Two days ago, four became five. Yesterday, five became a dozen. The wedding party arrived along with Nadia, the maid of honor, the flower girl, Chris, Garth, Thien, Kat and Alex. Tomorrow at 8 am we’re scrambling down to the beach to see our friends get married. Stoked.
Beau and I cycled from Kailua to Waimea Bay, rode back with David and Krissy before meeting up with the new arrivals and spending the evening on a sailing canoe.
Fact: diving off a sailing canoe with friends is the best way to spend an evening. Thanks to the chi.mp folks for their generosity! We met up at the Outrigger Canoe Club near Diamond Head and promptly forgot djchall on the beach. We turned around, picked him and one other straggler up before heading out into the Waikiki harbor. From the boat we could see all of Waikiki stretched out along the coast, patches of sunshine and rainstorms alternating down the coast. We saw rainbows, watched the sunset, got caught in a couple rain showers, dove to the bottom, did backflips and cannonballs, drank beer and basically just had an awesome time. Later, after sushi we hosted everyone at our house, then moved the party to the beach. Night swimming FTW!
Feeling particularly lonely today.
Hawaii Five-O! Being in Oahu, a child of the 80s, and subject to the constant onslaught of Lost theoreticians, a common inhabitant of The Internets, I’m constantly pricked by subtle reminders of television: Ferraris in Waikiki evoking Magnum, P.I., the pork-belly lava cliffs of Makapu‘u no-longer tread by Jack and Kate on a trip around the Island, and the North Shore and freeways, unable to speak for themselves find voice in every single guidebook we’ve brought. I’m unsure how to react to the assumption of the writers about their readers—not only familiar with Hawaii Five-O, but television being the zenith of common experience.
Speaking of bellies, mine is now well sunburnt from our trip to Diamond Head. Learned to surf! Yeah!
We rented surfboards from the very excellent Kimo’s Surf Hut in Kailua, and tomorrow we’re renting road bikes from The Bike Shop for a ride north, counterclockwise around the windward coast to Kaena Point. To pair with The Bike Shop, there’s also The Bus (warning: site crashes Safari).
I wish you could rent diesel or hybrid cars on the island. I also wish there was a diesel series hybrid car with all-wheel drive that got a million MPG. And while we’re at it, world peace and a pony.
The in-jokes have multiplied, variously contributed to via card games with Melody and Red Stripe and hypoglycemic drives to Waikiki. We found a better organic food store, their proprietor referring to The Other Place as having “old” items on the shelves, and “not so nice” produce. We concurred, and pillaged their stock of Aloe for The Sunburn before heading back to the ranch for dinner interleaved with episodes of Top Gear and Project Runway. Typographically speaking, Bravo’s interstitials were kind of pleasing, not unlike the Pepsi Slurpee I also had yesterday. Guilty pleasures, indeed.
I miss my track bike.
Inevitably on vacation I’m injured. In Japan it was scarlet fever, this winter in New York I had The Cold, two summers ago in Kona I slashed my foot open on a rock the first time I stepped into the ocean. This time, I was stung by a Portuguese Man o’ War. Well, two of them. Babies.
These little fuckers are like tribbles on the Kailua beach near our house, constantly washing up on shore, leaving little prickly blue surprises for the unaware. Thought I was aware—I’d managed to dodge a few in the ocean already, and in the 3-mile walk we took down the beach yesterday a few dozen more. A mere 100 yards from home, the surf brought in a couple of baby Boy o’ Wars—I jumped to dodge most of them, and thought I was successful. Then the tingly cigarette-burn started and I noted a pair of them attached to my left foot.
Glad they were babies.
Yesterday we went to a farmers’ market, visited the Dole plantation, went to the north shore for breakfast burritos and coffee, and got soaked in a spontaneous downpour while simultaneously running out of gas. We visited Mormon-ville, saw a natural arch, Krissy practiced 5-minute headstands, David practiced being Judge & Jury and Beau found passion fruit and made cocktails. For dinner we ate poke, grilled and ate papaya salad and had a few good conversations about the US healthcare system. At one point I think we inadvertently committed some kapu interrupting a funeral on the beach.
Learning to surf today!
The leading edge of the weekend was about water, time spent in the Pacific, walking along the beach at night returning from dinner and drinks served by a Stepfordesque cheery military wife from the better half of a binary choice between Burger King and Pinky’s Pupus. It was about cruising the Nimitz highway, one of a few multilane concrete ribbons on the islands. It was about seeing a man hang-ten in the back of a pickup truck, holding a refrigerator upright with one arm, and the other on the rollcage, flying down H-3 toward the Tetsuo Harano tunnel.
It was about aikido rolls and cartwheels, hammocks and shots—rules: no shoes in the house and if you talk about work you have to do a shot. About $5 wagers and bickering. I can pinpoint the moment yesterday when the first in-joke relevant to just us was birthed, the mention of since cracks us up. I’m not sure how to articulate it, but I think it’s important, necessary for the success of a long group trip.
Number of Man o’ War swam with: 1. Number of tunnels passed through: 5. Number of interstate highways driven: 2. Number of times mistakenly driven up to the MCBH and had to turn around: 3. Number of friends picked up at the airport: 2. Number of hours spent in the ocean: 5.
The trailing edge of the weekend is about food and farmers’ markets, and hiking the Haiku Stairs.
Let’s get illegal.
Plied the discretionary fund of random moments yesterday and came up with a few winners. The first in Honolulu were a melody of Texan and Japanese accents rolling over like river pebbles, punctuated by SMS well-wishes, contrasted with grating missives from a troublesome source. Technology was simultaneously tethering and freeing, the 3G service in Oahu worked like gangbusters, Apple’s animated GPS diode being a source of data and amusement all day.
Open-top Jeep, drove around to Trentemøller, had unagi and tonkatsu at Hifumi (thanks jkoshi!), walked through homeless camps in old Honolulu buying beer for some kids at the skate park, crashed a salon party and saw the greatest sunrise ever.
Incidentally, the drive from Honolulu to Kailua is amazing. Emerging from the pair of tunnels on the Pali Highway toward the windward side, you’re driving down a series of hairpin turns with the entire harbor valley laid out in front of you, the Pacific beyond. Beau and I basically sparred over which epic activity we’re doing next. Climb that mountain? Go sea kayaking? Play with sharks? Crash the set of Lost?
Thanks to Beau, I have a new appreciation for waves. Upon arrival, the first thing we did after unloading the Jeep was hit the beach for a swim. Soon this morning we’re grabbing the boogie boards and heading out again before driving across the island to pick up Krissy and Dave.
I’m stoked to start cooking.
The calendar summer is in its back third, and the San Francisco summer is about to start. I’m in SFO, contemplating the steel fork and plastic knife to one side, and the single mother with two daughters in tow to the other. The waitress at the restaurant is like the Chinese mother I never had—advising me against the english muffin, a “rip-off” at $2. She just dropped off my breakfast, simulacra of scrambled eggs in uniform gold and blessedly fried bacon (and wheat toast).
In 5 hours I’ll be in Hawaii; my fourth trip in four years, the second wedding in less than a year, and the second time I’ve been to Oahu. At 10 days, this will be the longest trip. I’m stoked.
Things I hope to do while away: circumnavigate Oahu on a bicycle, hike to the crest of a windward mountain, learn to surf, read some good books, spend time with my friends—driving around the island top down, listening to music, doing lots of nothing.
Things I hope happen while I’m away: Obama announces a running mate—preferably a woman, preferably a strong governor, and Yelle tickets go on sale.
Edit: Mom just refilled my coffee.
After dinner, wandering in Rive Droite.
Baltimore fire engine in the Paris pride parade. No kidding.