Monday, November 2, 2009

A beautiful day in Hawaii

Last Friday, October 30, 2009, was a blast. It was one of those days "Lucky you live Hawaii" was meant to describe.

First thing I did this day was go for a jog. I have been following the Couch to 5K program to get into running. I've signed up for my third Honolulu Marathon this December. The first two I walked. This one, while I don't plan on running the whole event, I would like to run part of it. This Friday was the last day of the prescribed program. I set the Nike+ for a 5K preprogrammed distance run. I ran around the Ala Wai playing field and then over the McCully bridge to go along the Ala Wai Canal itself. This is the canal that was dug in order to allow the swamp area to drain to allow Waikiki to become what it is today.

Originally uploaded by coconut wireless

Passing other joggers, looking at the canal and enjoying the views of the Ko'olau mountains were sights the canal run offered. Looking towards the back of Manoa valley and St Louis Heights just make you break out in a big smile. In the canal I could see some of the fish swimming and moon jelly fish floating in the water. I managed to run the 5K in 35:22. I was very proud of myself. Thanks to Trace for mentioning the program on his podcast which he co-hosts with Wayne, The Disney Dudes.

I got home and showered quickly as I was supposed to go with a friend to check out the closeout special at the Star Market near where I live. I'm in year 20 of living in Hawaii and Star has always been there at the intersection of King and Beretania in Moiliili. Rene stopped by to pick me up and we attempted to find parking. We couldn't get in the lot so we parked on a nearby street and walked in. Although the prices were cut 25% across the board, it was off the full retail price. A two-liter bottle of Coke or Pepsi was $2.89. Not a discount since you could find the same item on sale for $1.50 or $1.33 at other stores. We left empty handed.

Rene then invited me to go with her to a place called Boots and Kimo's. It was in Kailua and had pancakes that were to die for by her own words. I asked if we could stop by my place so I could put on an aloha shirt over my tank top which was looking a little frayed. She said sure.

On the drive over she let me know who would be joining us. It was Daisey who was new to Hawaii and her friend Tom visiting from the mainland as well as a former co-worker Susan and her boyfriend Roman. As Rene and myself arrived, we had a minor miracle happen, the parking spot right in front of the doors to the restaurant opened up. We slid into the space without any trouble.

In front of Boots and Kimo's were several benches. It was one of those places that served breakfast all day and always had a line. We went in and the place was small and packed! There were nine booths that held four people each. We placed our name on the waiting list and took a seat outside. We were shortly joined by Daisy and Tom. We talked story for a while when the waiter came out to take our order. We were about to tell the waiter to take someone else as we were waiting for two more people when Susan and Roman arrived. Roman ended up with an unexpected day off due to the budget issues of Hawaii. We have furlough Fridays when certain state offices close down. His company had a contact but since the office was shut down, they couldn't get in to do their work.

The menu consisted primary of the breakfast items and it all looked good. Rene had pointed out the size of the pancakes so she said we could split an order. I had the Maui Wowie omelet. No, none of that vegetation was included! Rene was right about the pancakes. The sign over the restaurant says "Home of the original Macadamia Pancake Sauce" and that sauce was soooo ono! It was very easy to taste why the place had a line the way that it did. Even the Japanese tourists were waiting outside to get in and enjoy the local fare.

Daisy and Tom wanted to go to Lanikai Beach which is a few miles away from the restaurant. Roman mentioned that his cousin would be able to get access to some equipment at a beach in Waikiki. We all jumped in our cars and headed back to our places to get beach equipment and met up again at the beach outside of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Tom was there waiting. Daisy had to go back to run an important errand.

At the beach!
Originally uploaded by coconut wireless
Myself and Rene set up on the beach that faced the ocean with Tom. I did a little bit of swimming in the Pacific. It was the first time in several years that I swam in the ocean. I've walked around Waikiki and skirted through the waves as they lapped up on the beach on many occasions but it had been a while since I put on the swim shorts to take a dive into the deep blue.

After a little bit of a wait Susan and Roman showed up with cousin Ash. Ash was able to get us some equipment that we used in Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon. The lagoon is named after the man who was considered an ambassador for Hawaii. A respected surfer, Olympic swimming champion and all around gentlemen are attributes to describe Duke. Tom and Roman and Ash took out stand up paddle boards. Rene and Susan went to find some drinks. I watched our bags.

Tom had been out for about 20 minutes when he returned and he offered me his board. I took it out. This was my first time on any sort of surf board. I noticed right off the bat that the water in the lagoon was colder than the water in the ocean. I pushed off and paddled around on my knees for a bit. I finally decided to try to stand it. Attempt one....failed. I didn't get in an upright position when I lost my balance and dumped. OK, kick up onto the board and get back on my knees. Try attempt number two. Almost got up but dumped again.

By this time Ash and Roman paddled over and gave me some tips to get up on the board. When I mentioned about the cold water Ash told me that the hotel was pumping deep ocean water three miles off shore to fill the lagoon. AHHH, that's why so much cooler! With the tip I managed to stand, but I didn't get the board moving fast enough so I dumped for a third time. At this point I was getting tired but the fourth time proved to be a charm! I was up on the board and moving forward. I paddled around for a bit but was getting tired. It was more exhausting than the run that I had several hours earlier!

About the time I was getting off the board, Daisy returned. She went out for a bit when Ash got us some wrist bands for the pools on property. We cleared off of the beach and headed into the pool area. The pools, slides and spas were very nice and got nicer as we started to watch the sunset.

I had a meeting that night for the kick off of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the Hawaii region at McCully Zippy's. When people mentioned that they were hungry, I mentioned Zippy's since that is where my meeting would be. They agreed and we drove to the King Street location. I had the local favorite, Portuguese bean soup and then had to bolt from the sit down restaurant part of the building to the quick service side.

The NaNoWriMo meeting was fun as about 40 of us who would partake in the exercise of writing a novel in 30 days met. I picked up a plot bunny that the local leader had made for participants. It was fun hearing people give a random tone of writing picked from a bowl against a random selection of text from a book. The text seemed like gobbledygook but after hearing a few it was obvious that if was from a Dr Seuss book; Fox in Socks to be specific. It was a good ice breaking exercise.

From there I walked the mile and half back to my Apartment in Paradise. It was an exciting day and one that happened in a somewhat unplanned manner. Those are some of the best times!

I'd like to give a big mahalo nui to Rene, Daisy, Tom, Susan, Roman and Ash. I've not used your real names as I don't know if you want them publicized. It was a day that I'll remember for a long time.