Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RomComs Lie

You don't go on vacation and meet some native of that place who you have both an immediate connection with and yet contentious relationship with, have wacky adventures and only after you leave, realize you love that person and one or the other of you travels a great distance to make it work. Stupid RomComs.

I am wrapping up my time in Hawaii. Actually, I'm now on the plane coming home from Hawaii. I'm kinda bummed about this. I want to move to the North Shore for the winter, do beach runs and swims all day and eat tuna poke and salads every night. I mean, seriously, I can re-study for the fucking California Bar anywhere, why not the north side of this island? OH, right. Because my student loan money is about to run out and I can't afford to. Sigh.

Shit got long, yo. Click for more.

I struggled most of this trip. And I finally figured it out when we went to the North Shore. Other than the whole way too much time with my parents thing. Going to Hawaii and going only to Waikiki, while wonderful, is like...going to the Grand Canyon and visiting the gift shop. Most time you want to visit the major city: New York, Chicago, Boston. But sometimes you don't. In Hawaii you don't. So next time I visit, I will be taking that extended bungalow vacation on the North Shore or finally checking out Maui. But I will not be coming back to Waikiki. It's too...just...ya know? busy, I guess. Not that I should be complaining. I'm in fucking Hawaii. But, well... I did finally spend the day laying on the beach BY MYSELF and not at the pool with my parents and have come to the conclusion, in Andy speak that: Beaches > Pools. Always. And now that I've sort of found a groove we've left. Sigh.

Where did I leave off? Hungover on Saturday, I believe. That night we went to Side Street Inn, which apparently is a huge locals place. The place chef's go to eat when they get off work and cops frequent. I picked it because when tasked with picking a restaurant in Hawaii, I consulted Anthony Bourdain. If it's good enough for him... It was really tasty. Delicious crispy fried pork belly and fried rice. It was what I needed after being useless all day. That night we then went to see Russell Peters at the convention music center space. He was HY-sterical. If you don't know who he is, youtube some of his stuff and check him out. He just riffed for an hour on like everyone in the front couple rows names, ancestral background, whatever. It was hilarious. Except bittersweet. Listening to an Indian guy make fun of Indians might have been just a little too fresh for me right now. Whatever. Moving on.

Sunday morning we went to the flea market at Aloha Stadium. All the awesome tourist junk for sale at about at tenth of the price. I was totally down with this. Until we'd been there about five hours longer than necessary. Fine, that's hyperbole. But walking around in random circles outside of a football stadium looking at the same crap over and over and over again got super frustrating for me. I'm not by nature a shopper. Especially when I'm poor. (I'm looking at you, Dior purse in Ala Moana shopping mall. BTW: Ala Moana shopping center is stupid with rich people stuff. They have huge flagships of every high end store you can think of. The Japanese come here and drop some serious cash. There was a running joke between Andy and I about Hirohito and Hawaii. One of the jokes involved Hirohito's sister who I said would enjoy the hell out of shopping on the island. Related: if anyone wants to get me a good fake of the Lady Dior purse for Christmas, I will surrender my no fakes rule and carry it with pride. [A rule that really had to do with that I didn't KNOW I was carrying a fake and overpaid for it, more than anything. If I KNOWINGLY carry a fake, I'm down with it.])

Anyway, after I bought all the touristy Hawaii shit I could possibly want, we drove to the North Shore. Ah. The North Shore. In winter. Surfer's paradise. You drive right by the big wave spots of Pipeline and Sunset. It's prettier, less populated, more island-y than the skyscrapers of Waikiki. And I LOVED it. And the fact that there are tons of adorable shirtless surfer boys running around doesn't hurt things. I'd been there before when I was in Hawaii about five years ago and loved it then too. The me that grew up across the street from Ocean Beach and was friends with awesome surfers in high school, who still harbors secret dreams of being a skinny surfer girl is in love with the North Shore island lifestyle thing. Its like...chill, brah.

We ate at Giovanni's shrimp truck. Garlic soaked shrimp. We got shave (no d on purpose) ice at Matsumoto's. There is nothing quite as amusing as seeing grown men eat giant bright pink shave ice. We, unfortunately, skipped the beaches of the North Shore. I don't know why. We headed back to Waikiki after driving around. To the spa. Where we scheduled massages for 6 p.m. So before spa time, I got in a quick workout. Yeah. I'm getting fanatical about this working out thing (much much more on this in a separate blog later). The massage was lovely. If you want to get me something else for Christmas: let's go to spas together. Seriously. If spa going was a profession, I want in on it. That and travel writer. Spas are the shit. And yet I find it odd that someone can touch you so intimately without it being, ya know, intimate.

After that we headed to Roy's. There is a Roy's in SF but it pales in comparison to the one on the islands. So good. But Larry and I were starving and devoured the appetizer canoe and our salads too quickly that by the time we got to our main course, we thought we were going to explode. I couldn't eat another bite and was mad at myself for not enjoying my fish more.

I also noticed something about my mom at Roy's: she loves to flirt with waiters. I don't know what this. We had this adorable bus boy named Dylan who looked about 12. Mom then makes sure to carry on a ridiculous conversation with him about everything. Granted, he was a really great bus boy, especially after our waiter disappeared, but her conversations with the wait staff are somewhat ridiculous the older she gets. It's very Ted Mosby of her.

I feel the need to point out at this point that the odd stranger sitting next to me on the plane, because my brother is not the odd person sitting next to me on the plane, has downed four gin and tonics since we started this journey, that we're not even halfway through, and is now sleeping soundly. I don't take near enough advantage of free first class cocktails but just eschewed the hot fudge sundae for Bailey's on the rocks, and once the pilots get done using the bathroom in the forward galley, Imma have some more. I am also listening to the South Pacific soundtrack, which I finally, after much debate, purchased (Hey, Andy, how many people sitting in a first class cabins drinking Bailey's listening to South Pacific from 2008 on their Bose noise canceling headphones right now and writing? I'm guessing 4 in the whole world.) 

Monday was glorious. I woke up and headed to the beach, a little ways away from the hotel, and lay there, listening to the waves and the people. I bobbed in the Pacific Ocean, trying to overcome my fear of sharks and fish. Yeah. I don't like fish. They creep me out. I kept expecting some creepy eel like thing to pop it's head out of the coral. As there is tons of coral/lave rock on the ocean floor in Hawaii, this is harder to overcome than one might be think. But I managed to overcome my ridiculous fear and bob out there by myself, getting all salty. I like to imagine the sheer scope of the ocean when I'm out there. It's freaking massive. It's just...it doesn't end. Like, ever. Except that it does. But it's so...vast. And all the life it is teeming with underneath and all the organisms and reactions going on that we can't see. It starts to make you feel very very insignificant. Which sometimes, stepping back with that perspective, is a good thing. Bobbing in the Pacific also reminded me of the last time I bobbed in a sea: my birthday in Nice. I guess I bobbed other days when I was in Nice but I vividly remember the day of my birthday. Really there should be more bobbing in oceans. I'll have to work on that.

Then I got hungry. Mom and I wanted a burger. We ended up back at Duke's. I was starving. Which never bodes well for the universe. But we made it to Duke's. I kept getting scolded for walking so fast. I don't think I walk particularly fast. In fact, I know Michael and Chuck walk faster than I do. But everyone is on freaking island time with no sense of urgency. Look, if I have a destination, I'm getting to it. I dunno...I honestly think the whole time we were there I didn't ever really truly relax, which is unfortunate, but it just wasn't MY trip, ya know? The control freak in me can't relinquish when she's at someone else's whim. I'll mosey aimlessly around Paris for hours when solo. But on someone else's timetable? It doesn't work for me. Anyway, we had a lovely lunch. I walked a little bit further North along the beach after popping into some stores with Mom and Larry. The alone time was fantastic.

I headed back to the hotel and hung out at the pool for a bit with them, but I just found the pool annoying. Smells of chlorine and tourists. It's like a strip mall. You could be at any pool in the world and not know the difference save for this one plays Hawaiian music over the speakers. I'd rather be off on the sand staring at the vast Pacific Ocean. So I went back to the beach to watch the sunset. Best decision I made the whole time we were there. I put Clare de Lune in my headphones, to drown out the competing bands coming from the hotels and watched the sun find it's home in the Western sky. Sigh.

It was my stepdad's birthday on Monday so we headed to dinner at Michele's at the Colony Surf. It was fantastic. The food was decadent and mom and Larry were actually pretty ridiculously funny. I looked cute too. I was wearing a dress, which for the uninitiated, rarely happens. Like once every six months. But I was exhausted from the day of sun and sand and since I had to be up to fly this morning, I couldn't go out and get in any trouble. Plus it was Monday night. Who besides tourists is looking for any trouble? Anyway, I just called it an early night. I did not sleep well at all in Hawaii though. I was incredibly restless the whole time we were there. Too hot, I think. The A/C in the hotel room would only let you get it down to 68. I was up early and would have liked to hit the beach a little more but I needed to pack and my mom was calling me at 8 asking me if I wanted tea which let me know she was up and moving early. We left the hotel at 10:15. For a 1:50 flight. Now, seriously, I'm ALL about being early for flights. But this was ridiculous. We were in first class so we get to bypass all the BS and just take our time. That early for a flight? It's just stupid!

I think there is still a mother/daughter dynamic with us and I find it hard to be assertive with her. Because even in the airport, we ate by our gate and not over at the other place where we could have had more authentically Hawaiian food. This has me looking forward to leaving in four days for Disneyworld where I CAN be more assertive, as I'll be with my aunt and paying for myself. Yeah, you heard me right. I'm home 'til Saturday at which point I leave for Florida. Life is rough, y'all!

In the meantime, I'm finally home, SF is freezing and there will be a post to come about some other revelations.

All in all, I spent a week in Hawaii with ocean breezes and gorgeous scenery and that's pretty fantastic.

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