Good evening from Hawaii! We just wrapped up our company feast. Tonight was the only time all of my employees that came to our weekend retreat would be together. Some of them are flying out tonight, some of them are going to stay a few extra days because they just got off work today. Everyone had an amazing meal. It was all buffet style and the chefs had 5 different kinds of entrees. I’m still full and it’s midnight.
Let me recap our Day 3 real quick then I can get to our big meeting.
We got up early again. My boys woke up before Peace did. Heather had the overnight shift which was nice. I was able to sleep in which my wife prefers. I can’t help it that I get up early. It’s just how my body clock is I guess. I grabbed the boys and went downstairs with them. They are really talkative in the morning. We had a little snack before breakfast and went outside to play around. Just looking at the sunrise, wow. It’s amazing here. It’s a place all of you need to see once in your life, if you haven’t already. There really is no other place like Hawaii
- Honolulu Zoo
We all decided to take all of the kids on this one. I knew the kids would love to see all of the animals and I was surprised how happy my boys were. I do not support zoos, I don’t like them, I think the animals are better served living in their natural environments. That being said I did like seeing how clean this zoo was. My boys loved the elephants and the tiger. Some of the animals weren’t visible so that was a bummer but we spent 2 hours walking around and all of the kids left with zoo t-shirts and a stuffed animal Lol I wanted them all to remember their trip with us. We had such a great time. The staff helped us out a lot and we sort of just did one giant loop because it’s sort of shaped like a tornado Lol It isn’t a very big zoo but if you have kids it’s something they will love. We took a bunch of really great photos here! Prices are great guys, 2 and under are free meaning my kids got in without having to pay. It was $14 for adults and well worth the money.
2. Pearl Harbor
This is such an important part of Hawaiian history and I made sure that everyone got a chance to go see this to pay their respects. Everyone asked if they could go and I knew it was going to be the Top attraction. We had a guided tour which was well worth the money. We also did the submarine tour while we were there. The lines were really long but it’s definitely worth the wait. We took a bunch of photos and really felt honored to see such a huge part of American history up close. My wife loved all of the memorial things they did to really make you understand this was an attack on Americans. She liked reading all of the plaques they have in place and our guide had some really interesting info about that day. I think everyone was very happy they went and our group said a prayer for everyone involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor. It’s a Top 3 tourist attraction in Hawaii so go if you are going to come visit Oahu.
3. Scooter Rentals
We rented scooters, mopeds, and for our older relatives the scooter coupe Lol 4 hours for $75 but we only used it for 2 because we had to get to our next activity. We road around anywhere we wanted. I led our group but Lindsay and Drew turned it into a road race. At one point they were trying to pop a wheelie Lol Neither one of them did but I swear I can’t rent anything without them both trying to wreck it doing something stupid. My wife got on the back of mine scooter after 3 minutes of intense negotiation. This was the “Don’t go fast and if I tell you to slow down you better do it”. Afterwards she said I did a great job but she thought I was going to hot dog it around the island. Not with her and our baby son in her, no way. I took a nice little roll all the way around places. We only stopped once to fill up before we headed back. Everyone said it was a lot of fun but we should have planned out a route instead of just rolling around aimlessly.
4. Helicopter Tour
We booked a 50 minute ride in helicopters for the group. We all wanted to go and it was something I had been looking forward to the entire trip. The views from up there are awesome. I just put up our photos from the entire day onto our Family facebook page so be sure to check out the album called Makani Kai Helo Tour. That’s all the photos we all took. It was worth the $200 + per person we paid. Everyone said it was the very best activity thus far. I’m glad to hear it. We looped all the way around Oahu and got to see some of the secret spots on the island. The ride went by so fast because you are constantly looking at everything. The helicopter was smooth and we didn’t have a bad experience from anyone in our group. The kids didn’t come they were back at the cabin but one day I do want to take them all on this. It really is a cool tour. Our pilot was very knowledgeable and he was actually pretty funny. I loved experiencing this with my wife she was so excited. She kept squeezing my hand and pointing at things. You need to do this tour if you come to Honolulu!
After a full day of fun we all came back to the cabin to take a nap. We were worn out. We got up in time for the big company meeting. My wife and I hosted our 1st annual company retreat. We took the time to honor our long time employees, they all received an award. Anyone that’s 30+ in construction should get an award anyway, it’s a very tough job. We honored our 20+ year people after that. All of these people have known me my entire life. So when it was their turn with the mic they decided it would be a great time to embarrass me Lol I just laughed it off and turned bright red, I didn’t realize they had all planned that out beforehand.
Then we took the time to honor my dad who started the construction company and really did work hard. When I inherited it I didn’t know I would move onto bigger and better things. I asked everyone if they were having a great time and if they wanted to do this every year and they all said yes.
Then it was time to eat and man did we have a lot of food. I did NOT stay vegan for long because there were too many local dishes I really wanted to try. The chefs did an amazing job and they used all of the best fruits to really make the meal memorable. Everyone I talked to tonight told me how great the meal was.
After dinner we had one more surprise. Lindsay and I handed out an envelope to every single employee. Keep in mind I have several businesses so it took a few minutes to get through it all. I told them all to line up if you work for me and come get a surprise. They all did because my wife, Lindsay and I wanted to personally thank each one and give them a check for $500. Our profits from SJC this past year was way above what we expected. After I got through the line I explained that because our investments are doing so well I can not only afford to do this trip, I can afford to give each family spending money for the trip as soon as they arrive and at the end I still had money left over so my wife told me to do a bonus giveaway. So we did. Everyone was so happy and I did get a lot of hugs.
Then it was time to party so we all hit the dance floor and that’s when the booze came out Lol I told them don’t open up the bar until after we eat. I noticed Lindsay already had a beer in her hand so I wondered how she got it but I’m sure she stole it. The people who had to leave left on time and I was sad to see them go. I asked if they liked it and they all said they loved it. They really do deserve this. I have enough money already I knew it was time to start giving back. I really hope and pray this trip was a life changer for some. Some of my construction guys never take a vacation so when I told them you can either sit at home for 5 days or you can bring your family to Hawaii, get paid, and still have a FREE vacation on me. Who wouldn’t do that? Even the 2 guys that can’t stand me at all said it was a good idea and I’m really hoping they will change their minds about me someday Lol This entire weekend retreat was all about my employees. They work so hard to make my job and my life this comfortable. I would not be anywhere at all without them.
In case you were wondering, yes, Shelly my dad and then my long time executive assistant who retired was on the trip with us. She brought her husband, her kids, and her grandkids because I told her she survived working for the Coopers, she deserved a Lifetime Achievement Award from us and that’s exactly what she got with a big fat check to go with it. When I was doing my speech for her I started tearing up which made her tear up. Then when I presented it to her she got a 3 or 4 minute standing ovation. Every single person that has worked for me knows Shelly. They relied on her to talk some sense into me in the early days. Shelly has known me since I was born. She has always worked for our family and when she decided to retire early I was devastated. I offered her double pay to stay on another year. She said she couldn’t do it anymore it was too fast paced. I told her we were naming the award after her and next year and ongoing whoever got it would follow in her legacy. She was bawling by the time I was done with her Lol Her family was so proud of her and really didn’t know all she had been through with work. I reminder her of the time we got snowed in and had to shovel with a clipboard to get out of the door. She forgot about that one and died laughing. I also told the story about how she murdered a client’s last name twice to their face and then lied and said her hearing aid battery went out because the lady was so pissed she started yelling at us both. Everyone died laughing at that one. But that’s Shelly. An amazing woman and really my second mom. I love her to death and I told her every year she was invited back with her family because no one else had stood by me when I took over. She is the reason all of this was possible and I couldn’t find enough words to describe how I feel about her. We all love you Shelly! I miss you everyday at work but I know getting lots of time with your grandkids now is what’s most important.
We just walked back to the cabin from the big tent and I’m exhausted. My kids have been in bed for hours. I wanted to write this all up before I forgot because tomorrow I get to sleep in late again. It’s Brandi’s turn to get up with the kids. Thank goodness because tonight I don’t think I could do it.
Check out our photos guys! We are all having a great time in Hawaii!