Okay, last Friday night we took the red eye to Seattle to attend the Northwest Dive & Travel Expo in Tacoma.
Before I get too into this, let me just say that we flew Delta non-stop from Maui and that our tickets were only $347 – awesome!! Northwest divers should take advantage of this new route since they are running it on a trial basis and then reevaluating in September. The service was excellent.
After experiencing lots of “rough air” on the way (when did they start calling it that?) and arriving at 5:45 AM, we were beat but knew we’d have to get to work at our booth soon. The fabulous Hotel Murano let us check in early (bless the girl from Lanai who was working the front desk) and we were able to sleep for exactly an hour.
As we approached the convention center, we saw long lines around the building. Though we could dream that those were all divers waiting in line for hours to get into the show, we knew it wouldn’t be. We were right. America’s Got Talent auditions were also being held at the convention center all weekend – too funny.
Anyway, our day started on a high note when, as we entered the convention center, we heard our names being hollered and were greeted with hugs from longtime customers (friends!) Cliff and Joan. WOW!!
We spent the next eight hours meeting lots and lots of people and have to say, Northwest Divers ROCK! We got to visit with several divers we see regularly here in Maui and meet new divers, many of whom took the time to share their adventurous stories of diving in the Puget Sound. Next year, we will make sure we have enough time to get a dive in while we’re there.
After the show closed for the day at 6, we headed back to the host hotel to enjoy the film festival and the diver’s social – good fun! Maybe a little too much fun, in fact, but we did manage to enjoy our second day too.
I would have to say that the most fun part of each day was drawing and contacting the prize winners. People were soooooo excited and appreciative, even humoring us by jumping up and down at our request :-). We partnered with Hawaiian Rafting Adventures out of Lahaina to give away a guided shore dive, a scooter dive, a night dive, a Molokini trip aboard the Maui Diamond II and a Lanai trip with Hawaiian Rafting.
Well, I could go on and on, but in the interest of time, I’ll stop now and just post this one with a couple of photos. Thanks to all the NW divers who welcomed us in Tacoma. We hope to see you here in Maui!