Back I Am

I’m (mostly) back from my month-long vacation. A month that I spent sitting on a beach in Hawaii doing absolutely nothing that involved work. I hiked, I surfed (badly), I snorkeled. I read book after book sitting in the sun with an ice cold beer next to me. All of my computers were left behind in California. All I took with me was my iPhone, to post a few pictures to Posterous and Facebook. The only news I heard was local stuff, mostly about the weather.

I stayed in Hanalei Bay on the north shore of Kauai. Hanalei is a very small town with just a single small hotel, lots of locals and a few tourists driving through to reach some good hiking trails at the end of the road. For a blogger looking to get away from it all, Hanalei is a good place to do it.

I didn’t stay in that hotel (you’d know why if you saw it). Instead, I stumbled across a listing on a vacation rental site for the Hanalei Surfboard House. They are generally booked solid months in advance, but there was a random cancellation and I jumped on it.

Little did Simon Potts know that he’d be creating the perfect haven for a down and out blogger when he opened the Surfboard House in 2003. Potts, a 56 year old retired British music executive, is one very colorful person. Surfboard House (named after the surfboards that line the fence of the property) sits one house off the beach. The rooms are immaculate, huge, and very private. It compares favorably to any five star hotel I’ve stayed in (here’s what Frommers said about Surfboard House). I spent weeks there.

Potts is a fascinating character. I quickly determined he basically felt the same way about the music business that I do. In short, he thinks he got out at exactly the right time. His quippy summary of the music business today: “It’s an unholy mess.” So we got along famously. And boy can he tell a story. In his short but profitable career in the music industry he signed artists like The English Beat, The Stray Cats, Haircut 100, Thompson Twins, The Cure, 10,000 Maniacs, MC Hammer, Blind Melon and Radiohead. He retired when he was 40. He’s got a story or two about every artist.

When my time was up to leave, I asked Potts if I could stay another week. He said something about being fully booked, but I offered to pay more than his usual rate and said I’d plug Surfboard House on TechCrunch (consider that a disclosure). He had (and still has) no idea what TechCrunch is, but the dollars did the trick. Schedules were juggled, I stayed. But the days flew by, and soon it was time to go home.

In short, I’m back. I’m tanned, rested, and generally grumpy about not being in Hawaii any more, but back I am. And somehow TechCrunch did just fine without me.

More soon on my plans for the future and my thoughts about the events that led me to take a month off in the first place. Just as soon as I get a couple more days of skiing in.