Talk Story Bookstore was another of my favorites from Hanapepe. They are the western-most independent bookstore in the United States, or so said the owner to every single person who walked in the store. People either laughed or said “yeh, I saw the sign.” Funny. Talk Story had a great selected of both used and new books and many of them were on local topics or written by local authors. I’ve learned my lesson by now that when you’re in Hawaii and you want a book, you buy it right there. Many times these books are not available for purchase when you get back home. So, though I have a Kindle, I spent a good chunk at Talk Story. See? I support independent bookstores even though I’m tied to The Man (Amazon).
I chatted with Talk Story’s owner, Ed, a few times. Nice guy. Very helpful in asking what I was looking for and helping me find things that might be of interest. I loved the vibe here. Ed said he visited Kauai from the East Coast, where he grew up, and never went back. Love stories like that!
My flight to Los Angeles was the first time that I flew on Virgin America. Nintendo booked my flights for me or else I probably would have never tried it out. I usually like to fly American since I have about 167,000 miles there. It turned out that I quite liked flying Virgin. I hate how American and United and a lot of the other airlines feel so old fashioned and stuck in the middle ages and not fun at all. Virgin felt new and modern and fun. They didn’t take themselves too seriously.
The Virgin America ticketing area at O’Hare. Fresh flowers! Club music! Self-check stations that are more like table top touch screens than old-fashioned kiosks.
The boarding passes are cute little square. It’s the little things!
The interior lighting was a soothing blue and purple.
Each seat has it’s own touchscreen where you could play satellite TV for free or watch on-demand movies and TV shows for a small fee. This is also where the safety video was shown… and this was the first safety video that ever made me laugh!
From this touchscreen you could order food and the attendant would bring it right to your seat. Sodas and water were free.
If you wanted something that wasn’t free you could add it to your cart and swipe your credit card. You could also open a tab for the flight.
I didn’t order any food or drinks, but it looked like a good selection.
I also didn’t really watch the TV. On the way to Los Angeles I watched 3 episodes of Breaking Bad on my Kindle.
On the way home I read a bit and also watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, both on my Kindle. Each and every seat on the flight has it’s own outlet under the seat so you can plug in your devices to charge in flight!
Instead of turning my monitor all the way off, since I wasn’t watching TV, I set it to map mode (powered by Google Maps) so I could track our flight across the country.
If you’re too lazy to raise your arm and touch the screen, there’s a remote you can use in the arm rest. On the back of the remote is a full keyboard and touchpad for playing video games that are available.
There is also a talk feature, which I imagine might be useful if you’re traveling with other people but not seated next to them.
The Virgin America ticketing area at LAX. More flowers!
Overall, I think it was all of the little details that added up to a great experience. Method soap in the bathroom. Adjustable headrests and monitors. Illuminated indicators that told you when you had to buckle up but did not include no smoking signs, which I think are true signs that you’re in an old plane. Any one of these things would not make your experience on another airline better, but all together? Awesome.
I’ve stayed in more than my fair share of hotels over the years and usually prefer something modern that makes me feel a bit pampered. The Standard is modern in philosophy, I feel like, if not in actual fixtures, but not particularly pampering, and yet? I was still a bit enamored with this place. I mean, not like the fixtures were falling to pieces but some things seemed motel-ly (by design?) and not very luxe. The sexual overtones in the rooms and the hotel itself are very overt.
I liked the colors in my room. Bold. Blue. And I liked that I had a private balcony attached to my room.
There was no furniture on the balcony, so I brought the beanbag chair from my room outside so I could sit and read on my Kindle and relax for a while before the Nintendo Wii U event.
Some views from the balcony. I just read on WeHo News (WeHo = West Hollywood) that the city is in a big fight with the owner of the El Mirador Apartment building, which is a historic landmark.
After the event, I relaxed on the balcony for a few hours, reading and going online (free wifi woo!) on my Kindle.
Bathroom sink outside of the toilet/shower area. Fun orange fixtures.
I loved this shower. The showerhead was amazing. I want to get one at home now. But not orange. And yes, that is cork!. The shower was mirrored? I was wondering what the hole cut out of the glass was for. I couldn’t figure it out. Then later on when I went to take a shower, I instinctively put my arm through it to turn the shower on and not get wet. So. That’s that. I want this shower.
Along that same theme, we have the A/C fan control and the key card for the room….
And this playful artwork on the front of the hotel.
The hotel lobby was smart and casual. The chairs were comfortable, but I didn’t like how low they were to the ground. I guess I’m just getting to be an old lady. There was also a large pool that I would have liked to relax by, but both days I was visiting they were having a pool party, complete with a Dj, which I was not into. See? Old lady.
The Standard Hotel is a hotel that likes to have fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that I liked. I enjoyed staying here on my trip to Los Angeles.