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TEDxHonolulu @ Aulani!

Posted: October 15, 2012 in Food, Home, Tech
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My name is Chuggy Bear and I am a huge TED nerd.

All cheese laden self-identification jokes aside, I have always been a fan of TED talks. The concise, thought-provoking format is easily digestible and really embodies the motto of “Ideas Worth Spreading”.

This year the venue for the Hawaii TEDxHonolulu talks was the beautiful Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa. Located on the Leeward side of Oahu, this paradise within paradise is tucked away oceanside with the Ko Olina Resort and Golf Course.

The Disney Experience was very apparent once stepping onto property, from arriving at the valet to leaving after the conference, customer service was top notch. As expected, the attention to detail from Disney is awe-inspiring.

Here is the entrance to the Aulani hotel- a fantastically intricate introduction to the experience you’re about to immerse yourself in.

Arriving early, J and I decided to wander the grounds and discover the resort and “play tourist”. The earthy tones inside the hotel were inviting and comforting. The beige, tans, and browns really exuded the warmth you would want from a family friendly Disney resort. Calming and anxiety-reducing, the hotel made me feel as if I were on vacation (Aulani retirement community? Yes please).

I felt like a kid again walking the lazy river and seeing the complimenting fountains, pools, and waterways. This is the koi pond stocked with tons and tons of koi!

Ending up on the beach end of the resort, J and I pulled up a chaise lounge to unwind and clear our minds for the upcoming TED talks.

Overlooking the lagoon below, this relaxing, poolside, barside area was one of the reasons I might have accidentally missed TEDxHonolulu. Completely relaxed, getting to chat away the woes of the week was extremely therapeutic.

A gentleman from the great state of New York Facetime-ing with his son (whom he left at home) wandered into us and asked us to wave (note: bringing your wife, leaving your kids; best vacation idea ever!). He commented on how friendly “Hawaiians” were (let’s just say its a good thing he didn’t accidentally end up 5 miles up the road) and we gave some foodie recommendations before his wife caught up with him. I got to sneak in a gentle stab at the Yankees procuring Ichiro after her talked up his favorite team (#LakersofBaseball).

Perfect day, perfect location, perfect weekend!

Event check-in time! Semi-vacation over.

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Over in the Aulani conference halls, we picked up our name-tag/lanyards and headed in for breakfast. A beautiful (albeit Astroturf) lawn spotted with small tables and chairs invited us to sit and have a cup of coffee. We were greeted by Timber Hawkeye’s “What are you grateful for?” board

and Candy Chang’s “Before I die I want to ___” board.

Of course I would put something so attainable, yet so desired up on the board (Before I die I want to eat at Alinea- the Grant Achatz restaurant in Chicago, the best restaurant in North America and one of the best worldwide). I wrote mine in early and many good ones dotted the board by day’s end. Most notably, “Before I die I want to ride an ostrich on my own island” was my favorite.

We were treated to an amazingly fresh and colorful breakfast. Plums, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, honeydew, cantaloupe, croissants, bagels, macadamia nut poundcake, pastries, pineapple juice, coffees, and teas. An impressive spread with tons of fresh fruit.

Sorry this is the worst shot of the day (I was starving)

We got to meet other TEDxErs and mingled with a few of newly minted TEDxAttendees. One from Germany, one from Florida, they were new to TED but more than excited to be there. The grounds were beautiful, breakfast was yummers, company was great, time to head in for the talks!

Another fantastically awful shot, inside of the conference room with Simple Souls, the first of the day!

Here is the lineup for TEDxHonolulu 2012!

I will do a separate post for the speakers.

My favorites: Brian Bielmann, Paul Klink, Timber Hawkeye, and Mark Patterson!

The Tesla electric cars made an appearance at the event!

This model was the sports car version, tiny, sporty, extremely low carriage. Pretty sweet.

Lunch was an Aulani sandwich bar- but not your normal buffet sandwich bar, a nice assortment of choices in salad, sandwich, wrap, plus soup! I ended up getting a spinach wrap with capicola and roast beef, pepperjack cheese, manoa hydroponic lettuce, stone ground mustard, a mixed-green salad with parm cheese, asparagus, and a papaya vinaigrette, and a cup of tomato basil soup.

J got a kaiser roll with assorted meats, grilled veggies including the beautiful peppers they had, papaya vinaigrette and a cup of the awesome tomato basil soup.

There was quite the use of local produce in the two meals we had at Aulani. We saw lots of local fruits and Ho Farms cherry tomato assortments and manoa hydroponics. I also assume the papaya dressing is made locally as well.

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The day closed out with some really spectacular speakers and some fantastic TEDxHonolulu gift bags!

Thanks for reading!

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