounds home with me on this trip.  This place is a great place to spend an afternoon, its peaceful and very relaxing.  I still need to develop my underwater shots, not sure if any of them came out or not.  The coolest thing I saw the a squid, and only after someone else pointed it out to me.  I pissed it off too because it inked the water and took off under the rocks to hide from me.

Dinner was at the Yard House in Waikiki.  I love this place and go here every time I am in Honolulu.  When you walk in and find out they have a hundred beers it’s like a personal challenge to drink them all.  Then you find out those hundred beers are all on TAP!  Nancy and I drank a few beers we never heard of.  A good chance to sample some new stuff, but also to be disappointed when we got some skunky beers.  One that was fantastic was Wyder’s Raspberry Cider. I know it sounds crazy, but I didn’t know when I would have another chance to try it, and it was good.  The food here is great, but it’s all about the beer at this place.

me, Nancy, and Matt
me, Nancy, and Matt

Tuesday continued out adventures in the great outdoors.  We hooked up with Matt early that morning and headed to the windward side of the island for some hiking.  Nancy and I both wanted to hike to a fall so Matt suggested the Maunawili Falls.  It was a short hike, about 3 miles round trip, and wasn’t something to strenuous like hiking Old Rag. Unfortunately the hike was on the windward side of the island and it rained pretty much the whole time.  When we got about 100 yards down the trail the clouds opened up and it started to rain, slowly getting heavier and heavier.  It was a little worried about all the rain fall since we have to cross a creek 4 times before reaching our final destination. Once we did reach the fall it was spectacular.  I have never hiked through a rain forest or seen a water fall like this in my life, so it was a great opportunity while here on Oahu.

wild flowers
wild flowers

When we did reach the falls the rain finally stopped allowing me to snap a few shots of the falls.  Surprisingly there was only one other couple from California at the fall.  Matt said it was a rather popular spot and was sometimes packed, after arriving I could understand why. After taking a few shots it was time to do a little swimming around, I didn’t come all this way NOT to get in the water.  Let me tell you, that water was cold!  Once I got in I adjusted rather quickly, but that first plunge took my breath away. Matt mentioned that people would dive from the surrounding cliffs into the pool below.  I will admit that I couldn’t touch the bottom, but I also couldn’t see how deep it was either.  Jumping off a 20′ or a second spot at 35′ was not going to happen.  I was very content just to swim around the pool and under the water fall itself.  By the time we left a large group of college kids arrive, these guys did jump off into the pool.  Just like the surfers on the north shore, these guys are crazy!

On the hike back it rained almost none stop, only stopping long enough for us to take a couple cool shots.  When we did reach the car we dried off and headed to Kalapawai Market for some lunch.  Matt recommended the place for its great deli.  And let me tell you it was a great little market.  It had all the food you could want, home made coffee, salads, everything.  We got some food and took a break on the bench outside to relax.  After filling up we headed to a couple other scenic sites Matt knows.

sunset from Waikiki
sunset from Waikiki

Ulupo Heiau Historical Site was the first stop.  When we arrived it doesn’t look like much, it is actually just a giant pill of rocks.  To quote the site:”It is likely that the function of this heiau changed over time. It probably began as a mapele or agricultural heiau with ceremonies and rites conducted to insure the fertility of the crops grown in Kawai Nui. In later times, it may have become a heiau luakini dedicated to success in war with structures erected atop this massive stone platform, including an altar, an oracle tower or anu’u, thatched hale, and notches in the terraces to hold the ki’i or wooden images. The spring off the corner of the heiau was another important feature related to the ceremonial traditions of the site.”

Next it was onto to the Pali Highway and the Nuuanu Pali State Park overlook.  This scenic spots over looks Kaneohe and the surrounding  mountains.  The trade winds are funneled along the mountains and blow right past you at the overlook and let me tell you it is really windy.  At one point I could lean into the wind and be held up, really fun and another spectacular view of Hawaii.  Afterwords we dropped Matt off at his house and thanked him for a great day, it was so cool having a local guide us around the island.  I don’t think we would have seen anything of these things on our own.

boogie boarder
boogie boarder

When we got back to the hotel it was already pretty late and we were tired, wet, and needed a shower bad.  After getting refreshed we decided to dress up and head out for a nice dinner at the Hula Grill.  Located in the Outrigger Waikiki hotel it has an awesome ocean front view.  We got a seat outside to enjoy that view and hear the sounds of the ocean.  Maybe it was the ocean waves crashing, but I just had to get some fish.  The appetizer was ceviche and it was so good, even Nancy enjoyed it.  Of course it was not as good as that from Panama, but it was close.  For dinner I got more fish and Nancy got the chicken.  A few glasses of vintage wine made the evening that much better.

Our final full day on the island, my how times flies.  For our last day we decided to make it another beach day and headed towards the western part of the island and the Nanakuli Beach Park.  Matt recommended it for its seclusion and snorkeling.  He was definitely right about the seclusion besides Nancy and I there were only two other people on the entire beach.  I spent at least an hour swimming around in the ocean exploring around.  Unlike Hanauma Bay this place was much deeper but just as sparse when it came to fish and coral.  Actually there was a lot of trash stuck on the ocean floor which was rather disappointing.  After some fun splashing in the water I took a quick nap on the beach with Nancy.  Again just soaking up the rays and relaxing.

Since it was our last night on the island we decided to meet Matt at his work for a few drinks.  He is in the Coast Guard and we meet him at the Barber Point station and its on base bar.  This place was a classic dive.  They had all sorts of crap on the walls relating to the Coast Guard, the men’s room had a trough, and large selection of cheap beer.  We meet some of his co-works, one was actually being relocated to the Guard station at For McNair here in Washington DC.  At the end of the night we found out this guy picked up our tab, kick ass.  Another guy we meet was Matt’s friend Eric.  He was really cool and spent the rest of the night with us drinking beer and playing darts.  He is a Cowboy’s fan yet we still got along rather well.  It was a late night of drinking but a great way to end our vacation.

weird tree...
weird tree…

The next morning I was up early to hike Diamond Head.  I tried to get Nancy to come with me but after our hike to the falls she was not interested in another.  In no time I was at the top of the blown out volcano looking out towards Waikiki beach.  The hike up is strenuous and very steep, but once you get to the top the view more than makes up for it.  You get to see the whole downtown area of Honolulu with the mountains in the background.  On this morning the mountains were covered in clouds and mist, quite beautiful.  Even with the cloud cover it was shaping up to be a great day.

When I got back to the hotel Nancy and I took a walk down the main street for one last time.  We also used the time to do some shopping.  All week we checked out the shops and now it was time to return for our gifts.  And of course on the last day we are there it turns out to be the best day.  There was a perfect blue sky with a strong breeze coming off the ocean.  Not a rain cloud in the sky and the temperature was finally got to about 80.  All week the locals kept talking about how cold it was, 65-70 was the average high.  The locals would bundle up in their hoodies and sometimes wear long pants.  For me it was perfect weather, nice and comfortable.  Not to mention Nancy and I left a snow storm back in Virginia that dumped 5″ of the powdery good stuff.  So I was happy with the “cold” in Hawaii.

Unfortunately our time in paradise couldn’t last and it was time to get going.  After our shopping we grabbed some food at a local burrito joint.

Going to Hawaii!

Kahana Bay - Oahu, HI
Kahana Bay - Oahu, HI (by Peter French)

Last year with Nancy and I saw Jimmy Buffett at Nissan Pavilion he hinted at a show in Hawaii.  We quickly discussed it and decided that if he played in Hawaii we could go.  How cool would it be to see Buffett in Hawaii.  I have been to Honolulu before back in late 2007 and had a blast.  It was a great trip and I have always wanted to go back.  Seeing Buffett in Hawaii was a good excuse to go back.

Well on Monday Buffett announced his upcoming tour schedule for 2009 and what to my wondering eyes are the first two show listed, Hawaii!  Maui on the 24th of February and Honolulu on the 28th.  After some quick emails back and forth with Nancy we decided Honolulu would be a great trip as long as we could get a good price.  I figured with the economy the way it is, getting a good deal on a hotel would be pretty easy.  The only real problem I foresaw was air travel.

After a lot of looking we decided on a package that gives us 6 nights in Honolulu at the Hotel Renew, a half block from Waikiki beach.  Not sure how far the hotel is from the venue but I don’t really care since we have a rental car.  The car will come in handy when we decide to travel around the island to do some exploring.  Off the top of my head I can think of Hanauma Bay, north shore surfing, Diamond Head, and Ka’ena Point State Park.  Unfortunately there is never enough time to get everything done.

I will try to post while in Hawaii but if not rest assured that I will have a lot to write about when I get back.