Paris Day 1 & 2: Bon Voyage


It’s been a longtime dream to travel to Paris. However, I booked this trip on impulse. I also wanted to go solo (YOLO) and enjoy the city at my own pace. I went with only one carry-on bag. It was an amazing adventure and a dream come true….

It was a 6-day trip (2 days of travel) from March 21st-26th. Getting there took over 19 hours, and I lost a day. Expedia flew me to Maui first, to catch a flight to LAX. On my flight to L.A., I met a nice family from Minnesota who was vacationing on Maui. Then I sat next to a couple from Sweden on my flight to Paris. I guess traveling solo frees you up to meet more people.

I didn’t want to stay at a franchise hotel, so I booked a Parisian boutique hotel called the Hotel du Dragon. I arrived in the late afternoon. I was greeted by the staff, a young dude with a cigarette and an iPhone. After telling him that I was from Hawai’i, he became very pleasant.

The building is over a hundred years old. It has no elevator, crooked stairs, and free Wi-fi. I would describe it by saying that it bordered on the fine line between “quaint” and “ghetto.” Haha. I loved it.

The room was tiny with old French furniture like this charming armoire. The bathroom was galley style.

But I selected this hotel based on location. I stayed in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood in the 6th arrondissement on the Left Bank. In other words, I stayed in the café district within walking distance of all the attractions. I walked around to orient myself to the surrounding area.

Here are two of the most famous cafés in Paris (the world.) I liked both equally, although I did go to Café de Flore more.

I stopped by this brasserie before returning to the hotel. I picked up a few bottles of water at a boutique market. I felt tired, excited, and happy.


Day 1 & 2: Beijing Bound

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Blessed to have been invited to participate in the RDFZ Xishan International Summit in Beijing, China. I was fortunate to have met these amazing teachers from RDFZ this past summer at the Punahou Lab School. I attended the iSummit along with Liz and Doug from Punahou.

Liz and I flew out on Tuesday, November 19th on Korean Airlines. It was about 10 hours to Seoul, Korea, then another 1½ hours to Beijing. Somehow, we lost a day in between. Lance was able to take me to the airport. The flight wasn’t full, so we had the row of 4 seats to ourselves. I watched “Linsanity” on my iPad. (I won a gift card from EdCamp and was able to rent a few movies.)

We were picked up from the airport and stayed at the Holiday Inn. It was nice and only about 10 minutes from the school. (This photo was taken the next day, but we arrived at around midnight.)

I was greeted in my room with a plate of fresh fruit from the school.

Didn’t need to use the AC here. I left a window half-open and slept with a sweatshirt on. We experienced good weather throughout the week. It got a little smoggy at times, but it was really nice. It only got cold when there was wind.

There was free wi-fi in the hotel, and I quickly confirmed that Facebook and Twitter were blocked in China. Fortunately, I was able to post pics to Facebook and Twitter via Instagram.

So excited to be here! This is crazy….

Europe Trip Day 1: The Journey

Just returned from my “YOLO trip” to Europe with the high school. This trip was a dream come true! There were 40 of us, approximately 20 students and 20 adults. This was an 11-day EF Tour. I kept a journal in my Moleskine notebook….

We left late Monday night, March 19th, and had a 6-hour layover in San Fran.

EF provided us with a city bus tour. We visited the Golden Gate Bridge and had amazing clam chowder at Chowders at Pier 39. We then took a 10-hour flight to Frankfurt, Germany aboard Lufthansa Airlines. This was definitely one of the best airlines that I’ve ever flown on.

I believe that “Day 1” officially began on Wednesday. We had a 2-hour layover in Frankfurt and a 1½ hour flight to Rome. There we met our Tour Director “Javi.” We arrived at our hotel late in the afternoon.

What one word would I use to describe the hotels in Europe? “Quaint?” “Charming?” How about “ghetto.” Haha. Don’t let the stars on the sign fool you. Still, we were all very excited. (And it’s all part of the experience.)

I can’t believe that I’m finally here in Rome….

My Australia….

Alan Tamayose

Had the absolute best time in Melbourne. Our hosts from Glendal Primary were amazing. It was a privilege to travel with the JEM Club from the Kamehameha Schools as a chaperone. We made so many incredible friends. Here are some of the highlights:

• getting to know our KS students. they were a blast.
• being with my amazing hosts, Deborah & Henry. enjoyable dinner conversations and cups of long black at the local cafés.
• hanging out with the Glendal staff. such wonderful hospitality.
• meeting up with the students & teachers from Buckingham Friends School. good people.
• seeing the penguins at Phillip Island with Chris. i didn’t expect to experience anything like that. (not much of an animal lover, unless it’s on my dinner plate….)
• the view from the Eureka Tower & the evening stroll along the Yarra River. Melbourne is a world-class city.
• the Footy game at the MCG with Henry. Go Magpies!
• my “mememto” from Sorrento. sorry, can’t explain. what happens in Sorrento stays in Sorrento….
• the walk along the creek with Deborah & her dogs. so relaxing & rejuvanating.
• dinner with Jackie & Roula at her uncle’s restaurant was terrific. friends for life.
• the dress-up birthday party for Nichola was a blast. got to hang out with awesome people.
• the breathtaking vistas along the coastline. so amazing….
• the food! meat pies, fish & chips, coffee & cakes, pizza restaurants, fine wines, Greek, Pakistani, Italian, etc., etc., etc….
• being interviewed on talk radio before millions of listeners. haha.
• as you can tell, pretty much everything. so blessed!

Please visit our school blog of the trip. G’day….