Yes, we arrived back in the Garden State after spending ten days in Hawaii: five days in Kauai (also written and pronounced Kaua’i) followed by five days in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii for the Band Reunion. Yesterday, I was too dragass tired to write anything, and today I was busy catching up with other things to sufficiently collect my thoughts to make them readworthy.
Still, rather than putting off writing something for yet another day, I thought I would just jot down a few thoughts and supplement them later if they seem worthy of your time and mine.
I absolutely loved the place. It is beautiful beyond description, and the peeps are super. We spent several days driving around the island visiting places such as the Kilauea Lighthouse (see above – the northernmost point on the main Hawaiian Islands) and Waimea Canyon. Frankly, it is difficult to drive anywhere in Kauai and not be captivated by the beauty of the place.
On our final night in Kauai before we would pack up to fly to Honolulu and then into Kona for the reunion, we ate here (the photos do not do the place justice). The owner of the place greets and seats the guests and circulates around making sure everything is just so. In addition to serving fabulous food in a beautiful atmosphere, the place featured an amazing harpist during dinner. After a few pre-dinner cocktails and a couple bottles of wine, I took a trip to the men’s room. Upon reentering the restaurant area, slightly buzzed, I mistook the harpist who was on a break for the owner and complimented him on the excellent food. The harpist looked at me as if I had just fallen off a turnip truck. On my way out, I made sure I dropped a fiver in the harpist’s tip cup to atone for my douchebaggery.
It is impossible to describe how much fun it is to reunite with peeps you’ve been friends with for decades and with whom you’ve played music decades ago and to actually play together again. We rented a sound system and a drum set (a beautiful, new set of Ludwigs). I brought my guitar (the electric) to play when I wasn’t playing drums. We played a bunch of the old songs and a bunch of “new” ones as well. Some turned out great, some OK, and some were a complete train wreck, which are always great fun. Stories are told and retold, and they seem to get funnier with each retelling.
The gang did a bit of site seeing during the day, including a mandatory re-visit to Laupahoehoe Park (we happened upon the place four years ago), which, to me, is one of the more beautiful places on earth. It is the site on which a 1946 tsunami swept twenty-four teachers and students out to sea.
We also re-visited the Kilauea Volcano, which is currently quite active since its most recent eruption in March of this year – so much so that the road that circled the Kilauea crater four years ago is now closed. We were there at night, which provides a dramatic view of the 75-100 foot wide crater full of boiling molten rock.
1. The trip involved more flying than I am accustomed to:
Newark to Houston
Houston to Honolulu
Honolulu to Kauai
Kauai to Honolulu
Honolulu to Kona
Kona to Honolulu
Honolulu to Newark (nine + hours on that one)
After the mandatory safety instructions on each flight, I think I have finally mastered the details of buckling and unbuckling Mr. Seatbelt.
2. Walking around in airports with another guy my age, each of us carrying a guitar case begets some attention. I was carrying a rectangular electric guitar case and at least two airport types asked me if I was carrying firearms in the case. I immediately decided that making jokes (e.g. “Why yes. Glad you asked. This here baby is a fifty caliber sniper rifle.”) was not a wise idea.
Most of the time we got the “Who are those guys?” looks. However the cake taker was the lady who saw me getting off the plane with the guitar case and said, “As soon as I saw you I knew you were a magician.” Go figure.
3. At the bars in Honolulu Airport everyone is required by law to show proof of age. Showing my face was not enough. When I was in Tennessee, I also had to show proof of age, but there the clerk actually entered my birth date on the receipt. In Honolulu Airport, they just look at it and hand it back to you. WTF?
4. Oh, and another thing about the bars in Honolulu Airport. Don’t plan on getting drunk unless you’re prepared to leave some money behind. Black Russians go for thirteen bucks a pop. Holey Smokie!
5. I discovered Ocean Vodka, which is made in Maui. I give it an A++. If you find yourself in Hawaii, buy a bottle for the freezer. Unfortunately, it does not appear to be available in New Jersey. Drat!
Mahalo for reading this drivel.
Update: I would like to thank Elisson, Teresa, Eric and Dogette for keeping things alive and hopping around here while I was away. Oh, and did I mention that there are NO ALLIGATORS IN HAWAII? YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!