Surely you’ve heard that every single Segway device has been recalled. You haven’t? Then you obviously don’t keep up with the important news.
What relevance could this have to travel? Let me tell you. Back in 2003, I spent six-plus weeks on the R/V Roger Revelle, leaving port in Honolulu and sailing more than halfway to Japan to retrieve sediment traps, then returning three weeks later for personnel switching and resupplying, then spending the last three weeks sailing around the Hawai’ian islands looking for whatever was the objective of the cruise.
After the cruise was over, we disembarked back in Honolulu, and I got to spend the next four days on O’ahu. I was a last resort choice for the cruise, so I was given only two days to finalize travel dates, otherwise I would have planned better. My original departure flight was the day after the cruise ended. I changed that as soon as we docked because I had to take the chance to stick around, even if it was in the touristy area of Waikiki, meaning I had to pay extra for the flight change.
You know what? It was still worth it. The other scientists on the cruise advised me to avoid Waikiki, but I still liked it there, even with all the tourists walking around. Places stayed open late, even past 11:30pm, which meant more people to meet were outside later into the night. (That was terrible sentence structure.)
In addition, their hotel recommendation sucked. The only reason they chose it, and they admitted this, is that it has a bar next to the swimming pool. I stayed there for the first night, as that was the night before I was originally scheduled to fly home. The next day (I rented a car to drive around the island this day, read more about it coming up), I walked across the street to the Waikiki Gateway Hotel and got a room for $50 a night (walk-in rate), cheaper than their rate posted on the internet. What did it offer that the previous hotel did not? Free continental breakfast, better bathroom and shower, a waterfall in the swimming pool, quieter air conditioning, a walk-out balcony, and free high-speed internet (pretty much always a deal-winner). It’s also a smaller hotel, which means fewer guests, which means a less crowded swimming pool (which I got all to myself two nights in a row), and fewer floors, so it won’t take ten minutes for an elevator to arrive and take you up 40 floors.
I rented a car so that I could circumnavigate the island, which I managed to do in one day, returning to Waikiki as the night lights were turning on. I stopped often, pretty much every place with a parking area, to take in the sights and sit for a while. On one of these stops early in the road trip, I saw a guy on a Segway scooter, who looked foolish riding around by himself in a parking lot. The Segway was a little over a year old at this point, and at a cost of US$5000 each, only those pretentious enough to not want to walk short distances would buy one.
Granted, he may not have owned it, but rather rented it. While walking through Waikiki, I saw an outdoor booth/kiosk/shop that rented scooters and Segways near the Planet Hollywood on Kalakaua Avenue. So there’s the travel link.
This wasn’t a really necessary post, I just wanted new content and an excuse to post that picture.